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Docs: Mascara Can Throw Off Medical Tests

NORTH MIAMI (CBS4) - It's a daily staple for many South Florida women, but can mascara cause problems when it comes to your health?

CBS4's Cynthia Demos hit the streets of North Miami and spoke to women about mascara and the mysterious ingredients.

She told them if they knew there was an ingredient in the mascara that could throw off an MRI.

"Really, how?" exclaimed Lucy Jelinek of North Miami.

It's called iron oxide, an ingredient in mascara that can create a dark blotch in an MRI. It can make doctors think you have melanoma.

Julinek said, "It's scary but good to know so you can watch out."

The ingredient is there for pigmentation and to make your lashes shiny. But is this something to be seriously concerned with?

"You know when you look at the ingredients on food it's a little weird cause they are 70 letters long and it's the same thing with your make-up but usually you never look at the ingredients unless you have a problem. With the breakdown of iron oxide and how it affects the magnetic field in MRI's for some there is a problem," said Dermatologist Dr. Andrea Trowers.

Dr. Trowers added, "the patients who need to be concerned are the people with eyeliner or eyeshadow tattoos."

For the majority of women who just wear regular mascara it's not a major concern said Dr. Trowers.

She said, "I think if you wear mascara with iron oxide this is not a valid concern to have."

In extremely rare cases people have been allergic to iron oxide.


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