Healthy Hairdresser

Summer Trouble: Lyme Disease

Rosanne Ullman | May 22, 2015 | 12:41 PM
NovaLash's Sophy Merszei before lyme disease and during treatment.

“You may know me as the person who introduced eyelash extensions to the world, but you might not know that I have been battling lyme disease, chronic erlichiosis and babesiosis for 30 years,” says Sophy Merszei, founder of NovaLash. “I didn’t get tested as a child, because even the best doctors didn’t have the right information back then. Still today, most doctors—including my husband!—are being taught outdated information on lyme disease.”


Warmer-weather May is Lyme Disease Month for good reason, since the disease is caused by insect bites. “It is treatable if caught early, but if left undetected it is debilitating ad extremely painful,” says Merszei, who’s also a molecular biologist and cosmetic chemist.


NovaLash is helping everyone spread the word by encouraging “Lashionistas” to take the Lyme Disease Challenge by sharing a “Sourpuss Selfie”: suck on a slice of lime, make a sour face, snap a photo or take a video and post it to social platforms (#LymeDiseaseChallenge, #NovaLashtakesabiteoutofLyme) along with a fact about lyme disease and a tag to challenge a friend. For every post that follows those directions, NovaLash will make a charitable donation and send a free pot of lashes to certified stylists with their next NovaLash order.


Know and spread the facts listed by NovaLash:

  • The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that 300,000 new cases of lyme disease occur each year in the U.S., and some experts believe the actual number to be much higher. 
  • Children are at the highest risk of contracting lyme disease and are more vulnerable to central nervous system infections.
  • Transmission can take place in a matter of minutes, particularly if the tick is not removed properly.
  • Called “The Great Imitator,” lyme disease is hard to diagnose because it gets mistaken for other illnesses.
  • Research suggests that lyme disease can be spread from mother to baby during pregnancy.
  • More than 63% of patients treated for lyme disease continue to suffer symptoms that can be debilitating.
  • Lyme disease has been reported in every state except Hawaii and has been found on every continent except Antarctica.
  • Lyme disease has six times more new cases each year than HIV/AIDS, yet it receives less than 1% of the funding.
  • Fewer than half of lyme disease patients recall a tick bite or any rash.
  • There are no tests available to prove that the bacteria that causes Lyme Disease has been eradicated or that the patient is cured after treatment.


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