Federal law mandates that all contact lenses, even those for cosmetic purposes such as to change the color of the wearer's eyes, can only be purchased with a valid prescription. However, many teenage girls have been purchasing illegal cosmetic contact lenses to change their eye color at local beauty stores. The results can be disastrous.
Earlier this summer, the media reported on a teenage girl in New York who required a corneal transplant after she purchased a pair of colored contact lens sold illegally at a local beauty shop.
The primary danger from these lenses is catastrophic eye infections when the contact lenses are not fitted properly, and purchasers don't properly care for them (because the sellers don't provide adequate lens care instructions).