Closeup image of man wearing scary contact lenses.

Enlarge (credit: Getty / Aurich Lawson)

Unless you’d like to keep the pirate look going, it’s best to avoid costume contact lenses this Halloween.

Like every October, health authorities and medical organizations want to remind you that the decorative, over-the-counter lenses are not only illegal, they’re also terrible for your eyes. And not telling tales. The lenses can cause infections, sores, scratches, vision-impairing scars, and even blindness. It’s easy to find eye-related horror stories from people who turned to black-market lenses to change the color, shape, or look of their eyes (some lenses even add logos to your eyeballs).

Just on Tuesday, USA Today reported the case of a Cleveland woman who got decorative lenses stuck to her eyeballs. The lenses were supposed to turn her brown eyes blue but instead made them swollen and red. She had to have them removed in an emergency room.

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