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Background: Although cosmetic contact lenses are ideally indicated for patients with corneal and iris abnormalities, they are currently fashionable among the younger generation of emmetropes to enhance their physical appearance. Cosmetic contact lens wearers carry a greater risk of microbial keratitis, even more so with counterfeit ones.
Case presentation: Here, we report two cases of counterfeit cosmetic contact lens wearers with Acanthamoeba keratitis (AK) who were misdiagnosed as herpes simplex virus (HSV) keratitis.
Conclusion: AK is a sight-threatening complication among contact lens wearers. Since clinically AK may masquerade as HSV, early diagnosis of AK is often delayed. As both microorganisms can mimic each other, determining the co-existence of both infections can be challenging. Delay in initiating proper treatment can lead to blinding complications.