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Why Do Eyelashes Fall Out?

By Elizabeth Jean ; Updated August 14, 2017

Losing an eyelash occasionally is normal and is usually not a cause for concern. In most cases, a new eyelash will grow back from the existing hair follicle. The cause of excessive eyelash loss may be as simple as the type of mascara you are using. Other causes, such as medical conditions, are more complex.

Significance

It is normal to lose hair all over your body, including your eyelashes. However, if you notice an excessive number of eyelashes on your wash cloth or they are falling out in clumps, look for a medical explanation.

Causes

If your eyelashes are falling out in clumps, you may have a condition called alopecia areata, an autoimmune disease that causes hair loss. Stress, nutritional deficiencies and hypothyroidism are other causes of eyelash loss. Styes, which are an infection at the root of the eyelash follicle, and blepharitis, inflammation of the eyelid, may also cause eyelash loss. Other reasons for eyelash loss include aging, excess eye-rubbing because of allergies, hormone imbalances and chemotherapy treatment. Consult a health-care professional for an accurate diagnosis.

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Consideration

Eyelash loss due to a nutritional deficiency can be corrected by eating a healthy and well-balanced diet to ensure that hair follicles receive the proper nutrients. Your doctor may suggest nutritional supplements or eyelash conditioning products to prevent eyelash loss. You may also need to switch makeup products if an allergic reaction is causing irritation to eyelash follicles and causing them to fall out.

Warning

Trauma or eyelash abuse can over time cause eyelashes to fall out. When using eyelash curlers, use them gently and use them only when you really need to. Avoid using heavy mascaras, which can weigh down eyelashes, possibly causing them to fall out.

Solution

If you are diagnosed with alopecia areata, your physician may prescribe cortisone injections or creams to help with the hair loss. Another remedy is to wear false eyelashes until your own lashes begin to grow again.

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