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While eyelash pain is a symptom of several conditions such as eyelid infections, blocked oil glands or eyelash growth problems, most cases of eyelash pain can be attributed to a condition called blepharitis. Blepharitis, a chronic condition affecting the eyelids, occurs secondarily to several diseases and conditions and can lead to further diseases, disorders and complications, according to MayoClinic.com 1. However, the condition itself, while uncomfortable and unattractive, does not cause permanent damage.
In addition to eyelash pain, blepharitis causes red, itchy, watery and swollen eyes. People with the condition may also feel burning, grittiness, sensitivity or discomfort in the eye itself. The skin around the eyes may flake, and the eyelashes may appear greasy or oily. In some cases, the eyes may crust over during sleep; eyelashes may grow abnormally or fall out, according to MayoClinic.com 1.
- In addition to eyelash pain, blepharitis causes red, itchy, watery and swollen eyes.
Itchy Eyelash Follicles
Seborrheic dermatitis, an inflammatory condition of the skin, causes dandruff and skin irritation. Rosacea is a chronic condition identified by redness on the face and especially on the cheeks.
Most cases of blepharitis are treated by cleansing the area frequently with a warm, soft washcloth, according to MayoClinic.com 1. If a bacterial infection is present, prescription antibiotic eye drops are used. Steroids and ointments help relieve inflammation. If dryness is a problem, eye drops or artificial tears may help. Treating or controlling the underlying cause may also help.
- Most cases of blepharitis are treated by cleansing the area frequently with a warm, soft washcloth, according to MayoClinic.com 1.
- If dryness is a problem, eye drops or artificial tears may help.
White Pimple on the Eye Lid
Without treatment, blepharitis can lead to several other conditions including misdirected or shedding eyelashes. In some cases, the eyelashes grow inward, irritating the cornea. Other conditions caused by blepharitis include pink eye, excessive tearing or dryness, swelling on the inside of the eyelid and infection at the edge of the eyelid, also called a sty.
A sty, similar to a pimple, appears on the eyelid at one or more of the oil glands located along the edge of the eyelid. Caused by bacteria in the oil glands, sties can develop alone or because of blepharitis. They usually clear up within a few days and are of no cause for concern. In some cases, however, the condition does not clear up. When this occurs, medical attention is necessary.
- A sty, similar to a pimple, appears on the eyelid at one or more of the oil glands located along the edge of the eyelid.
- Caused by bacteria in the oil glands, sties can develop alone or because of blepharitis.
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- MayoClinic.com: Blepharitis
- National Institutes of Health: Eyelid Bump
- Lindsley K, Matsumura S, Hatef E, Akpek EK. Interventions for chronic blepharitis. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2012;(5). doi:10.1002/14651858.CD005556.pub2
- Zhu M, Cheng C, Yi H, Lin L, Wu K. Quantitative analysis of the bacteria in blepharitis with Demodex infestation. Front Microbiol. 2018;9. doi:10.3389/fmicb.2018.01719
- Koo H, Kim TH, Kim KW, Wee SW, Chun YS, Kim JC. Ocular surface discomfort and Demodex: effect of tea tree oil eyelid scrub in Demodex blepharitis. J Korean Med Sci. 2012;27(12):1574-9. doi:10.3346/jkms.2012.27.12.1574
- National Eye Institute. Blepharitis. Updated July 2, 2019
- Stroman DW, Mintun K, Epstein AB, et al. Reduction in bacterial load using hypochlorous acid hygiene solution on ocular skin. Clin Ophthalmol. 2017;11:707-714. doi:10.2147/OPTH.S132851
- Cheung IMY, Xue AL, Kim A, Ammundsen K, Wang MTM, Craig JP. In vitro anti-demodectic effects and terpinen-4-ol content of commercial eyelid cleansers. Cont Lens Anterior Eye. 2018;41(6):513-517. doi:10.1016/j.clae.2018.08.003
- Kabat, Alan, Sowka, Joseph. "New Blepharitis Treatments." Review of Optometry. 10/15/2014.
Kathy Mayse began her writing career as a reporter for "The Jackson-County Times Journal" in 2001. She was promoted to assistant editor shortly after. Since 2005, she has been busy as a successful freelancer specializing in Web content. Mayse is a licensed cosmetologist with more than 17 years of salon experience; most of her writing projects reflect this experience.