Common Infections of The Eyelash Area


Eyelashes are an important part of the body and need to be tended to in order to ensure that no infections and diseases can fall upon them. The main function of the eyelashes is to keep dirt and any unwanted debris out of your eyes, protecting it from outside impurities. But because of their small size, eyelashes are often disregarded when it comes to cure and prevention of infections. The best way to prevent infection is by being well-informed and knowing what to do when certain symptoms pop up so that you can diagnose and treat the infection immediately. The following are common infections of the eyelash area, also stated below are the signs, symptoms, and cures for each illness.


Eyelash Health

Blepharitis is a common infection which causes the eyelids to swell. It can occur anytime to anyone so it is best to be cautious. However a study appearing in the June 2009 issue of the medical journal Opthamology has found that people who were poorer and people who lived in urban centers were more likely to develop blepharitis than the rest of the population. Blepharitis makes the eyelids raw, itchy, red and flaky. Blepharitis is easily treatable, non-contagious and may even go away after two to four weeks. The downside to Blepharitis is that it can reoccur if not avoided. The best way to avoid Blepharitis is by being aware of the causes of it in the first place.

The main cause of Blepharitis is a disfunction of the oil glands in the eyelash area. When these glands produce too much, too little or the wrong variety of oil, an infection may occur which ends up as Blepharitis. A high sensitivity to or allergic reactions to products being applied to the eye area such as mascaras or eye makeup can also lead to Blepharitis. Blepharitis can be easily treated by a trip to the doctor. The doctor can recommend to you certain supplements and topical treatments which can fix the infection right up. Using a warm compress, cleaning the eyelid margin and avoiding certain products (eye makeup, dandruff shampoo) can also help in making the healing process faster. All in all proper hygiene can control the risk of getting Blepharitis.


Madarosis is the loss of hair in the eyelash and eyebrow area. It could be in born but in can also be caused by a simple infection or allergic reaction. Madarosis could even be a symptom to a more serious illness such as leprosy, HIV, herpes and tumors. What is important in Madarosis is to immediately have a doctor check out your condition. The proper blood tests and physical examinations will determine whether or not it is an allergic reaction to any product you are currently using or if a more serious disease is to be treated. Either way, what is important is to get treated immediately.


Triachiasis occurs when eyelashes are improperly positioned. Instead of the lashes curling outward, the lashes curl inward causing it to come into contact with the cornea. This is usually caused by any infection or inflammation of the eyes, trauma (i.e. fire) or an autoimmune disease. Trichiasis, in serious cases, has to be surgically treated immediately. If not given medical attention, trichiasis can lead to scarring of the cornea which will be detrimental to your eye sight. However, in mild cases, trichiasis does not need surgery and can be treated with lubrication therapy.


Distichiasis is a condition where there is an extra set of lashes. The extra set of lashes usually soft, however this can still cause irritation of the eyes if not treated. The extra lashes can scratch the cornea and can damage the eye sight. They can grow outside or inside of the eyelids. They can be fully grown or can be fine like baby hair. Some even don’t have color. This condition can be congenital but sometimes it can be a sign of another more serious disease such as a congenital heart defect, strabismus or ptosis. The good news is, Distiachiasis can be treated by manual removal, electrolysis or surgery.


Although it may sound odd, there are parasites living on our faces, specifically in our eyebrows. As infants, we are born with absolutely no parasite on us but as you get older and get to the age of 50 you are infested by parasites. But that does not necessarily mean that it’s time to panic and soak our faces in hot water. These parasites actually feed off the oils on our face and on the dead skin we shed daily. As long as these parasites stay at a safe quantity then it is perfectly normal to coexist with them.


A perfect example of the parasites in the previous topic is the Demodex. It is a type of eyelash mite that lives on your face, most specifically on you eyelashes. They are positioned head first into the follicle of hair on your lashes. They live off the dead skin that we shed daily. People who have oily skin and women who put on loads of makeup daily are probably carrying more of these parasites daily.

The demodex are actually harmless and you are actually living with them now without the slightest bit of an illness on you. However, when a larger number of these mites start to inhabit your face, then it is possible that you will start itching. You start to get irritated and inflamed eyes. This occurrence is called a Demodicosis. This even occurs in situations where your immune system is suppressed which is caused by stress or disease.

The main trick is to always clean your face after a long day out in the city and with your full makeup on. According to Doctor Oz (of The Oprah Show fame), we have 200 lashes on each eye. The best way of treating this is by using tea tree oil or macadamia oil.


Trichotillomania is a mental disorder. In Trichotillomania a person has the irresistible urge to rip their hair off their body. This can also occur in the eyelash area. People with this disorder will feel tension when feeling the urge to pull any hair from their body and will instantly feel relief once this is done, only to realize that the tension will come back later. People will this disorder need to seek professional help as this can also be sometimes linked to anxiety and depression.


It is always important to look out for symptoms of any disease related to eyelash care. As they always say, prevention is the best cure. It is important to keep your eyelashes healthy in order to ensure that your eye area is free of any infection or disease.

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Expert Author : Andrea Moore (Consumer Health Digest)

Andrea Moore has been a senior writer for Consumer Health Digest for more than a decade. She specializes in in all topics related to health, fitness, nutrition, and beauty. She has also worked as a communications and marketing professional. Connect with Andrea on Facebook for constant updates on her projects.