Chris Schach

Author Bio -

Key Points
*Inflammation of the eyelash follicle
*Often associated with  Seborrheic dermatitis, Rosacea or bacterial infection of the eyelash follicle
*Consists crusty eyelids which swell, Itch or burn and turn red

Blepharitis is an inflammation of the eyelash follicle, generally affecting the edge of the eyelid. It appears as excess oil production in the aforementioned area, which allows overgrowth of bacteria. Affected persons will experience redness and swelling of the area, in addition to crusting. They may also experience itching or burning. Blinking causes a feeling as if some particulate matter is in the eye itself, and loss of eyelashes can occur.

Blepharitis has several contributing factors. In most cases, it develops in relation to Seborrheic dermatitis, bacterial infection, or a combination thereof. Conditions that may also contribute to the development of Blepharitis include allergies and Lice, and Blepharitis may be related to recurrent incidence of styes and chalazia.

Differential Diagnosis (Other conditions with similar appearance)

Basal cell carcinoma
Ocular Rosacea
Contact Dermatitis

Key Points
*Diagnosis based on appearance of the affected area
*Further may be performed to rule out other conditions

Blepharitis is generally diagnosed based on appearance. Health care professionals may order further testing to rule out other conditions, as necessary.

*Primary treatment is cleansing of the affected area
*Antibiotics may be used to control bacteria
*If related to another condition, treatment of that condition can lessen symptoms
OTC Options: Gentle cleansers (baby shampoo), antibiotic ointment

The primary method of treating Blepharitis is breaking down the excess oil by gently cleansing the area. One OTC option is baby shampoo, but health care professionals may recommend others. Additionally, antibiotic ointment can be used to control the proliferation of bacteria in the affected area. If the condition is related to another disorder, treatment of it may lead to a lessening or resolving of symptoms.

More in this category: « Basal cell carcinoma Bromhidrosis »