Eyelash Health

Below you’ll find several of the most common diseases and disorders that may affect your eyelashes and/or eyelids along with links to more information. If you suspect you may be suffering from any of these disorders, don’t hesitate consult your physician. Although most eyelash disorders are often not serious, left untreated they can become a source of infection or cause other problems or complications. Considering the proximity to your eyes, it’s best to play it safe with any eyelash problems or conditions you may experience. If your family physician can’t help you, he will refer you to a specialist that is better suited to treat your condition.

Madarosis: The term Madarosis is derived from the ancient Greek word “madaros” meaning “bald” and is defined as hair loss of the eyebrows or loss of eyelashes. Loss of eyelashes is also known as milphosis. In addition to the obvious cosmetic blemish for which the patient usually presents to dermatologists or ophthalmologists, madarosis may be the presenting sign of many systemic diseases and warrants detailed systemic examination and in some cases, consultation with an internist or endocrinologist for further management. (Wikipedia)

Blepharitis: Blepharitis affects the skin of the eyelids and it usually involves the part of the eyelid where the eyelashes grow (also known as the lid margins). Blepharitis commonly occurs when tiny oil glands located near the base of the eyelashes malfunction. When these oil glands malfunction, bacterial overgrowth can result, leading to inflamed, irritated and itchy eyelids. Blepharitis is often a chronic condition that is difficult to treat. (MayoClinic)

Distichiasis: Distichiasis is a rare disorder defined as the abnormal growth of lashes from the orifices of the meibomian glands on the posterior lamella of the tarsal plate (inner eyelid). (Medscape)

Trichiasis: Trichiasis, a very common lid abnormality, is defined as the misdirection of eyelashes toward the globe. The misdirected lashes may be diffuse across the entire lid or in a small segmental distribution. Trichiasis has numerous causes, and the strategies to correct this problem are dictated by the anatomic abnormality causing the lash misdirection. (Medscape)

Crab Louse: The pubic or crab louse, also known as “crabs”, is a parasitic insect species notorious for infesting human genitals. The species may also live on other areas with hair, including the eyelashes. (Wikipedia)

External Hordeolum: A hordeolum (also knows as a “stye”) is a common disorder of the eyelid. It is an acute focal infection involving either the glands of Zeis or, less frequently, the meibomian glands. (Medscape)

Trichotillomania: Trichotillomania is an irresistible urge to pull out hair from your scalp, eyebrows, eyelashes or other areas of the body. (MayoClinic)

Demodex Folliculorum: Demodex folliculorum is a species of face mite that live on people. These parasites are found in the human hair follicles, normally found in greater numbers around the cheeks and forehead. Each follicle can have a small colony of mites. Their food is basically sebaceous secretions and dead cells of our bodies. (Wikipedia)

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