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Blepharitis

Blepharitis is an inflammation or infection of the eyelid. It is often caused by bacteria (usually staphylococcus) or related to a long-term (chronic) skin condition, such as dandruff, skin allergies, or eczema.

  • Blepharitis causes the edge of the eyelid to become red, itchy, and irritated.
  • Sores may develop on the eyelid, or the eyeball itself may get red.
  • The eye may burn and itch.
  • Matter may collect in the eye and form a crust on the eyelid edge and eyelashes overnight.

Treatment for blepharitis includes:

  • Keeping the eyelids free of crust by cleaning the area with a mild soap that does not irritate the eyes, such as baby shampoo.
  • Applying antibiotic eye ointments. Severe cases of blepharitis may need to be treated with oral antibiotics (pills).
  • Placing warm washcloths over the eye.
By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Christopher J. Rudnisky, MD, MPH, FRCSC - Ophthalmology
Last Revised January 25, 2013

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: January 25, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.