Itchy eyelash follicles

Written by alexander kennard
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Itchy eyelash follicles
Itchy eyelashes can have a number of causes. (eye image by Pali A from Fotolia.com)

Itchiness in the eyelash follicles can indicate a number of medical issues. Itchy eyelashes will usually be accompanied by or occur before other symptoms. An itchy eyelash follicle may indicate a sty, but may also mean that you have a more serious condition, such as blepharitis, inflammation, or a chalazion, small bump. It also may be a symptom of an allergic reaction.

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Styes

A sty is a bump that can appear because a pore has been infected by bacteria from the skin. It initially feels scratchy and may itch. Styes and simple blockages usually will drain and go away on their own. If they do not vanish over a few days, more effective measures may need to be taken as it may either indicate a bigger problem or become progressively worse and develop into a chalazion.

Chalazion

A chalazion refers to a completely blocked oil gland on the eyelid near the eyelash. What feels like an itchy eyelash follicle may actually be the development of a chalazion. Styes may also occasionally continue to get worse and become chalazions. Once fully developed, a chalazion will not itch, but instead feel very painful. They should go away in a month or so, but may continue to get worse and require surgical removal.

Blepharitis

Itchy eyelashes may indicate blepharitis, which is an inflammation of the eyelash follicles caused by bacterial overgrowth on the eyelid. Blepharitis causes the affected area of the eyelid to become red, itchy and swollen and may cause the swollen skin to become scaly. Blepharitis can cause styes and chalazions and may cause eyelid scarring. If you are exhibiting these symptoms, you should consult a doctor.

Allergies

When the immune system mistakenly identifies a harmless foreign particle as damaging to the body, it attacks those particles, causing an allergic reaction. When particles that you are allergic to come in contact with the eyes, they may cause allergic conjunctivitis, which makes the eyes red and itchy. If your itchy eyelash follicles do not indicate the development of a sty or chalazion and are not caused by blepharitis, then they may be caused by an allergic reaction, in which case you should ask your doctor to help you identify to what you are allergic.

Remedies

Both a sty or chalazion can be helped along by pressing a towel wet with cold water against them for 10 minutes four times each day. Blepharitis will require that you clean the edge of the eyelid daily to get rid of the oil that the bacteria that causes the condition feeds on. If the itching is caused by an allergic reaction, then your doctor will either prescribe medication to relieve your symptoms or may suggest some over-the-counter antihistamines.

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