Blepharitis is an inflammation that occurs on the margin of the eyelid when bacteria that normally colonize the lid cause the lash follicles to become reddened, swollen and crusty. Although blepharitis doesn't usually cause serious complications, the irritation can become chronic and requires care to prevent conjunctivitis or loss of eyelashes.
Clean the eyelid scrupulously twice a day. The bacteria depend on skin oils to reproduce, so a gentle scrub with baby shampoo and a cotton swab can control their growth. You can also purchase commercially-prepared lid scrub pads from your pharmacy.
Control seborrheic dermatitis or rosacea if you've been diagnosed with one of these skin disorders. These skin problems exacerbate blepharitis.
Ask the doctor if an antibiotic ointment is appropriate for your blepharitis. This ointment can control flare-ups by curbing bacterial growth.
Apply warm compresses to the eye to soften clogged lash follicles. Wash your hands and use a clean washcloth twice daily. Gently rub away from the inner eye to loosen crusts.
Massage the lid twice a day, preferably after using a warm compress. Hold the lid taut at the outer corner and rub from the inner corner to the outer corner, exerting gentle pressure to express plugs blocking the glands.
Consider adding flaxseed oil capsules in your diet. These supplements may help to normalize lid secretions, according to some researchers.
Add anti-inflammatory eye drops to your treatment regimen if dry eyes accompany your blepharitis. Look for a castor oil emulsion, available in over-the-counter and prescription formulations.