What is blepharitis?
Blepharitis is a common but usually mild irritation of the area around the eyes. It can make your eyelids swollen, inflamed, sore and dry, and cause your eyes to feel gritty and uncomfortable. Some people find it makes their eyes water, but for others the sensation is of very dry eyes.
What causes blepharitis?
The condition can be caused by a few different things, but there are three common culprits which often occur in combination:
- Blocked ducts
- An overgrowth of microbes on the skin (bacteria, yeasts, mites)
- A predisposition to certain skin conditions, particularly rosacea and dandruff
If you’re prone to those then you’re likely to suffer the odd flare up of blepharitis, even if it is mostly mild. In severe cases, unfortunately, the inflammation can be almost constant, and become quite distressing and uncomfortable.
What aggravates blepharitis?
Certain things make blepharitis more likely, and harder to manage. It could be that the aggravating factors affect the proliferation of yeasts and mites, or affect the skin barrier function, making your eyelids more likely to get inflamed.
Here are some circumstances which can make blepharitis worse:
- Having a rosacea, acne or seborrheic dermatitis flare
- Having diabetes and your blood sugars are running high
- Getting older
- Wearing contact lenses
- Being somewhere dusty
- Working long hours in front of a screen
- Being in certain environmental conditions: windy, cold, dry can all be problematic
- Not taking off your makeup
- Using toiletries or cosmetics containing irritants
How do you treat blepharitis?
Blepharitis responds very well to a daily management plan, which involves a three-step cleaning routine.
Heat: place a hot compress or eye bag over your eyes for five minutes to warm the area
Massage: massage very gently around the eyelashes to dislodge crusts and unblock ducts
Cleaning: use a fresh, clean cotton bud dipped in well-diluted (scent- and soap-free) wash to clean the area around the eyelashes and eyelids
If your eyes are very sore and dry, you can use Skin Salvation to ease any irritation around your eyelids. There’s strong evidence to suggest that 5% tea tree ointment can prevent mites from breeding; massage a small amount of Balmonds Tea Tree Balm into your eyelashes. You can use diluted Balmonds Natural Shampoo & Body Wash to clean the area.
As part of your daily cleansing routine, swap your foaming or scented make-up remover for an oil-based cleanser, like Balmonds Omega-Rich Cleansing Oil, which is much less likely to irritate your eyelids.
If the condition persists, doesn’t improve or gets worse after a week of this regime, consult a doctor or pharmacist; you may be prescribed antibiotic eye drops.
Balmonds Skin Salvation
with hemp and beeswax
Balmonds Tea Tree Balm
balm with tea tree essential oil and beeswax
Balmonds Natural Shampoo & Body Wash
with calendula & chamomile
Balmonds Omega-Rich Cleansing Oil
with rosehip and calendula
If you require medical advice we recommend you always contact your healthcare professional.
If you or someone you are caring for seems very unwell, is getting worse or you think there's something seriously wrong, call for emergency services straight away. For general medical advice, please contact your healthcare professional, this article does not contain or replace medical advice.
Do not delay getting help if you're worried. Trust your instincts.