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.

Current as of: September 9, 2014

Author: Healthwise Staff

Medical Review: Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine & Christopher J. Rudnisky, MD, MPH, FRCSC - Ophthalmology