An Eye For Hygiene Why Clean Lids Matter

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“Eyelid hygiene” is a term that’s probably unfamiliar to most people, but it’s a surprisingly crucial aspect of our overall eye health. Failure to keep our lids clean can result in a buildup of dirt and oils around one of the most sensitive parts of our bodies. Unfortunately, if this happens, several medical conditions can arise as a result, and one of the most common is a condition referred to as blepharitis.

Blepharitis happens when the oil glands around our eyes get clogged and become inflamed, and bacteria can build up resulting in chronic redness along the eyelid margin. This can then cause dry and irritated eyes. Poor eyelid hygiene can also increase your risk of styes on the eyelid. And a very unpleasant condition called Demodex involves mites living on your eyelashes, burrowing into the eyelid, and causing a chronic inflammatory reaction.

The best way to avoid these problems is by not touching or rubbing your eyes unless you have freshly washed hands. The contaminants on our fingers can stay on our eyelids after we scratch an itch or insert our contact lenses. It’s also crucial to carefully and thoroughly remove all makeup and moisturizers around the eyes at the end of the day to prevent buildup.

Aside from irritation, the most common telltale sign that your eyelid hygiene could use improvement is the presence of small dandruff-like flakes around your eyelashes. Anyone experiencing these symptoms should visit their regular eye care specialist for an eye exam and a proper diagnosis.

A product called Ocusoft is commonly used for many cases of blepharitis. This over-the-counter scrub comes as a spray or pre-moistened towelettes. It’s straightforward to use in the shower. Just let warm water run on your closed eyes for a short period, step out of the stream of water, and gently rub the product along your eyelids, focusing along the lash line.

More advanced inflammation calls for a product called Avenova, which contains a tiny amount of hypochlorous acid to kill unwanted bacteria. You just gently apply this product along your lash line and let it dry. Some people even continue using Avenova after their medical issue has been resolved because they think it makes the skin around their eyes look better.

No matter what treatment ultimately proves best, contact an eye care specialist if you notice signs of eyelid inflammation. And remember that you can prevent problems before they start by taking good care of your eyelids every day.


Meet Dr. Scott - Your Dedicated Oculoplastic Surgeon

Renowned for his commitment to enhancing your eyelid and facial appearance while prioritizing your safety. Dr. Scott is board-certified in Ophthalmology and has specialized fellowship training in Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.  With extensive training at prestigious institutions, including the Medical College of Virginia, Manhattan Eye, Ear, & Throat Hospital, and the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, Dr. Scott brings a wealth of expertise to his craft. His accolades, including recognition as a Top Plastic Surgeon by Northern Virginia Magazine, underscore his dedication to excellence. Dr. Scott's passion lies in helping you achieve the best aesthetic results while safeguarding your eyesight.

Location: Fairfax - Northern Virginia

Areas of Expertise: Cosmetic laser eyelid surgery ( blepharoplasty ), ptosis surgery, treatment of benign and malignant eyelid cancers, correction of eyelid malposition – ectropion, entropion repair, and Botox and filler treatment.