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This information was developed by the National Eye Institute (NEI) to help patients and their families in searching for general information about blepharitis. An eye care professional who has examined the patient's eyes and is prosaic with his or her medical history is the best person to answer specific questions.

Other Names

Granulated eyelids.


What is blepharitis?

Blepharitis is a common condition that causes rash of the eyelids. The condition can be difficult to manage because it tends to recur.


What causes blepharitis?

Blepharitis follow  in two forms:

Anterior blepharitis affects the outside front of the eyelid, where the eyelashes are attached. The two most common causes of preceding blepharitis are bacteria (Staphylococcus) and scalp dandruff.

Posterior blepharitis affects the inner eyelid (the moist part that makes contact with the eye) and is precipitate  by problems with the oil (meibomian) glands in this part of the eyelid. Two skin disorders can cause this form of blepharitis: acne rosacea, which leads to red and inflamed skin, and scalp dandruff (seborrheic dermatitis).


What are the symptoms of blepharitis?

Evidence of either form of blepharitis include a foreign body or burning sensation, excessive tearing, itching, nervousness  to light (photophobia), red and swollen eyelids, redness of the eye, soften vision, frothy tears, dry eye, or crusting of the eyelashes on awakening.


What other conditions are join with blepharitis?

Embarrassment  from blepharitis include:

Stye: A red tender bump on the eyelid that is precipitate  by an acute pollution of the oil glands of the eyelid.

Chalazion: This condition can follow the development of a stye. It is a usually painless firm lump precipitate  by rash of the oil glands of the eyelid. Chalazion can be painful and red if there is also an infection.

Problems with the hole film: Abroutine or decreased oil secretions that are part of the hole film can result in excess tearing or dry eye. Because tears are necessary to keep the cornea healthy, hole film problems can make people more at risk for corneal infections.

How is blepharitis treated?

Hospitalization for both forms of blepharitis concern keeping the lids clean and free of crusts. Warm compresses should be applied to the lid to loosen the crusts, followed by a light scrubbing of the eyelid with a cotton swab and a mixture of water and baby shampoo. Because blepharitis rarely goes away completely, most patients must maintain an eyelid hygiene routine for life. If the blepharitis is severe, an eye care professional may also prescribe antibiotics or steroid eyedrops.

When scalp dandruff is present, a dandruff shampoo for the hair is recommended as well. In addition to the warm compresses, patients with posterior blepharitis will need to massage their eyelids to clean the oil accumulated in the glands. Patients who also have acne rosacea should have that condition treated at the same time.



Resources can be found in the National Eye Institute's Eye Health Grouping Database.

For additional information, you may also wish to contact a local library.


Medical Literature

For information on your topic, you may wish to conduct a search of the medical literature. The National Library of Medicine (NLM) coordinates PubMed, a computerized medical dissertation database. You can conduct your own free dissertation search by accessing PubMed through the Internet. For help on how to search PubMed and how to get journal articles, please see PubMed Help. You may also get assistance with a dissertation search at a local library. Please keep in mind that articles in the medical dissertation are usually written in technical language. We encourage you to share articles with a health care professional who can help you discern  them.