CHOC Children's
EYE CARE :: Eye Disorders


What is blepharitis?

Blepharitis is an inflammation at the base of the eyelashes. Blepharitis is associated with abnormal production and secretion of the sebaceous glands (oil-producing glands) and may be associated with seborrhea. Seborrheic dermatitis is an inflammation of the top layers of skin, characterized by red, itchy skin that sheds scales.

What are the symptoms of blepharitis?

The most common symptoms of blepharitis are:

  • redness and scaling of the edges of the eyelids
  • burning and irritation of the eyes
  • your child rubbing his/her eyes
  • general discomfort of the eyes
  • seborrheic dermatitis on your child's head or face
  • mattering of the eyelashes and crusting along the lashes

How is blepharitis diagnosed?

Blepharitis is usually diagnosed based the complete medical history and a physical examination of your child. Additional tests are not usually required.

Treatment of blepharitis:

Treatment may include:

  • discouraging eye-rubbing behavior
  • ophthalmic antibiotic ointments, or in severe cases, oral antibiotics may be indicated
  • regularly using baby shampoo to clean the eyelid margins and lashes

If your child also has seborrheic dermatitis, along with blepharitis, treatment recommendations may include:

  • rubbing mineral oil on the head of infants with a soft toothbrush, followed by a gentle shampooing
  • corticosteroid cream or lotion

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It is important to remember the health information found on this website is for reference only not intended to replace the advice and guidance of your healthcare provider. Always seek the advice of your physician with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your physician or 911 immediately.

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