Eye Specialists of Westchester

Office (914) 235-9500
Optical (914) 235-8262


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Lid Margin Disease

Lid margin disease is a common, persistent inflammation of the eyelids. Symptoms include irritation, itching, and occasionally, a red eye. This condition frequently occurs in people who have a tendency towards oily skin, dandruff, or dry eyes.

Bacteria normally reside on the skin, but in some people they thrive on the skin at the base of the eyelashes. Nearby oil glands may be overactive, causing dandruff-like scales and particles to form along the lashes and eyelid margins. This can cause redness, stinging or burning.

Lid margin disease may not be cured, but it can be controlled with a few simple daily hygienic measures.

  • At least twice a day, place a warm, wet washcloth over the closed eyelids for a few minutes. Rewet the washcloth as it cools. This will soften and loosen scales and debris. More importantly, it helps to liquefy the oily secretions from the eyelids’ oil glands.
  • With your finger covered with a washcloth, cotton swab, or commercial lint-free pad, gently scrub the base of the lashes for about fifteen seconds per eyelid.

When medications are necessary, they may include:

  • Artificial tears
  • Antibiotics (oral or topical) to decrease bacteria on the eyelids
  • Occasionally, steroid eyedrops to decrease inflammation

Medications alone are not sufficient; the application of warmth and cleansing of the eyelashes daily is the key to controlling lid margin disease.