lid scrubs

This is a technique for cleaning the eyelids in order to improve comfort, especially in cases of blepharitis.  Debris can form on the eyelashes. This debris is typically made of dead skin cells and dried-up tear secretions. It is harmless, but bacteria living on our skin like to eat this debris because it is like “free lunch” to them.  These bacteria create their own waste products that irritate the skin of the eyelids, making them puffy, red, and giving the eyes a sandy sensation.  This is called blepharitis and is very common.  If we improve our lid “hygiene” and remove some of this debris, the eyes will feel better and less irritated. There are many ways to accomplish this. You can take a soft washcloth, dip it in warm water and add a little baby shampoo, and use this to gently scrub the lash line (with the eyes closed of course).  You can also make a mixture of diluted baby shampoo and do the same regimen with cotton balls.  Finally, there are pre-made pads such as the OCuSOFT pads, that are already prepared and ready for use. I usually recommend doing this lid scrub only once a day (though some people prefer more often).  If you wash your lashes too often you may reach a point where your scrubbing regimen is irritating the lids more than it is actually helping.

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Dr. Timothy Root is a practicing ophthalmologist and cataract surgeon in Daytona Beach, Florida. His books, video lectures, and training resources can be found at:

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