Blepharitis: Care Instructions

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Eyeball and optic nerve


Blepharitis is an inflammation or infection of the eyelids. It causes dry, scaly crusts on the eyelids. It can also cause your eyes to itch, burn, and look red. This problem is more common in people who have rosacea, dandruff, skin allergies, or eczema.

Home treatment can help you keep your eyes comfortable. Your doctor may also prescribe an ointment to put on your eyelids.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

How can you care for yourself at home?

  • Wash your eyelids and eyebrows daily with baby shampoo. To wash your eyelids:
    • Place a warm, wet washcloth over your eyes for about a minute. This will help soften and loosen the crusts on your eyelashes.
    • Put a few drops of baby shampoo on a warm washcloth.
    • Gently wipe your eyelids and lashes. This helps remove any crust. It also cleans your eyelids.
    • Rinse well with water.
  • Use artificial tears eyedrops if your eyes are dry.
  • Avoid wearing contact lenses or eye makeup while your eyelids are healing.
  • Be safe with medicines. If your doctor prescribed medicine for you, use it exactly as directed. Call your doctor if you think you are having a problem with your medicine.

When should you call for help?

Call your doctor now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • You have signs of an eye infection, such as:
    • Pus or thick discharge coming from the eye.
    • Redness or swelling around the eye.
    • A fever.

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor if:

  • You have vision changes.
  • You do not get better as expected.

Where can you learn more?

Go to

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The Health Encyclopedia contains general health information. Not all treatments or services described are covered benefits for Kaiser Permanente members or offered as services by Kaiser Permanente. For a list of covered benefits, please refer to your Evidence of Coverage or Summary Plan Description. For recommended treatments, please consult with your health care provider.