One of the causes of dry eye symptoms, eyelid redness and itching, is called blepharitis. This is a common an eyelid disease that can worsen dry eyes. The cause can be an overgrowth of bacteria. We normally have bacteria in our eyelashes, but if they grow out of control, they can cause itching and redness. Another cause is skin conditions such as acne rosacea, atopic dermatitis, or eczema, all of which require topical treatment to improve. Then there are mites. I can see evidence of these critters using the biomicroscope in the office.
For all these conditions, the right eyelid wipe can help. Eyelid wipes are pre-moistened pads that remove debris and oils released from clogged eyelid glands as well as unwanted bacteria or hardened makeup around the eye lashes and skin. The I-lid & lash wipes by Quidel are available in regular, and with tea tree oil (a natural antimicrobial substance). Scrub eyelashes side to side with your finger over closed eyes using gentle pressure for 5 seconds each. Use morning and night.
Tea tree oil is a natural antiseptic for certain organisms that cause eyelid irritation which can lead to dry eyes and styes. Eyelid wipes formulated with tea tree oil are effective at removing bacteria, debris and dandruff, yet not too strong to cause irritation. They also provide moisture and skin-firming hyaluronate to tighten eye wrinkles as an added plus.
Eyelid wipes aren’t just for eyelid mites. The tea tree oil and other ingredients in them keeps bacteria, fungus, and other microorganisms in check, as well as possessing inherent antiinflammatory properties. That’s why I recommend using an eyelid wipe daily for general eyelid hygiene, to remove make-up and hydrate the skin.