Do you think that you might have an ingrown eyelash? If so, you probably want to know what could have caused the problem and what you can do to resolve it. In this article, we will discuss the causes of ingrown eyelashes, and home remedies you can use to help resolve the problem.
Causes of Ingrown Eyelashes
The condition of having an ingrown eyelash is also referred to as trichiasis. Ingrown eyelashes can develop on both the upper and lower eyelids. This problem occurs when eyelash hairs curl so far backwards that they actually grow back into the skin. Ingrown eyelashes can cause a lot of soreness and irritation, and can lead to infection. There will be a bump somewhat like a pimple on the affected area (the upper or lower lash rim). Other symptoms of an ingrown eyelash include swelling, pain, and the feeling of hair scratching the cornea of the eye. It is more common for adults to experience ingrown eyelashes than children or adolescents.
There are several different causes of ingrown eyelashes. Let’s explore them below.
Injury or trauma to the eye
Injury or trauma to the eye can create damage to the eyelash line and eyelid. It is most common for injury to cause ingrown eyelashes when the injury heals in an incorrect (or misaligned) position. Some of the most common causes of injury to the eyelids are surgery wounds, thermal burns affecting the eyes and face, various accidents, and punches incurred in boxing. You should always visit a doctor when you have incurred an eye injury, to ensure that the healing is occurring as it should. It is very possible that medical intervention will be needed.
Do you have psoriasis? If you do or think you might, and you have flare-ups of the condition around your eyes, you should know that this can cause ingrown eyelashes to occur. This is because dead skin cells that build up as a result of psoriasis prevent proper eyelash growth. If you think that you might have psoriasis, make sure to consult with your doctor.
There are several autoimmune disorders that can cause ingrown eyelashes to develop. These include lupus, Vernal Keratoconjunctivitis (VKC), and Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS). These conditions can cause eyelid inflammation that can lead to the development of ingrown eyelashes. Other examples of eye problems that are linked to autoimmune disorders include blurred vision, dryness of the eyes, soreness of the eyes, and sensitivity to light. Make sure to speak with your doctor if you think you might have one of these disorders.
Blepharitis is a condition involving inflammation of the area of the eyelid rim. This condition is often linked to meibomian gland disorder. Ingrown eyelashes become likely to occur when blepharitis becomes established. Blepharitis can be linked to bacterial infections of the eye. Symptoms of blepharitis include sensitivity to light, swelling of the eyelid, burning feeling in the eye, blurred vision, excessive eye watering, and redness and irritation of the eye. Make sure to consult with your doctor if you think that you might have this condition.
Styes and cysts
Styes and cysts of the eyelid (and other symptoms of infection) can lead to ingrown eyelashes. This is because these problems tend to obstruct normal eyelash growth. The ingrown eyelash can then make the infection even more severe. Make sure to see your doctor if you think that you might have an infection of the eye.
General eye infection
An infection caused, for example, by touching the eyes with dirty hands or using contaminated or old (expired) cosmetics on the eyes can cause inflammation and ingrown eyelashes. Ensure that you consult with a doctor if you think you have an eye infection.
Trichotillomania (compulsive pulling of the eyelashes) can cause ingrown eyelashes to occur. Make sure to consult with your doctor if you think you might have trichotillomania.
If you tend to have severe breakouts of acne, it is possible that this could lead to an ingrown eyelash hair.
Eyelids that are naturally heavily hooded
If you have naturally heavily hooded eyes, you might be at greater risk of developing an ingrown eyelash. Naturally heavily hooded eyes tend to be common in some nationalities.
Epiblepharon is a congenital disorder that involves having an extra (redundant) fold of skin beneath the eyelid. When someone has epiblepharon, the lower lashes turn in towards the eye. Epiblepharon most commonly occurs in people who have Asian ancestry. This condition tends to make ingrown eyelashes more likely to develop.
Distichiasis can be congenital or acquired. This condition involves extra eyelashes growing from the Meibomian glands. This condition tends to make ingrown eyelashes more likely to occur.
Ingrown Eyelash Home Remedies
If you think that you might have an ingrown eyelash, it is important to see your doctor for examination. While occasionally ingrown eyelashes resolve without medical intervention, it is possible that professional removal will be required. Some of the medical procedures that are commonly done by medical professionals (for example, opthamologists and oculoplastic surgeons) to remove ingrown eyelashes include:
- Cryoablation: This must be done by an opthamologist or oculoplastic surgeon. It involves freezing of the hair follicles.
- Epilation (removal)
There are several home remedies that you can use to soothe the symptoms and possibly help prevent worsening of the condition in the meantime, however. We will discuss these home remedies below!
Using a warm compress will help promote blood circulation and healing, and reduce swelling. Use a clean piece of cloth and warm water to make a warm compress. Gently press this against the affected area for 10 minutes, two times per day.
Rinse eye with warm water
Rinse the eye and general area with warm water two or three times a day. This will help reduce irritation, and remove possible blockages.
An acacia leaf infusion will help to reduce the inflammation of a cyst or stye. Acacia leaf is also anti-bacterial. You will need a handful of acacia leaves to create an acacia infusion. Boil the acacia leaves in two cups of water. Allow the solution to cool for a while, until it is only warm rather than hot. After you have taken out the leaves, soak a clean piece of cloth in the liquid. Use this soaked cloth as a warm compress. You should do this three times a day.
Guava leaves have wonderful anti-inflammatory and healing properties. After you have washed five or six guava leaves, warm the leaves in the microwave. This will take a few seconds. Another option is to immerse them for five minutes in boiling water. Once the leaves are warm rather than hot, put one of them on the eye. Allow the leaf to cool. Once it has, put another warm leaf on the eye. You should do this two times a day.
When you have an ingrown eyelash, you are always at risk of developing an infection. Therefore, it will be beneficial to take things that will help to boost the functioning of your immune system and help address any bad bacteria in your system. The following is a list of supplements you can take, and things you can do, that will help your body fight infection:
Taking a dose of oregano oil on a daily basis will help to boost your immune system and fight bad bacteria in your system. Oregano oil can be found in health food stores. Make sure to read the label on the bottle for instructions on proper dosages.
Probiotic capsule supplements can be found in health food stores and drugstores. Make sure to read the instructions on the jar regarding daily dosages.
Garlic is one of the best foods you can eat to boost the immune system and kill bad bacteria. This is because of a substance garlic contains, called Allicin. Try to eat two cloves of crushed garlic every day. You can add it to your meals, or eat it by itself with some milk in the morning. The milk will help to neutralize the possible effect of the garlic on your stomach. You could also take garlic supplements in capsule form.
Barley and oats
Barley and oats are beneficial to the immune system. Try to incorporate these foods more extensively into your daily diet.
Reduce your alcohol consumption
Make sure that your consumption of alcohol is not excessive.
Control your stress level
Take steps to reduce and control the level of stress in your life.
Get more exercise
Eat more vegetables, fruits, and whole grains.
If you smoke, quit right away! If you need help quitting, there are many products that can be found at drugstores, such as patches and gum.
Taking a vitamin D supplement is beneficial to the immune system. Make sure to read the instructions on the jar’s label for dosage information.
Taking an Echinacea supplement will help to boost your immune system. Make sure to read the instructions on the bottle with regard to dosages.
Taking a vitamin C supplement is beneficial to the immune system. Make sure to read the instructions printed on the jar for information on dosages.
Taking a vitamin A supplement will help to boost the immune system. Ensure that you read the instructions on the bottle for information on dosages.
Taking a zinc supplement will help to strengthen the immune system. Make sure that you read the instructions on the bottle for dosage information.
Eat more spinach
Spinach contains a large amount of vitamin C, a substance that is wonderfully beneficial for the immune system. Spinach also has beta carotene and antioxidants.
Drink green tea
Green tea is rich in antioxidants (specifically flavonoids). It also has lots of epigallocatechin (EGCG). This is an especially powerful antioxidant, as well as L-theanine, an amino acid that is thought to be helpful in your T-cells’ production of germ-fighting compounds.
Try to add turmeric to your diet. Turmeric is rich in antioxidants, and is effective against inflammation. You can make turmeric tea by mixing one teaspoon of turmeric, one can of coconut milk, one teaspoon of cinnamon, and one tablespoon of honey. You should drink this daily.
Eat more ginger
Add ginger to your diet. Ginger is very beneficial to the immune system.
Also keep in mind these foods and supplements that specifically promote eye health:
Citrus fruits and juices
Citrus fruits and juices help promote eye health.
Non-meat sources of protein
Non-meat sources of protein, such as beans, nuts, and eggs help to boost eye health. Eggs specifically are rich in vitamin A and lutein.
Oily fish, such as salmon and tuna, is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. This means that it is very beneficial for the eyes.
Leafy, green vegetables
Collards, kale, spinach, and other leafy, green vegetables are beneficial to eye health.
Taking a vitamin E supplement daily or eating foods rich in vitamin E is beneficial to the health of the eyes. It is important to read the instructions regarding dosages printed on the jar of vitamin E supplement capsules.
The carrot is one of the most famous eye-beneficial foods. Try to incorporate lots of carrots in your daily diet.
Sunflower seeds are rich in zinc and vitamin E, making this food extremely beneficial to eye health.
Flaxseed oil contains a large amount of omega-3 fatty acids, which makes this food wonderful for eye health.
Incorporate lean beef into your diet, in moderate amounts. The zinc in beef will boost your body’s ability to absorb vitamin A. Both zinc and vitamin A are beneficial for the eyes.
“Trichiasis and Distichiasis,” http://www.aao.org/bcscsnippetdetail.aspx?id=f4bb56e2-20ef-4273-a72b-d6833c13be1d
“Trichiasis Clinical Presentations,” http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1213321-clinical
“How to Get Rid of My Ingrown Eyelash,” http://www.ehow.com/how_5695497_rid-ingrown-eyelash.html
“Ingrown Eyelashes,” http://eyecareproblems.com/2009/06/ingrown-eyelashes-trichiasis
“9 Power Foods that Boost Immunity,” http://www.prevention.com/food/healthy-eating-tips/power-foods-that-boost-immunity/slide/4
“How to Boost Your Immune System,” http://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/how-to-boost-your-immune-system
“Top 10 Immune Boosting Supplements,” http://vitalitymagazine.com/article/my-top-10-immune-boosting-supplements
“6 Tips for Eye Health,” http://www.webmd.com/eye-health/good-eyesight
“11 Foods to Boost your Eye Health,” http://www.allaboutvision.com/nutrition/foods.htm
“Four Fantastic Foods to Keep Your Eyes Healthy,” http://www.aao.org/eye-health/news/four-fantastic-foods
“Immune System Boosters,” http://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/foods-that-boost-the-immune-system#Turmeric0
“Turmeric Health Benefits,” http://wellnessmama.com/5297/turmeric-herb-profile
“Home Remedies for Eyelid Cysts,” http://www.top10homeremedies.com/home-remedies/home-remedies-for-eyelid-cysts-chalazions.html