How is blepharitis treated?

Blepharitis cannot be cured; however, it can be treated and controlled through proper eyelid hygiene. Left untreated, blepharitis can develop into a more serious condition such as scarring or injury to the eye's tissue.

If you have blepharitis, take the steps listed below to help treat and cleanse your eye:

  • Take a clean washcloth and wet it in very warm water. Wring the washcloth and place it over the closed eyelids for five minutes. Re-wet as necessary to maintain desired temperature. This will help to soften crusts and loosen oily debris.
  • Place the warm, wet washcloth over the index finger and apply a diluted solution of 50% baby shampoo or mild soap.
  • Cleanse one eye at a time, closing the eye you are cleansing, and rubbing the washcloth or your finger over the eyelashes and lid margins several times using horizontal strokes.
  • Rinse thoroughly with a clean, warm, wet washcloth. Pat dry.
  • If your ophthalmologist determines that your blepharitis is caused by bacteria, he or she may also prescribe a topical antibiotic or topical antibiotic/corticosteroid combination to be applied to the base of the eyelashes for one or two weeks.

Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy