Why You Should Keep Your Eyelids Clean

by Feb 28, 2023

Your eyelids are a sensitive area of skin and require special care to clean and care for them. Since the eyes are in such close proximity to the eyelids, any care or cleaning for the eyelids must be safe for the eyes as well. Cleaning the eyelids is important to prevent inflammation, infection, and unwanted build-up of debris on the eyelids and eyelashes.

The most common methods for cleaning the eyelids include using lid wipes or foaming lid cleanser, using baby shampoo, or using a warm and damp washcloth. There are benefits to specific methods of cleaning the eyelids if there are particular concerns or problems associated with the eyes.

Inflammation on the Eyelids

One of the most common problems with the eyelids is excessive inflammation of the lids and eyelashes.

This can cause the eyelids to swell, become red, and be painful or irritated. This inflammation of the eyelids is called blepharitis.

Blepharitis can contribute to dry eye symptoms including blurred vision, painful eyes, and excessive watering.

The inflammation of the eyelids can also impact the oil glands in the eyelids which can get clogged or compacted with thick oil.


Infection of the Eyelids

Another common condition that impacts the eyelids is potential infection from bacteria.

Commonly, the bacteria staphylococcus aureus (staph) will cause mild infections of the skin around the eyelid.

These eyelid infections can cause the eyelid to become very red and painful, have flaky or dry skin, and may even lead to a hordeolum or stye.

If there is a painful bump on the eyelid, it may be an infection of one of the oil glands called a hordeolum.


Cleaning the Eyelids to Reduce Inflammation

If there is not an active infection, then cleaning the eyelids should be done to prevent excessive inflammation and problems associated with inflammation.

In these cases, the lid wipes or lid cleanser that can be purchased over the counter is considered the best option. However, the additional use of a warm wet wash cloth or towel can provide relief for any clogged or compacted oil glands.

If you have concerns about what different types of cleaning options are best or necessary you should discuss any symptoms with your eye doctor.


Cleaning the Eyelids to Relieve Infection

If there is an active infection, then the cleaning methods may need to be more specialized for improving the infection and ridding the eyelid of the bacteria.

Like treating for inflammation, lid wipes or cleansers may be the best option but there are also lid wipes that have a built-in anti-microbial agent to help rid the bacteria.

While eyelid cleaning methods are needed for an infection, it is also common to need a prescription antibiotic oral medication or topical ointment to help improve the infection.

How Often Should You Clean Your Eyelids?

Cleaning your eyelids should become a part of your daily routine and should be done at least once a day or twice a day if there are specific issues that have occurred.

While there are potential reasons for needing to clean the eyelids more frequently, in most scenarios, just cleaning once a day will be effective.


Our eye doctors at EyeDocs Family Eye Care in Brookville, OH excel in the prescription of glasses, contact lenses and the diagnosis of a variety of eye diseases. Call our optometrists at 937-770-1265 or schedule an eye exam appointment online if you would like to learn more about cleaning eyelids. Our eye doctors, Dr. Kyle Maxam and Dr. Cara Wampler provide the highest quality optometry services and eye exams in Brookville, Ohio.

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