Eye Care

Causes of Madarosis

Loss of eyelashes is known as madarosis. There are several causes for eyelash loss. This article gives information about the causes of madarosis.


  • Blepharitis is one of the major causes of eyelash loss. Blepharitis affects adults mostly compared to children. It results in chronic swelling of the eyelids, and it can cause itching, burning, redness and light sensitivity.
  • There is no proper cure for blepharitis, but long term treatment options are available which can reduce the intensity and appearance of the symptoms. Anti-inflammatory and antibiotic medications are used along with eyelid scrubs, massages and antioxidants.
  • Eyelid trauma and also trauma to the lash area can cause eyelash loss. If you start pulling out your lashes or have a habit of tugging on them, then it is known to be a cause of eyelash loss. An impulsive disorder called trichotillomania causes sufferers to compulsively pull out body hair, eyelashes, eyebrows and scalp hair. This compulsion may stop the regrowth of hair.
  • People suffering from trichotillomania undergo different treatments. Some people rely on support groups and behavioral therapy or other alternative therapies and some use medications. Many sufferers of trichotillomania use false eyelashes instead of getting involved in a treatment.
  • Another cause of madarosis is Alopecia areata. This is an autoimmune disease which causes the immune system to affect hair follicles. The symptom of this condition is it first appears as round patches, but as it progresses it may result in hairlessness and complete baldness, including eyelashes.
  • It does not cause any physical pain and it is not a life-threatening disease, but it disturbs the sufferer emotionally and causes stress. Unfortunately, this disease has no approved treatments and cannot be cured.
  • However, there are some treatments and medications for other conditions of hair loss that can help sometimes to re-grow the hair. These include Anthralin, Minoxidil, oral cyclosporine, topical sensitizers, Sulfasalazine and photochemotherapy.
  • Discoid lupus can rarely cause madarosis. Consult an ophthalmologist or dermatologist if you notice loss of eyelashes. If your eyelids are irritated or red, stop using any lotions or cosmetics on the eye area.

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