Ingrown Eyelash Symptoms, Treatment, Removal and Home Remedies

The symptoms of an ingrown eyelash are mostly obvious but what are the causes of this uncomfortable eye condition? The ingrowth of lashes may be caused by something as simple as aggressive lash curling or as complex as entropion. Will an ingrown eyelash fix itself? Yes it will but this could take a while. Over the counter medication can help to get rid of ingrown eyelash symptoms. Healing can be hastened by removal of the ingrown lash hair. The details of these and more are discussed below.

Ingrown Eyelash    

Most common in adults, an ingrown eyelash is one where the hair grows inwards or sideways of the skin as opposed to it growing out of it. As such, an eyelash growing under the skin on the eyelid or one growing into the eyelid is an ingrown eyelash. This may result in irritation of the eye as well as formation of ingrown eyelash bump. How do you tell you are experiencing this condition? Below are the signs.

Symptoms of Ingrown Eyelashes

1. Inflammation

When eyelashes become ingrown, they trigger inflammation around it. Although this only affects the area of the affected hair only, the inflammation could spread throughout the affected eyelid making it appear all red.

2. Pain

When an eyelash hair is growing inwards, it sets off some discomfort around the eyelid. This may feel like sand in the eye. As the hair continues to grow, this discomfort will develop into pain.the intensity of the pain and discomfort will depend on the severity of the disorder and tends to accelerate with time.

3. Disrupted Vision

Since an ingrown eyelash usually causes scratching of the cornea, it is possible for disruption of vision to occur. This may manifest as cloudiness in your vision or temporary loss of vision in the affected eye. These will depend on other accompanying symptoms and even the cause of the ingrown hair on your lashes.

4. Ingrown Eyelash Bump

This is one of the most obvious signs on an ingrown eyelash. The area into which the hair grows will be raised. At times, the hair can be seen spiraling within the skin. In other cases, the bump may be exhibited as a pimple lying on the edge of the eyelid.

Causes of Ingrown Eyelashes

There are many different causes of ingrowing eyelashes. They include those discussed below.

1. Trauma on the Eye

Injury on areas around the eye could see the eyelashes get harmed. If during such a situation, an eyelash gets torn on the line of the eyelid or at the edge of it, it could lead to an ingrown eyelash. Wounds after surgery, tagging on the lashes too hard during cosmetic procedures, physical trauma as well as thermal injuries could cause this kind of damage.

2. Stye on Eyelid

A stye occurs when there is infection on the eyelid. It forms as a painful red bump which results in the affected eye becoming red and tearing frequently than normal. Although it is rare to have styes affecting both eyes, it is possible to have more than one on a single eye. 

Additional symptoms of a stye include itch, burning sensation, burning sensation and a feeling that there is something in the eye. It may occur as a result of eyelash follicle or sebaceous gland infection. These may result in ingrown rash.

3. Ingrown Eyelash vs. Stye

A lot of times people get trouble differentiating whether what they have is an ingrown eyelash or a stye. Normally, a sty will be pus filled and could lead to ingrown hairs but an ingrown eyelash bump will be red and with a visible hair within.

4. Distiachisis

This is a condition in which there is abnormal growth of lashes from occurs on the lower eyelid.  The meibomian glands. The condition may be congenital or acquired and mostly. In congenital cases, it is usually inherited. The lashes may be pigmented or not, fully formed or quite fine, properly directed or misdirected. 

In cases where the direction of growth is misdirected, there is a high likelihood of them developing into ingrown eyelashes.

5. Blepharitis

According to NHS, blepharitis is a condition affecting the eyelid margins resulting in their inflammation. It can develop at any age and comes with symptoms such as sore and itchy eyelids, crusty and greasy margin that stick together, red and swollen eyelids as well as abnormal eyelash growth. This increases the chances of the lashes to become ingrown. 

The symptoms tend to worsen in the morning and could be the reason you woke up with your eyes swollen shut. In severe cases, a patient could suffer loss of eyelashes. It usually affects both eyes. The condition can be cleared using simple at home treatment procedures.

6. Entropion

This is a structural disorder in which either the upper or lower eyelids become inverted. The eyelid margin roles inwards into the eye and constantly rubs against the cornea.

Entropion is mostly caused by the ageing process whereby the tissues become lax in carrying out their functions. Other causes include scarring on the inside of the eyelids, chronic infections, trauma and inflammation. These symptoms also increase the likelihood of developing ingrown eyelash hair.

According to the Singapore National Eye Centre, if the condition goes long without being corrected, it increases there are increased chances of infection and scratching the cornea thus leading to corneal scarring. Correction is through a surgical procedure.

7. Autoimmune Disorders

There are autoimmune diseases that affect the functionality of the eyes and which could see you experience ingrown eyelashes.

Vernal keratoconjunctivities occurs when there is recurrent eye inflammation. It could result in thickening of the inner eyelid as well as swelling of the eyes which both encourage ingrown eyelashes. Lupus could also cause inflammation and swelling of the eyes if the body fights tissues around the eyes.

8. Psoriasis

Psoriasis is a skin disorder that could occur anywhere including around the eyes. It results in formation of red patches, small scales, dry skin, itching, swelling and soreness. The condition goes through cycles, flaring up for a few weeks before subsiding. 

According to Mayo Clinic, a person with psoriasis is at a great risk of developing eye conditions such as uveitis, blepharitis and conjunctivitis, which in turn increase the possibility of getting ingrown lashes.

9. Acne

Acne occurs when the pores get clogged with dirt, sebum and dead skin cells. Where the acne occurs on the eyelid along the waterline, it could cause blockage of hair follicles. This way the eyelashes lack an exit point and grown back into the skin or sideways.

10. Trichotillomania

Trichotillomania refers to a condition involving a compulsive pulling of the eyelashes. When this is done repeatedly and inappropriately, it allows room for ingrown lashes to form. This condition is mostly as a result of anxiety or boredom. The root cause ought to be eliminated to prevent recurrence of ingrown eyelashes.

11. Heavily Hooded Eyelids

Persons with naturally heavily hooded eye are at a risk of experiencing ingrown eyelash hair. People with specific nationalities are predisposed to the same.

Ingrown Eyelash Treatment 

Ussually, treatment of recurrent ingrown eyelashes is best left to the doctors. They will carry out procedures that will help in preventing the condition from re-occurring.

Epilation

Ingrown eyelash epilation can be done manually or surgically. During the procedure, local anesthetic eyedrops are administered. The eyelashes that need epilation are then identified with the help of magnifying loupe. Depending on which eyelid the ingrown lash is, you will be told to either look up or down and epilation forceps used to pull off the affected hair from the base thus plucking it.

Elecrolysis

This method of treating ingrowing eyelashes makes use of an electrical current to kill the hair growth cells right from the follicles. It is a permanent method and normally recommended for recurrent ingrowths. Upon completion of the treatment, the eyes may be padded for the following few hours.

Both treatments are followed by administration of antibiotic ointments. Your doctor will recommend some for you to prevent infections from occurring. Other medication that can help ease the symptoms include corticosteroids, artificial tears and eye drops.

Ingrown Eyelash Removal at Home      

Wondering how to remove ingrown eyelash from eyelid? Ingrown eyelash removal is best left to medical professionals as the proximity of the area to the eyes could see you injure its inner parts. If you have to do it, be extra careful. Below is the procedure for ingrown eyelash hair removal at home.

1. Use a Warm Compress

A warm compress helps to soften up the ingrown hair bump as well as drain it. This makes it easier to see the ingrown hair as well as make the removal procedure easy. Wet a clean wash cloth with warm water and place it on the eyes until it cools off.

2. Pull it off with Tweezers

Once you are done with the warm compress, pick a pair of sterile tweezers and use it to pull out ingrown eyelash. To do this, you might need the help of a mirror. Only do it if your hands are stable as a simple miscalculation may end up injuring your eye.
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3. Disinfect

Once the ingrown eyelash is out, clean up the area and apply an antibacterial ointment to prevent infection.

Home Remedies for Ingrown Eyelashes

When using home remedies on the eye area, you have to be careful not to cause further irritation or get harmful products into the eyes. The following are safe for use on the ingrown eyelash hair and will help you feel better.
  • Placing cucumber slices on the eyes can help reduce swelling and inflammation caused by the ingrowing hair.
  • To soothe the eyelid skin and eliminate itch and irritation, apply honey on the affected part of the eyelid.
  • Use aloe vera to reduce swelling and prevent bacterial infections in the eye.
  • Tea bags can be used to reduce irritation as well as inflammation around the ingrown eyelash both before and after its removal.

 List of References

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