Balanced thoughts on sensitive skin

Sensitive eyes and blepharitis

Looking at our recent survey responses, blepharitis is a condition that comes up frequently. The NHS also describes it as a common condition accounting for 1 in 20 eye problems reported to GPs. Yet, say ‘blepharitis’ to most people and you’ll probably get a blank stare. It doesn’t seem to be a condition that many people have heard of.

So what is it?

Blepharitis is described on the NHS website as:

A condition where the edges of the eyelids become inflamed (red and swollen).

Blepharitis can develop at any age, but is more common in people over 40. Signs of blepharitis can include:

* itchy and sore eyelids
* eyelids that stick together and are difficult to open, particularly when you wake up
* eyelashes that become crusty or greasy

There are two types:

Anterior blepharitis – caused by either a bacterial – usually staphylococcal – infection or a skin condition called seborrhoeic dermatitis.

Posterior blepharitis – caused by a problem with the Meibomian glands, which are found on the inside edge of your eyelids. The Meibomian glands are responsible for producing an oily substance that makes up part of your tears. A problem in these glands can lead to excess production of this oily substance or a blockage in the glands, which can cause the eyelids to become irritated and inflamed. Rosacea can also cause blepharitis.

While it is not possible to cure blepharitis, it is possible to manage it. This involves a careful routine of ‘eyelid hygiene’ and, where necessary, topical antiobiotics.

If you think this is something you might be suffering from, we really do recommend the NHS website and, of course, making an appointment with your GP.

The NHS site recommends avoiding make-up unless you have the condition under control and then only using products which are very easy to remove.

Queen Mascara really does have a good success rate among our clients with sensitive eyes, some of whom have blepharitis. Its very gentle formula means it does not irritate and it is easy to remove (particularly with Queen Eye Make-up Remover). I wrote some years ago how I had always been a fan of super-thick, waterproof mascaras and so did not think to use our own Queen version. That is until I bought a a very expensive mascara as a gift (it had been requested!) and ended up buying one for myself. I spent the extra because I was really fed up with the high street brand I was using as it kept clumping on application then flaking. Having been assured by the sales assistant that the same thing wouldn’t happen with this one, I was convinced and treated myself! I shouldn’t have bothered as the same thing did happen. By lunchtime I would have lots of tiny dry flakes under my eyes and, by evening, would have the typical panda-eyed look. I persevered, using Queen Eyelash Cream at night as I thought it must be my eyelashes, but this made little difference and the mascara got steadily dryer and clumpier (is that even a word?) so that eventually I couldn’t even get the lid of the very glamorous bottle to click it closed properly.

This sad scenario prompted me to give Queen Mascara a go and I was amazed. I thought the fact it was for sensitive eyes (I don’t have super sensitive eyes despite wearing contact lenses) meant it wouldn’t define my lashes enough as it would be too thin or would come off too easily. But it’s fantastic – really dark, goes on easily, separates my lashes so they don’t clump and comes off without ten minutes of rubbing at night time. I was a convert and I remain one!

My favourite quote from one of our customers about our Mascara is:

“I’ve been delighted to be able to wear your mascara without any problems and am looking forward to ordering other items. For the last 20 years I’ve had this eye sensitivity problem and unfortunately have the sort of eyes that need a little help with make-up. The best I’ve been able to find up to now was (a very expensive brand – we’ve removed the name!) but this caused a problem with redness and soreness after about an hour so I am very grateful to have found you! I’ll probably be going round the village now with eyes far too dramatically enhanced for my rural lifestyle!” Mrs Rose, Dorset.

To find out more about blepharitis, visit the NHS websitge here: http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Blepharitis/Pages/Introduction.aspx.

If you have time to take our Sensitive Skin Survey, we would greatly appreciate it. Not only does it help keep us up to date with the sensitive skin issues real people are experiencing – which can inform our product development – but we also offer a discount voucher and personal advice. And it only takes 60 seconds. We promise! It can be found HERE. Thank you!

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