Q. After having increasingly itchy and swollen eyelids for over a year, I tried the dandruff shampoo solution mentioned in your column. It worked and I have had no problems at all in over two months. I am so relieved and grateful! No more blepharitis.

A. Blepharitis is the technical term for eyelid inflammation. There are many potential causes of symptoms such as redness, itching and swelling of the eyelid, so it requires diagnosis by an eye care specialist.

Some doctors recommend applying dandruff shampoo (T/Gel) to the eyelids while showering. Such shampoos knock out yeast that lives on the skin and causes seborrheic dermatitis. Be very careful to keep shampoo out of eyes!

If eyelid inflammation is due to bacterial overgrowth, a commercial eyelid cleanser such as SteriLid might be helpful. We have heard that mineral oil applied carefully with a cotton swab to the edge of the lower eyelid may also aid in controlling some forms of blepharitis.

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  1. Kathy

    I seem to be having good results using Head and Shoulders shampoo for dry scalp – I was getting awful flaking and itching around my eyes, despite using all the usual wipes and scrubs, so I thought why not try the Head and Shoulders? It is also moisturizing, unlike baby shampoos, which really tend to dry out your eyelids and tea tree oils, which irritate my skin. I have been using it for a few weeks now and so far, so good. Flaking is down to bare minimum and itching is almost gone; also redness and swelling is much reduced.

  2. DEH

    I used T-gel twice a day until the symptoms subsided-either in shower or sink, mixed with just a few drops of warm water. At same time, I used baby shampoo once a day also with a little water. At night, I also covered all around the eye with mineral oil which seemed soothing due to the dryness & flaking, but I don’t know if it helps, just feels better. I think I used T-gel for about 2 months. I still use only occasionally in the shower.
    My daily routine is now baby shampoo twice a day. After suffering for over a year, I was afraid to cease some of the things I was doing for fear it would come back, but so far, I have been okay for the longest time in over a year. I now use shampoo on both eyes even though only one had the problem. I hope you have as much success!

  3. AA

    Regarding your treatment for blepharitis: Do you use the Tgel in the shower once a day or did you use it twice a day when you first started? Did you mix the Tfal with water or did you mix with baby shampoo?

  4. DEH

    I began having blepharitis over a year ago, went to 2 doctors and was prescribed antibiotics. Eye scrub pads were also recommended. I had 4 outbreaks in one year and by the last one, antibiotics and eye scrubs did not work at all and actually made the problem worse. I started using T-gel and baby shampoo about 3 months ago and felt immediate relief. I use only baby shampoo now-twice each day and have not had another outbreak. In December I looked like I had lost a prize fight and now in March, I am almost completely symptom-free-only a little tearing each morning. I am so happy I saw this advice on The People’s Pharmacy!

  5. EHW

    I have suffered for years with sensitive eyelids… splitting, flaking, irritated… and have not worn eye makeup for years. I used a prescription ointment that helped but I was never rid of the problem. I tried the Neutrogena T-Gel Dandruff Shampoo that I read about in one of your articles. I mixed a little of the shampoo with a little water, applied it to my eyelids with a cotton swab (for about 2 weeks), and I am rid of my problem. It has been about two months. I am elated!

  6. KEW

    My opthamologist recommended Eye Scrub for blepharitis. I’ve been using it twice a day and have had no problems for 6 years. It’s quicker and easier than the warm compress + baby shampoo method.

  7. BSP

    Baby Shampoo worked well for my itchy, scaly eyelids.

  8. Victor K.

    A small amount of Elidel, or ketoconazol(sp) added to a bottle of T-Gel shampoo cleared up seborrheic dermatitis in and over my eyebrows that I had for years. The red is gone, and the brows have grown back. It worked as an overall treatment for the scalp, behind the ears, and nose area.

  9. Helen

    I have heard a couple times about dandruff shampoo for blepharitis. I have used diluted baby shampoo for years to remove eye makeup. Much better than an oily cleanser.

  10. MW

    I have dry eye syndrome. My eye Dr recommended Johnson’s Baby Shampoo to wash out my eyes. She said to wet a cotton ball with warm water and bathe the eye, the rinse with another cotton ball. The baby shampoo doesn’t burn.


    My optometrist says to put a warm rag on your eyes for half a minute each day. My problems have ceased. I have had seborrhea on my face and scalp, so that is probably my problem. Baby shampoo also recommended.

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