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If you’re losing eyelashes, there could be a lot of different reasons why. You might be following some bad cosmetic habits, or there could be a medical cause. While the loss of eyelashes isn’t that uncommon, if you lose a significant amount, that’s certainly alarming.

Eyelashes serve much more than just an aesthetic function. Yes, long and lush lashes can make your eyes pop, but your lashes also help keep debris from getting into your eyes. If you’re losing a lot of lashes, it’s important to speak with a dermatologist or eye doctor. They can help determine the cause and provide a solution.

Continue reading for some potential causes behind your thinning lashes.

Bad Daily Habits That Can Lead To The Loss Of Eyelashes

Damaging beauty habits can sometimes result in the loss of eyelashes. Some potential causes of eyelash loss include:

  • Not using makeup remover or properly washing off mascara before bed
  • Using an eyelash curler too aggressively
  • Getting eyelash extensions

Infections and allergic reactions near the eye area can also lead to loss of eyelashes.

You should replace mascara every three months or so (or whenever your eyes are irritated) in order to reduce the risk of infection.1

If you’re thinking of having some sort of procedure performed to enhance the appearance of your eyes, you might want to think twice. Eyelid tattooing, for example, can lead to eye infections and other severe reactions due to toxic ink.

losing eyelashes | beverly hills mdEyelash dyeing can also lead to serious allergic reactions and other problems. Some people decide to get eyelash extensions, only to find out too late that they’re allergic to the glue used to adhere them to their natural eyelashes.2

Castor oil is sometimes touted as a substance in eyelash growth serums that can make eyelashes appear thicker. There is no scientific evidence to back up this claim. Even worse, this type of serum may cause an allergic reaction on the eyelashes.3

Have a talk with your eye doctor before trying any sort of lash growth serums, or trying a new eyeliner, eye shadow or eyelash conditioner.

Natural Causes Of Losing Eyelashes

Most people go through the loss of hair at one time or another. Eyelashes are hairs, and like other hairs on your body, they’re prone to falling out. Eyebrow hair loss and a loss of lashes could be due to a medical issue, such as blepharitis. It might also be a stress-related issue, such as trichotillomania. Here’s a look at each.

Blepharitis

Blepharitis is basically a bacterial overgrowth that affects the eyelid. Not only does it cause eyelashes to become crusty, it can also cause them to fall out. It can make your eyelids sore and red as well.

There are other causes of blepharitis other than bacteria, however. Fungal infections, glandular problems, dry eye, and mites can also lead to the development of blepharitis. Blephartis will often occur simultaneously with skin conditions.

In addition to eyelashes falling out, other symptoms include watery eyes, itching of the eyes and burning eyes.4 If you experience these symptoms see your doctor right away.

Trichotillomania

This disorder causes someone to have the urge to pull out hair on a regular basis. Trichotillomania involves any hair on the head or face, including scalp hair, lashes and brows. Some people with this condition pull out hair when they’re feeling stressed or frustrated. Others do it without even realizing what they’re doing.

losing eyelashes | beverly hills mdTrichotillomania can start during the childhood years. It can happen due to stress, as noted earlier, but it can also be a sign of boredom. People suffering from this condition often find relief from pulling eyelashes, leading to them doing it over and over again.

In addition to pulling hair, people with trichotillomania will often bite their nails or scratch their skin regularly. They may also pick at their skin.5

Can Dermatological Conditions Lead To Loss Of Hair? Skin Health And Your Lashes

There are several skin conditions that can result in the loss of eyelashes as well as other hair on the body. Here are just a few.

Psoriasis 

Psoriasis is an autoimmune issue (meaning the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissue) that is typically characterized by scaly, itchy patches of skin on the knees, scalp, and elbows. It can be linked to severe health problems.6 It may also affect the eyelashes. According to research, about 10 percent of people with this skin condition also suffer from eyelash loss, known as madarosis.7

Frontal Fibrosing Alopecia 

Alopecia is the loss of hair. Frontal fibrosing alopecia is a form of alopecia that often strikes women after menopause. Not only does this autoimmune issue lead to the loss of eyelashes as well as eyebrows, it can also result in a receding hairline.8

Rosacea 

Rosacea is a skin issue that leads to redness of the skin – not only on the face but on other areas of the body as well.9 Rosacea r can sometimes result in blepharitis.10 As you learned earlier, blepharitis can lead to the loss of eyelashes.

losing eyelashes | beverly hills md

Epidermolysis Bullosa 

Epidermolysis bullosa is a genetic issue. It can not only lead to eyelash loss, but it can also weaken the toenails and fingernails. This condition can even affect the enamel that protects your teeth.11

Telogen Effluvium And Eyelash Loss

Hair goes through a three-phase growth cycle. The anagen phase is where growth takes place. The catagen phase is the transition period between anagen and telogen, which is the resting phase. Telogen is where hairs are shed.

Telogen effluvium, as the name implies, happens in the telogen phase. For some reason, something tells the body to shed more hairs during telogen than it should. This includes scalp hair, eyelashes, and other body hair.

losing eyelashes | beverly hills mdScientists aren’t certain why telogen effluvium happens. They do believe, however, there are a lot of contributing factors. Pregnancy and childbirth, for example, as well as a poor diet that can lead to a vitamin deficiency, might contribute to telogen effluvium. Medications, certain illnesses, stress, and surgery may also be risk factors.12

Your Eyelashes Could Be Falling Out Due To An Underlying Problem: When To See A Doctor Or Dermatologist

There might be a reason other than a dermatological issue or bad beauty habits that are contributing to your loss of eyelashes.

For example, thyroid problems can sometimes lead to eyelashes falling out. The thyroid gland plays a key role in the way your body uses hormones. If your thyroid produces too many hormones, or too few hormones, that may result in hair loss.

There are several signs associated with hair loss that may indicate a potentially serious medical issue. If you are noticing eyelash loss on both eyelids, and you’re also losing hair from your scalp or eyebrows, see a doctor. The same holds true if you experience a loss of vision or you notice any sort of pressure around your eyes.13

Learn More:
14 Outstanding Olive Oil Benefits For Your Skin, Hair & More
5 Ways Caffeine Can Boost & Beautify Skin… (and Hair!)
Finding Moles In Your Scalp and Hair – Causes and Treatments

Sources
1 https://www.vspenvisionnewsletter.com/2017/03/why-are-my-eyelashes-falling-out/#.Xa4MxyMrJ3k
2 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6592309/
3 https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/325541.php
4 https://www.allaboutvision.com/conditions/blepharitis.htm
5 https://www.aao.org/eye-health/diseases/trichotillomania-hair-pulling-disorder-eyelashes
6 https://www.psoriasis.org/about-psoriasis
7 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3358936/
8 https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamadermatology/fullarticle/1105186
9 https://stanfordhealthcare.org/medical-conditions/skin-hair-and-nails/acne-rosacea.html
10 https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/wilmer/services/cornea/conditions_we_treat/blephartis.html
11 https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamadermatology/fullarticle/188828
12 https://www.clinicaladvisor.com/home/features/the-most-common-causes-of-hair-loss-among-women/
13 https://www.aao.org/eye-health/tips-prevention/why-are-my-eyelashes-falling-out