Madarosis (the medical term for eyelash loss) is something that affects millions of people, and occurs for a number of different reasons some of them benign, others more malignant.

Everyone wants long, thick eyelashes, so to lose them completely can take a huge toll on one’s self esteem. In factseveral studies have shown that the effects of hair loss not only attribute to poor self-esteem, but also social anxiety, and lower job performance (eek!)

Here are the 4 most common reasons for eyelash loss, and what you can do it treat them:

1. Madarosis due to Eyelid Inflammation

The most common cause of madarosis is chronic infection or inflammation of the eyelid. This is known as blepharitis, and it occurs when the gland becomes clogged or irritated. The exact reason for blepharitis can’t always be determined, but those with dandruff on their scalp and eyebrows are more prone to infection. When the eye is repeatedly inflamed or infected it can damage the hair follicles and result in permanent eyelash loss. It can also scar the follicles which will make the eyelashes grow back incorrectly (Healthline)

What You Can Do

To help reduce inflammation, it is important that you wash your eye and apply a warm compress to the area. If the inflammation does not reduce after the application of a compress- it is important that you contact your Doctor. They may be able to provide you with antibiotics to help clear the infection. While your eye is irritated it can be tempting to rub them for temporary relief, however this can cause further scarring of the hair follicles and cause the eyelashes to grow back incorrectly. Controlling dandruff production will also prevent inflammation and infection.


2. Madarosis due to Menopause

About 50% of women experience hair loss as they enter menopause. During menopause your body slows down the production of 2 important hormones; progesterone and estrogen. The loss of these hormones can lead to hair loss on the scalp and lashes (while also increasing the growth of hair on the chin.) On top of the hormonal imbalance, additional stress can also attribute to hair loss during menopause as well. (Everyday Health)

What You Can Do:

There are a few option you have if you are experiencing hair loss as a result of menopause. The first is a visit to your doctor to discuss hormone replacement therapy. It is also important to take steps to adjust your current lifestyle. Adding things like Vitamin B6 to your diet can help curb hair loss, in conjunction with using hydrating shampoos (look for products that contain hyaluronic acid.) It’s also important to manage your stress and get plenty of sleep.

There are many ties between menopause, perimenopause, PMS and out-of-whack prostaglandin production. When your prostaglandin production is out of whack, your body (and lashes) may benefit from an essential fatty acid supplement. Even if you’re not going through menopause, if you eat a standard American diet, your diet is likely lacking in essential fatty acids. This means you’re holding your lashes and brows back from their full potential.

To give your lashes the boost they need, apply a mix of EFAs – from a lash enhancer like WINK (here) – directly to the lash line. WINK will condition, protect and enhance your lashes.

3. Madarosis due to Trichotillomania

Trichotillomania is a psychological condition that begins at childhood or during puberty and can sometimes continue into adulthood. It is an impulse control disorder that causes you to pluck hair from your scalp and eyelashes. (Heal Cure)

What you can do

There is no definitive cure, but some medical professionals believe it can be overcome using cognitive behavioral strategies. (Anxiety Coach)


4. Madarosis due to Allergic Reaction to Eyemakeup

The loss of eyelashes can be caused by a reaction to chemicals that are present in cosmetics. In extreme cases, the allergens present in mascara can cause dermatitis and conjunctivitis. This can result in damaged hair follicles and eyelash loss.

What you can do

As we mentioned earlier, a hot compress and washing the eye can help reduce the inflammation. It is important to ALWAYS remove your makeup before going to bed. Wash your face regularly and avoid touching your eye area throughout the day as this can spread infection.

I’ve already experienced lash loss — now what?

Luckily there are a lot of things you can do if eyelash loss has already occurred. We suggest using a lash enhancer likeWINK to help combat the issue of madarosis. You can also apply eyeliner and false lashes, and enhance other facial features to cover up eyelash loss. (Paula’s Choice).

Dr. Vanessa Rodriguez is a board-certified general practitioner with more than 15 years of patient care experience. She takes an integrative approach to patient care that considers the whole person – mind, body, and spirit – and is deeply committed to assisting her patients in achieving and sustaining optimal health. Dr. Vanessa is also a skilled writer and medical reviewer, specializing in preventive care and health promotion. Her articles are written in an approachable manner that is simple to comprehend and implement in one’s own life. Dr. Vanessa’s mission is to equip her patients and readers with the knowledge and resources necessary to live their greatest lives.

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