Burning, Oily, or Crusty Eyelids? What Is Blepharitis?

Blepharitis, meibomian gland dysfunction, and associated dry eye syndrome affect 30 million Americans.  Due to this staggering amount of people that need help with eyelid disease, a flood of new products have come to the market in recent years.  

Blepharitis is most likely due to an overgrowth of bacteria on your eyelids (naturally occuring bacteria), which create a discharge that looks like dandruff.  

Symptoms of blepharitis include burning, oily, and crusty eyelids.  You might also notice that in the morning your eyelids are stuck together.   


How To Treat Blepharitis, and What is the Best Treatment for Blepharitis?

One simple way to treat blepharitis... CLEAN EYELIDS!

Clean eyelids help soothe symptoms of blepharitis, meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD), gunky, crusty eyelids, and dry, irritated eyes.  Therefore the key to solving your eyelid problems is simply keeping your eyelids clean, which can be done with a prescription or an over-the-counter eyelid scrub.

Here, I put together the top five eyelid scrubs I use in my clinic, including the one I currently use for all my patients. 


Dr. Travis Zigler's Top 7 Eyelid Scrub Products

Released in June 2017, Heyedrate Lid & Lash Cleanser is one of the first over-the-counter hypochlorous acid sprays, with comparable ingredients to Avenova below (#2).  

This natural, non-detergent based spray is perfect for deep cleaning the skin, which makes it great for soothing any skin irritation you have, such as cuts, scrapes, eyelid bumps, irritated eyes, redness, swelling, burning, itching, gunky, or crustiness of the eyelid margin.  

This is my "go-to" product for patients in my clinic currently. It is very gentle and I have had great success with my patients.

  • Heyedrate Lid & Lash Cleanser's 3 Ingredients: Pure Hypochlorous Acid (HOCl) 0.015%, electrolyzed water (H2O), Sodium Chloride (NaCl)
  • Safe for contact with skin, eyes, and ingestion
  • Shelf Life: 2 years after manufacture date

Directions for Heyedrate Lid and Lash Cleanser

  • Wash face with a tea tree oil bar soap and dry
  • Close eyes and spray directly onto eyelids.
  • Let dry, no rinse required
  • Alternatively, you can spray on a cotton round and gently rub across eyelid margin
  • Repeat for other lid
  • Leave on for best results
  • No rinsing necessary

Where can I buy Heyedrate Lid & Lash Cleanser? What is the price of Heyedrate Lid & Lash Cleanser?


2. Avenova Spray

Avenova Spray is the first prescription, FDA-approved, non-detergent based, non-antibiotic product shown to be successful in the treatment of such common eye conditions as blepharitis, meibomian gland dysfunction, and associated dry eye syndrome.

I used this in my clinic for two years and had great results. I now use the Heyedrate Lid & Lash Cleanser on this list for my patients because the price is more affordable and it is over-the-counter.

  • Avenova Spray's 2 Ingredients: Neutrox (pure hypochlorous acid, 0.01% as a preservative) in saline
  • Safe for contact with skin, eyes, and ingestion
  • Shelf Life: 30 days after opening

Directions for Avenova Spray

  • Wash face with a tea tree oil bar soap and dry
  • Close eyes and spray directly onto eyelids.
  • Let dry, no rinse required
  • Alternatively, you can spray on a cotton round and gently rub across eyelid margin
  • Repeat for other lid
  • Leave on for best results
  • No rinsing necessary

Where can I buy Avenova Spray? What is the price of Avenova Spray?


3. MediViz Eyelid Cleaning Wipes

MediViz Eyelid Cleaning Wipes can do quite a bit.  According to their listing on Amazon, they: 

  • DECREASE EYELID BACTERIAL GROWTH - By Cleaning your Eyelids and Lashes daily, you remove unwanted dead skin cells and debris. The removal of old makeup promotes healthy overall eye health.
  • PROMOTE YOUNGER SHINIER LOOKING EYELIDS - Your eyes need daily gentle exfoliating just like the rest of your body. By practicing daily eyelid exfoliation, you remove dead older looking cells on your eyelids. By removing oily dead skin cells, your eyelids will be looking more youthful. Excess dead cell buildup can lead to styes and other eye problems.
  • LIFT AND FIRM UPPER EYELIDS - Exfoliating also promotes collagen production which can make that thin, fragile tissue stronger and more resilient. After exfoliation all skin is more absorbent and receptive to the benefits of corrective skin products and your eyes are no exception.
  • REDUCE EYELID WRINKLES - Gentle daily exfoliation of the eye area can help it look younger and glowing by creating a smoother surface that better reflects light. A gentle eye exfoliator will keep the skin elastic enough to flatten out and look youthful again.
  • REMOVE UNWANTED MAKEUP - It is recommended by Optometrists and Ophthalmologists to to gently exfoliate the eyelids after removing your makeup—every night! Very lightly sweep a soft, moist washcloth over the surfaces of your eyelids and through the roots of your lashes. This will lightly remove loose surface cells and prevent buildup on your lash line.

20 Ingredients for MediViz Eyelid Cleaning Wipes

  • Water
  • PEG-80
  • Sorbitan Laurate
  • Methyl Gluceth-20
  • Sodium Chloride
  • Potassium Chloride
  • Calcium Chloride
  • Sodium Bicarbonate
  • Patnthenol
  • Decyl Glucoside
  • Polyglyceryl-10 Caprylate/Caprate
  • Coco Glucoside
  • Glycerol Oleate
  • PER-120 Methyl Glucose Trioleate
  • Propanediol
  • Citric Acid, 1, 2-Hexanediol
  • Sodium Benzoate
  • Caprylyl Glycol
  • Polyminopropyl Biguanide

Directions MediViz Eyelid Cleaning Wipes

  • Unfold pre-moistened pad and wrap over finger
  • Close eye and gently cleanse lid using side-to-side strokes
  • Do not touch eye directly
  • Repeat for other lid
  • Leave on for best results
  • No rinsing necessary or rinse

Where can I buy MediViz Eyelid Cleaning Wipes?  What is the price of MediViz Eyelid Cleaning Wipes?

  • Check the price and purchase on Amazon

 


4. Cliradex Wipes

Cliradex Wipes are a great preservative-free lid wipe that contains 4-Terpineol (T40), which is an active ingredient used to eliminate demodex mites (YES, mites in your eyelash follices). It can also help with redness, swelling, burning, itchiness, and crustiness of the eyelid margin.

I used this before Avenova came to the market, from 2010 until 2012. With the newer products on the market, like Avenova and Heyedrate Lid & Lash Cleanser, I no longer use Cliradex products regularly. This was mostly reserved for Demodex, or eyelash mites, but I now use a more natural product, Heyedrate Tea Tree Oil Soap.  

  • Cliradex's 7 Ingredients: Water, 4-Terpineol, Glycerin, Polysorbate 20, Polysorbate 80, Carbomer, Triethannolamine

Directions for Cliradex

  • Unfold pre-moistened pad and wrap over finger
  • Close eye and gently cleanse lid using side-to-side strokes
  • Do not touch eye directly
  • Repeat for other lid
  • Leave on for best results
  • No rinsing necessary

Where can I buy Cliradex Wipes? What is the price of Cliradex Wipes?

  • Check the price and purchase on Amazon.
amazon


5. Systane Eyelid Wipes

Systane Lid Wipes help reduce redness, swelling, burning, itching, irritation, and crustiness on the eyelid margins.  

I used this before Avenova came to the market, from 2010 until 2012. With the newer products on the market, like Avenova and Heyedrate Lid & Lash Cleanser, I no longer use Systane wipes with my patients.  

  • Systane Lid Wipes' 7 Ingredients: Purified Water USP, Peg-200 Hydrogenated Glyceryl Palmitate, Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate, Cocoamido Propyl Amine Oxide, Peg-80 Glyceryl Cocoate, Benzyle Alcohol And Ede tate Disodium

Directions for Systane Eyelid Wipes

  • Unfold pre-moistened pad and wrap over finger
  • Close eye and gently cleanse lid using side-to-side strokes
  • Do not touch eye directly
  • Repeat for other lid
  • Leave on for best results
  • No rinsing necessary

Where can I buy Systane Eyelid Wipes? What is the price of Systane Eyelid Wipes?

  • Check the price and purchase on Amazon
amazon


6. Ocusoft Lid Scrub PLUS Foam

Ocusoft Lid Scrubs are a detergent based cleanser that has been used for many years to reduce redness, swelling, burning, itchiness, irritation, and crustiness from the eyelid margins.  

I used this before Avenova came to the market, from 2010 until 2012. With the newer products on the market, like Avenova and Heyedrate Lid & Lash Cleanser, I no longer use Ocusoft products regularly.  

  • Ocusoft Lid Scrub's 13 Ingredients: Cocoamphodiacetate Disodium, D-Panthenol, Decyl Polygluoside, Methyl Gluceth-20, Modified Ringer’s Solution (purified water, sodium chloride, potassium chloride, calcium chloride), PEG-120 Methyl Glucose Dioleate, POE-80 Sorbitan Monolaurate, Polyaminopropyl Biguanide, 1,2-Hexanediol, 1,2-Octanediol

Directions Ocusoft Lid Scrub PLUS Foam

  • Rinse face with water
  • Lather Ocusoft Lid Scrub PLUS Foam in hands
  • Rub gently into eyelid margins
  • Rinse with water

Where can I buy Ocusoft Lid Scrub PLUS Foam? What is the price of Ocusoft Lid Scrub PLUS Foam?

  • Check the price and purchase on Amazon
Ocusoft Lid Scrubs

7. Ocusoft Lid Scrub PLUS Pre Moistened Pads

Ocusoft Lid Scrub Pre Moistened Pads are another detergent based eyelid scrub that has been used for many years to reduce redness, swelling, burning, itchiness, irritation, and crustiness from the eyelid margins. These are used for effectively removing oil, debris and desquamated skin from the eyelids.

I used this before Avenova came to the market, from 2010 until 2012. With the newer products on the market, like Avenova and Heyedrate Lid & Lash Cleanser, I no longer use Ocusoft products regularly.  

  • Ocusoft Lid Scrub PLUS Pre Moistened Pads' 12 Ingredients: Modified Ringer's Solution, POE-80 Sorbitan Monolaurate, Methyl Gluceth-20, PEG-120 Methyl Glucose Dioleate, Decyl Polyglucoside, 1, 2-Hexanediol and 1, 2-Octanediol, Cocoamphodiacetate Disodium, d-Panthenol, Polyaminopropyl Biguanide (PHMB).

Directions for Ocusoft Lid Scrub PLUS Pre Moistened Pads

  • Unfold pre-moistened pad and wrap over finger
  • Close eye and gently cleanse lid using side-to-side strokes
  • Do not touch eye directly
  • Repeat for other lid
  • Leave on for best results
  • No rinsing necessary

Where can I buy Ocusoft Lid Scrubs?  What is the price of Ocusoft Lid Scrubs?

  • Check the price and purchase on Amazon


8. We Love Eyes Eyelid Cleanser

We Love Eyes eyelid scrub is a tea tree based foaming eyelid cleanser that was recently released. It also helps reduce redness, swelling, burning, itchiness, irritation, and crustiness from the eyelid margins, but has tea tree oil in it, which helps with demodex eyelash mites as well. We Love Eyes eyelid scrub is effective at removing oil, debris and desquamated skin from the eyelids.

I have never used this in our clinic as I use Avenova and Heyedrate Lid & Lash Cleanser.  

  • We Love Eyes Eyelid Scrub's 24 Ingredients: Water, Glycerin, Polyglyceryl-4 Caprate, Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate, Heptyl Glucoside, Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine, Sodium Decylglucosides Hydroxypropylsulfonate, Sodium Laurylglucosides Hydroxypropylsulfonate, Sodium Cocoamphoacetate, Sodium Cocoyl Hydrolyzed Amaranth Protein, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil, Organic Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Organic Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Lauryl Glucoside, Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate, Sodium Lauryl Glucose Carboxylate, Leuconostoc / Radish Root Extract Ferment Filtrate, Populus Tremuloides Bark Extract, Lonicera Caprifolium (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Lonicera Japonica (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Gluconolactone, Caprylyl Glycol, Sodium Chloride, Citric Acid

Directions for We Love Eyes Foaming Eyelid Scrub

  • Shake well before use.
  • Wash hands.
  • Dispense 2 pumps onto clean fingertips.
  • With eyes closed, gently rub onto eyelids & eyelashes.
  • Because this is a soap, do not get it in your eye and make sure rinse thoroughly with water.
  • Towel dry.
  • Use nightly

Where can I buy We Love Eyes Foaming Eyelid Scrub? What is the price of We Love Eyes Foaming Eyelid Scrub?

  • Check the price and purchase on Amazon


Other Blepharitis Treatment Tips

  1. As discussed above, clean eyelids is our number one tip, and we use Heyedrate Lid and Lash Cleanser as our preferred eyelid scrub.
  2. Hygiene in general is an important factor when it comes to keeping the overall bacteria load down (Staph  which is the most common cause of blepharitis). We use a tea tree soap for our body and face in the shower and by the sink.
  3. Using a warm compress can help not only unclog the meibomian glands in cases of Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD), but also help break up the gunk from blepharitis. Click here to see directions on warm compresses.
  4. Make sure to limit eye makeup use when you have an active blepharitis infection. Also be sure to remove all your eye makeup before going to be every night. Here is a tea tree oil eye makeup remover that we recommend.
  5. Do NOT use baby shampoo for blepharitis.
  6. Limit the use of contact lenses when you have gunky eyelids and a very "active" blepharitis. This will increase bacteria in and around the eyelid, therefore worsening your bacteria.  

 

What do you think of this list? What have you tried? Let us know in the comments below!

One Love,

Dr. Travis Zigler

Dr. Travis Zigler

AMAZON AFFILIATE INFORMATION - We, Eye Love, LLC, are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

AvenovaAvenova alternativesAvenova costBlepharitis eyeBurning eyelidsCliradexCrusty eyelidsEyelid irritationEyelid scrubHeyedrateHow to treat blepharitisLid scrubsOcusoftOcusoft lid scrub plusOily eyelidsScrubs plusSystane lid wipes

14 comments

Dr. Jenna Zigler

Dr. Jenna Zigler

Hey Ana. Floaters are not caused by bacteria and it’s likely just a coincidence. However, we recommend you see someone about the floater. As far as the soap, tea tree oil will burn if it gets directly into the eyes and our soap is no different, BUT I would recommend our Tea Tree Oil Soap because it is a facial soap and intended for use on the face. Just be sure to rinse very well. Below is the link to our Tea Tree Oil Soap Bar.
https://eyelovethesun.com/products/tea-tree-oil-soap

Ana

Ana

I went to the eye doctor with itchy eyes thinking I had dry eye but was told I had the bacteria??? I don’t even wear mascara. I was told to was my eyes with tree tea oil shampoo by Paul mitchel. Eyes felt better even though they stung a bit and the instruction say to keep away from eyes? And now I have developed a floater in one of my eyes that is so annoying.
I think I may have eritayes my eye and developed this!!! I have only been wearing glasses for 3 years. What should I do besides going to get a second opinion?

William Craft

William Craft

My eye Dr. said to wash eyes twice a day with couple drops baby shampoo and warm water. Does not seem to help.Seems worse, thoughts ??

Dr. Jenna Zigler

Dr. Jenna Zigler

hey Jennifer. Probably an allergy to an ingredient they have. Try our tea tree soap and see if it does the same thing! and of course try our Lid & Lash Cleanser that only has 3 ingredients – Water, Sodium Chloride, Hypochlorous Acid (active ingredient) .

https://eyelovethesun.com/products/tea-tree-oil-soap

Jennifer

Jennifer

When I use the Cliradex lid wipes at night, I wake up with swollen eyelids in the morning. Is the due to rubbing? It seems to make blepharitis worse.

Dr. Jenna Zigler

Dr. Jenna Zigler

Hey John K – Absolutely! Heyedrate lid & Lash Cleanser has the same active ingredient as Avenova. It’s perfect to use for cataract surgery prep. Best of luck to your wife :)

John K

John K

My wife is using Avenova to prep for cataract removal surgery. Fortunately, they had a sample bottle because it’s VERY expensive… More than $300 here in North Carolina. Heyedrate is far more affordable – $19 on Amazon. Are they truly comparable and would Heyedrate be suitable for the cataract surgery prep?

Sherry

Sherry

I have been having styes and chazalans for 6 months now. My doctor advised warm compresses 3 times daily. However they keep returning. I have also had a course of Fluxcillen(spelling!) so far for a whole week I have been free. I went to see an Optometrist who recommended I have the Blephorex treatment. However I do not know if this will suit me as I have had two scratches over my corneas in the past and I have heard the treatment can be quite harsh. Will your treatment help?

Elaine Collins

Elaine Collins

For the warm compress I use a sock filled with rice that I put in the microwave for 40 seconds and when warmed I leave it on my eyes for 10 minutes. It helps.

Lorraine Aiello

Lorraine Aiello

I used avenova and got sore throat and swollen lips. Ocuclear does not work for me
very frustrated

Jenna Zigler

Jenna Zigler

Hey Lorraine – First of all, the glaucoma medications are not going to help matters but you can’t just stop using those. I personally would drop the Ocusoft and continue on only Avenova or our spray(Heyedrate Lid & Lash Cleanser) twice per day. Using both a hypochlorous and Ocusoft is overkill and can irritate. I would consider washing your face with tea tree oil soap, as this could eliminate any demodex that may be causing some of your issues.

Basically, simplify your routine. Warm compresses, wash with tea tree soap, use hypochlorous acid spray, and take a look at diet and upping water intake. To remove flakes, you can use jojoba oil to loosen any remaining and also use that to moisturize your face morning and evening.

Lorraine Scotto

Lorraine Scotto

I use Ocusoft scrub lid scrub, thera tears, combigan(2x a day for glaucoma), lumigan 1x a day at night, Avenova 2x a day, tobramyacin when my eyes are very itchy , red, and swollen. I can’t shake this blepharitis. And I use neomyacin ointment cause the crust on my eyelids are stuck to my skin, it won’t come off for anything. I use a wash cloth soaked in hot water to loosen the scan up, no luck.it seem like it’s gone, but when it dries it’s right back. I am in dire straights for help oh and I have an anti-inflammatory itch drop, useless

Lorraine Scotto

Lorraine Scotto

I use Ocusoft scrub lid scrub, thera tears, combigan(2x a day for glaucoma), lumigan 1x a day at night, Avenova 2x a day, tobramyacin when my eyes are very itchy , red, and swollen. I can’t shake this blepharitis. And I use neomyacin ointment cause the crust on my eyelids are stuck to my skin, it won’t come off for anything. I use a wash cloth soaked in hot water to loosen the scan up, no luck.it seem like it’s gone, but when it dries it’s right back. I am in dire straights for help oh and I have an anti-inflammatory itch drop, useless

Judy wesrbrook

Judy wesrbrook

Does vaselene help?

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