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Blepharitis is a common inflammatory condition that causes burning, itching and irritation of the eyelids. In severe cases, it may also cause styes and irritation or inflammation of the cornea (keratitis) or conjunctiva (conjunctivitis). Blepharitis is characterized by sandy, itchy eyes, red or swollen eyelids, and crusty or flaky skin on the eyelids.

Blepharitis is usually a chronic problem that can be controlled with extra attention to lid hygiene. Begin by soaking a clean washcloth in warm tap water. Place the compress on closed eyelids for five minutes and then repeat. Next, gently scrub the eyelids with a washcloth or cotton swab soaked in a mixture of equal parts of baby shampoo and water. Finally, rinse the eyelids thoroughly with warm water. Repeat the treatment two to three times daily for two weeks and then reduce to once daily. In some cases, anti-inflammatory and antibiotic drops or ointments may be necessary for flare-ups and more severe cases.

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