Hair Removal

Eyelash Epilation – What is it

Epilation is defined as the process of removal of any hair on the entire body including the face, a treatment common for both men and women. Epilation of eyelashes means the removal of eyelashes using epilation forceps manually, or surgically. The commonly known temporary methods of epilation such as threading, waxing, sugaring, electric epilation are not suitable for eyelash removal. Eyelash removal is carried out under two kinds of eye afflictions known as trichiasis and distichiasis, which are generally treated under medical supervision over a length of time.

Trichiasis and Distichiasis

Trichiasis

widely known as inturned eyelash refers to the condition where the eyelashes grow backwards and irritate the cornea of the eye. This condition leads to a foreign body sensation in the eye, which in turn causes severe symptoms of redness, pain, tearing, light sensitivity, and may lead to blindness. Removal of the eyelash generally mellows the problem, with treatment of the corneal abrasion, scarring of the cornea, and infection. However, in case of recurrences, complete removal of the eyelash through electrolysis could be one of the available solutions. The

causes

of trichiasis include eyelid trauma, leprosy, trachoma, chemical burns, blepharitis, and eye surgeries.

Distichiasis

refers to the condition wherein eyelashes grow at the back of the normal row of eyelashes seemingly forming a second row of eyelashes. This is a sporadically occurring rare congenital disease, which is a genetic inherited trait. In this condition, embryonic pilosebaceous units split up into hair follicles and not meibomian glands. As these extra distichiatic follicles are situated at the back and nearer to the eye, there is irritation of the eye caused by rubbing which in turn causes matting of such hairs in the eye.

The other form of distichiasis is also an acquired disease of the eye margin due to chronic irritation/inflammation. Removal of the extra eyelashes could resolve the problem to a certain extent. A permanent method would be to surgically remove the follicles of the distichiatic eyelashes. Cryotherapy is an alternate method to this, so is the argon laser, which has proven good results.

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