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Byline: Miriam Stoppard

Blepharitis is an inflammation of the skin around the edges of the eyelids and, if the area is infected, styes may occur.

Blepharitis is often accompanied by dandruff and may be part of seborrhoeic eczema.

What should I do first? 1 If you notice your child rubbing his eyelids, check to see if the area seems red and scaly, or if the eyelashes are matted together with dried pus.

2 Don't use any patent creams or eye lotions. Wash away the discharge morning and night with warm, boiled water, to which you have added a little salt or bicarbonate of soda. Use clean, cotton wool swabs for each eye and wipe gently from the nose outwards.

3 Check your child for cradle cap or dandruff on the scalp.

4 Consult your doctor if the washing treatment doesn't clear the scaliness and redness within one week.

What might the doctor do? ? Your doctor may prescribe a soothing eye ointment to damp down the inflammation.

If your child has seborrhoeic eczema, your doctor may prescribe special shampoos and scalp lotions.

If there's an infection, such as a stye, your doctor may prescribe antibiotic ointment or eye drops.

What can I do to help? ? Pay particular attention to hygiene. If your child's eyelids have become infected, the infection can be easily spread to other members of the family, so wash your hands thoroughly before and after you administer the treatment.

Discourage your child from touching the eyes.

Apply a thick smear of Vaseline to your child's eyelids at night. The scales will then wash away easily in the morning.
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Title Annotation:Features; Opinion, Column
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Sep 4, 2012
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