Hair loss can occur anywhere on the body, including your eyelashes. Fortunately, eyelashes usually regrow after you address the condition causing the loss. If no underlying cause exists, eyelashes start to grow and fill out within a few months. In rare cases, eyelash loss is permanent. This usually occurs because of trauma, scarring or permanent genetic baldness.
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Eyelash loss occurs for several reasons. Loss can occur if the eyelid becomes inflamed, irritated or injured due to infection, skin disease or trauma. Certain drugs may also cause eyelashes to fall out, such as chemotherapy treatments. Other causes include endocrine disorders, toxins in the body, systemic disease and a psychiatric disorder in which the sufferer plucks, tweezes or pulls their eyelashes out. Sometimes an immune disorder such as alopecia areata is to blame. Alopecia areata, hair loss occurring in small, round patches, occurs suddenly and may affect all hair on the body. When total loss occurs, the condition is called alopecia universalis, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.
Blepharitis, inflammation of the eyelids, can cause eyelash loss. This condition usually occurs secondarily to a bacterial infection or because of abnormal oil production in the glands of the eyelids. Acne, rosacea and some scalp conditions can also cause blepharitis, according to the American Optometric Association.
Normally, treatment addresses the underlying condition causing the hair loss. Once the underlying treatment is controlled, lashes usually regrow on their own. Be sure to speak with your physician before attempting any treatment to address a disease or condition causing eyelash loss.
Take special care to retain the eyelashes you still have and pamper new growth. Avoid using heavy eye makeup and mascara. Take a multivitamin containing B complex vitamins to optimize hair growth. Apply moisturizer to your eyelashes every day to prevent breakage. Eyelash moisturizers are available in most drugstores and department stores.
Enhance growth with a topical drug formulated to stimulate eyelash growth, such as Latisse or Revitalash. It is best to consult your physician before applying a topical drug. Hair growth occurs slowly, so it may take some time for your eyelashes to grow out and thicken up.