Recently, I encountered two unhappy patients who had had benign lumpy lesion from their upper eyelids resulting in localized loss of eyelashes. When they complained to the eye surgeons (two different doctors) who did the operations, they were reassured that the eyelashes would grow back. However, 6 months later the areas remained barren. When they returned to the eye surgeons, they were told it was not big deal to lose a bit of eyelashes as they would not affect their visual functions. Unfortunately, their grievances were quite justified as the areas of lash loss was easily noticeable. This was more so for the second patient than the first one as the areas of loss in the later was bigger and extended beyong the cornea where the colour of the iris would have masked the defect.
Examination showed scarrings of the lid margins. The eye surgeons in their enthusiatic attempts to remove the lesions which were not cancerous had caused damages to the eyelash follicles. Although often ignored, eyelashes are important in protecting the eyes from dust and tear which can irritate the eyes. The second patient actually experienced constant discomfort becaue of the size of the defect. I shall discuss how I managed each case in my next blog.