By Gary M. White, MD
Alopecia Areata. Loss of eyelashes may occur in alopecia areata or its variants.
Chemotherapy-Induced and Idiopathic Alopecia of the Eyelashes. Daily treatment with bimatoprost ophthalmic solution 0.03% has been shown to benefit patients with idiopathic and chemotherapy-induced hypotrichosis of the eyelashes. (Idiopathic responder rate was 40·2% for bimatoprost vs. 6·8% for vehicle; postchemotherapy responder rate was 37·5% for bimatoprost vs. 18·2% for vehicle) [BJD 2015;172;1384].
Distichiasis, or a double row of eyelashes, may be associated with lymphedema [AD 1999;135;347].
Rarely, eyelashes may occur congenitally in places other than the edge of the eyelid [JEADV 2016;30;532].
Congenital Heterochromia. Rarely, patients may be born with different color eyelashes.
Excessively long eyelashes may occur as a familial trait (as shown here), in AIDs patients, kala-azar [Med Clin (Barc) 1989;93;715], and after the administration of recombinant leukocyte A interferon [NEJM 1984;311;1259] or cyclosporin [Am J Ophthalmol 1990;109;293].
Isolated long white eyelashes may occur [Int J Trichol 2015;7:84-5].
According to scientists from Georgia Tech, the perfect length for eyelashes is one-third the total width of the eye. “Eyelashes form a barrier to control airflow and the rate of evaporation on the surface of the cornea. When eyelashes are shorter than the one-third ratio, they have only a slight effect on the flow. Their effect is more pronounced as they lengthen up until one-third. After that, they start funneling air and dust particles into the eye," according to Guillermo Amador, a Georgia Tech Ph.D. candidate in the George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering who has studied this.
The term trichiasis means misdirected eyelashes.
Blepharitis. Dandruff of the eyelashes is seen here.