Hypotrichosis of eyelid

Why eyelashes break off, grow shorter or weaker or even increase more? We got to the bottom of the causes.

They arise, for example, secondary as a result of itching or may also occur primarily because of a hormonal disorder. In many cases, eyelash loss is coupled with other problems, which is why an exact diagnosis is an unconditional prerequisite for correct therapy.

Hairlessness, eyelash loss is summarized under the term alopecia. Alopecia can in principle have non-inflammatory or inflammatory causes. A distinction is made clinically, but often a suspicion must be confirmed by biopsy.


As eyelashes, in Latin Cilia, we commonly refer to the small, usually black or dark brown, slightly curved hairs, which grow in a row along the edge of the eyelid margins at the top and bottom of the eye.

They occur in all mammals. Their function is primarily to protect sensitive eyes from any penetrating substances, such as sand, dust, small particles of dirt or wind.

Moreover, they are of cosmetic importance to us, as long eyelashes have been associated with beauty for many centuries. Usually, the eyelash hair has a lifespan of about 100-150 days. Then they drop out and in their place grow a new eyelash after. The entire growth cycle of an average eyelash is between four weeks to six months, with only about ten percent of our eyelashes in the final growth phase, with the remainder in its growth phase.

But if it comes to a morbid failure of the eyelashes and is to be regarded as an independent disease. In this case, the complete eyelash hairs are missing, but there are also patients, in which the eyelashes are only partially lost, sometimes in combination with a loss of eyebrow hairs.

Causes of the loss of the eyelashes

The causes of eyelash loss can be numerous. Often, however, the triggering factors in a particular case cannot be identified, but the most common causes can be clarified:

So-called blepharitis , especially if they occur repeatedly), vitamin deficiency , various skin diseases , alopecia areata (the so-called circular hair loss), congenital Lidfehlstellungen , other medical treatments such as chemotherapy or radiation treatment , stress of any kind, scarring healing burns and traumatic Processes on the eye, such as a blow or a bump.

The most common skin diseases are pigmentary disorders, Xanthelasma  “small superfluous fat deposits”, infections with herpes simplex and another dermatitis, which can often lead to a very persistent loss of eyelashes. Also, the small glands, which are on and in the modern, can ignite and disturb the physiological development of the eyelash hairs and lead to failure. Therefore, barley grains and hailstones, if repeated, should be evaluated and treated by a specialist, even if they are not painful. Also, blepharitis (a painful eyelid disease) or painful conjunctivitis, as well as an infection of the eyelids with parasites, can cause a failure of the eyelashes. However, the most common is eyelash loss, which is caused by wrong or excessive make-up on the eyelashes themselves. Thus, some care products attack the eyelashes or permanently removed by removing makeup eyelashes unnoticed. Even eyelash curlers or color for dyeing the hair can hinder the growth of the eyelashes.

Possible causes of eyelash breakage and eyelash failure

The potential causes of eyelash loss or cancellation are similar to the causes of hair breakage and hair loss.

  • hormonal changes or fluctuations
  • Metabolic diseases
  • Age
  • Stress
  • Skin diseases
  • Thyroid disorders
  • Medical treatments
  • Care errors
  • Vitamin and nutrient deficiency
  • Overall unhealthy lifestyle
  • Circular hair loss
  • Side effects of drugs

What to do when the eyelashes become less?

The above points are the first orientation. As a layman and without appropriate investigations, however, little can be done with it. If the cause of the eyelash loss is unclear and not found in excessive or incorrect care, therefore, a doctor should be consulted.