What is Epiblepharon?

Epiblepharon is a condition in which the eyelashes of the lower eyelid turn against the eye. This can cause irritation of the eye. Epiblepharon most commonly occurs in children that are Asian, Hispanic or Native American. In this condition, there is an extra roll of skin on the lower eyelid that push the eyelashes toward the eye. 

Epiblepharon can cause scratches on the front of the eye (the cornea), which could cause an infection of the eye and a decrease in vision. Most commonly, it causes discomfort for the child, avoidance of the light (photophobia), discharge, and tearing. Parents often notice the condition in the first year of a child’s life. 

The treatment of epiblepharon initially involves the lubricating eye drops and ointments. Many children outgrow this condition without surgery.

Some children will need surgery to correct the condition. During surgery, an incision is made beneath the eyelashes on the lower eyelid, and the extra roll of skin is removed. In most cases, dissolvable stiches are placed. The child should return to clinic 1 week after surgery to make sure everything is healing well.