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Avatar universal

Is it really blepharitis?

My 12 year old son has been battling the loss of his eyelashes for 2 years.  During this period of time, various doctors have declared it to be blepharitis and prescribed tobramycin, vigamox and an anit-itch ointment.  We have been vigilant about cleaning his eyelids daily.  My son's lashes have never grown back and now he is losing his eyebrows at an alarming rate. We have seen 2 doctors since August and the soonest we can see a specialist is in December.  My son was recently tested for thyroid disorder and had a skin scrape; both tests were negative.

Are we treating the right condition?
What further tests should we be having done to narrow down a correct diagnosis?

Thank you in advance.
4 Responses
Avatar universal
Have you seen a dermatologist who specializes in hair loss?  I'm not a doctor, but I do know that the autoimmune disease alopecia areata can cause the loss of eyelashes and eyebrows.  (If you google "alopecia areata" and "eyelashes," you will find information....)
Avatar universal
Thanks for responding.

So far, we have not seen a dermatologist.  We have seen numerous GP's, pediatricians, and opthomologists all with the same result (or lack thereof).  We are scheduled to see a specialist at Riley Children's Hospital in December at which point, I plan to ask if we are barking up the wrong tree.  

I too, have considered alopecia but all the docs who have seen my son say that since it's only his lashes and brows that are affected, it can't be that. Whatever it is, it has kicked into full gear this week and my son has almost no eyebrows at all.  

The odd thing is, I ran out of tobramycin and started putting a thick layer of generic tri-biotic on his brows at night and the loss has slowed significantly.
Avatar universal
I really feel for your son (being 12 is hard enough under normal circumstances!).  Without going into too many details of my own history, I will just say that I had a very unusual case of alopecia areata (so that several excellent dermatologists initially dismissed that diagnosis as impossible).  Finally I saw a dermatologist in Chicago who just does hair loss research/treatment fulltime, and she was able to get to the root of my problem and turn the alopecia areata around.  So my impression is that there is what the textbooks say about alopecia areata vs. unusual forms that can actually occur in  people, which is why you need someone who has really seen a lot of cases.  I
Avatar universal
i would say definitely see a dermatologist.

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