Bad Beauty Habits
Your makeup routine likely isn't hurting your fringe – it's forgetting to take it off at night that can cause a loss in fullness. After using wipes or other removers, following up with a mild cleanser (like baby shampoo or Cetaphil) can also help combat lash loss. "If you massage your eyelashes every night with a mild soap to get the surfaces as clean as you can and maintain the health of the eyelash follicle, your eyelashes will actually grow thicker and longer and they won't fall out as fast."
The one cosmetic you should watch out for: hot eyelash curlers. Whether you own the kind that heats ups or warm yours with a blow dryer, never put anything hot near your eye as it can damage lashes, not to mention cause potential burns.
If your lashes feel capital-I ITCHY and both lids look red and swollen, there's a solid chance you've got a case of blepharitis. With blepharitis, clogged oil glands near the base of the eyelashes can lead to chronic inflammation and follicle dysfunction, therefore stopping lash growth. While practicing good eyelid hygiene will help it clear up, it's worth booking an appointment with your MD for a suspected case. An opthamologist will probably prescribe you some drops or ointments to speed the process along — which will also help rule out other, more serious causes for missing lashes.
The thyroid — a gland in the neck — controls the body's hormones, but sometimes those levels can get out of whack. Both hyperthyroidism (an overload of hormones) and hypothyroidism (too little) list lash loss as a potential symptom, along with changes in weight, heart rate, and blood pressure. You might also feel more jittery or anxious than usual. Make an appointment with your healthcare provider, who can run some tests to rule out underlying conditions.
Have just a few eyelashes or none at all? It could stem from alopecia or another autoimmune condition. While alopecia can present in many ways, the condition inhibits hair growth on your body, head, or face. Doctors believe that this disease causes the body to attack its own hair follicles, causing full, partial, or episodic hair loss. Although no cure for alopecia currently exists, a doctor can prescribe treatments that may help hair regrow more quickly.
Chronic Inflammatory Diseases
Similar to alopecia, chronic inflammatory diseases describe conditions where the body attacks itself. For example, both rheumatoid arthritis and lupus can affect the healthy cells and tissues in the joints, organs, and blood vessels. Since these internal diseases don't always have many external signs, it's important to pay attention to small but noticeable changes — like hair and lash loss — that can signal something larger at play.
Skin Cancers of the Eyelid
If you're missing lashes on a specific part of your eyelid but have normal fringe elsewhere, see a doctor straight away. Cancers on the eyelid can interrupt eyelash growth as these harmful cells spread. Since these are difficult to remove, the sooner you can take action the better. Catching it earlier will also minimize the aesthetic impact of surgery.