A common inflammation, blepharitis produces a red-rimmed appearance of the margins of the eyelids. In many cases, it’s chronic and bilateral and affects upper and lower lids. Seborrheic blepharitis is characterized by waxy scales and is common in older adults and in those with red hair. Staphylococcal (ulcerative) blepharitis is characterized by tiny ulcerated areas along the lid margins. Both types may coexist.
Blepharitis tends to recur and become chronic. It can be controlled if treatment begins before the onset of ocular involvement.
Seborrheic blepharitis generally results from seborrhea of the scalp, eyebrows, or ears; ulcerative blepharitis results from Staphylococcus aureus infection. (People with this infection may also tend to develop chalazions and styes.)