Trichiasis is an eyelid abnormality defined by misdirected growth of eyelashes with normal lid margin position. The misdirected lashes can cause irritation of the ocular surface and potentially vision threatening ulceration/scarring. It is possible to get trichiasis after an eye infection, or after damage to the eye or eyelid. It is often an age-related condition as skin becomes less elastic with age. It is typically more common in adults, but it’s present in some children as well. There is some confusion between trichiasis and entropion. Trichiasis occurs when eyelashes incorrectly grow toward the cornea, while entropion is a condition when the eyelid itself sits incorrectly against the eye, resulting in many of the eyelashes rubbing along the cornea.
At Idaho Eyelid and Facial Plastic Surgery, trichiasis treatment involves removing the eyelash, follicle or both, or redirecting eyelash growth. When this condition only impacts a few eyelashes, it may be easier to simply remove the lashes with forceps although there is a chance the eyelashes may grow back again in the wrong direction. In instances where many lashes are growing toward your eye, surgery can remove them permanently. Ablative surgery or lasers can remove the lashes and hair follicles. Other surgical treatments include electrolysis and cryosurgery. If trichiasis is due to epiblepharon, surgery to reposition the eyelashes may be recommended.