Case study: Blepharitis and seborrhoeic dermatitis

Dr Narendra Kumar describes a case on the association between lid disorders and more general systemic conditions

A male elderly patient, aged 79 years, attended the eye clinic with the complaint of constant accumulation of mucus-like discharge at the canthus, particularly of the left eye. He wore a minor, myopic, astigmatic, presbyopic spectacle correction in the form of progressive power lenses. His best corrected acuity in each eye was 6/6 and N6.

Fundus examination did not reveal any abnormality in either eye. However, it was found that he suffers from chronic blepharitis (figure 1). Also, there was a significant finding of facial dermatitis (figure 2). History-taking revealed the patient had been suffering from dandruff for around six months.

Figure 1: Blepharitis; before treatment; Figure 2: Facial dermatitis; before treatment

He was referred to a dermatologist,1 who made the diagnosis of seborrheic dermatitis and prescribed the following treatment:

Seborrheic dermatitis is a skin condition that mainly affects the scalp, causing scaly patches, red skin and stubborn dandruff. It can also affect other areas of the body (like the face, sides of the nose, eyebrows, ears, eyelids and chest). The condition may go away on its own without treatment or may require repeated treatments. Daily cleaning with a gentle soap and shampoo can help reduce oiliness and dead skin buildup. Itching may or may not be present.2

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