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Ophthalmic Plast Reconstr Surg. 2009 Jul-Aug;25(4):339-41. doi: 10.1097/IOP.0b013e3181ab443e.

Ocular manifestations of long-term mascara use.

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Albany Medical College, Albany, NY 12159,, USA.


Mascara, a widely used cosmetic, is associated with eye pathology. The authors report 3 cases of eye problems secondary to long-term mascara use. Two patients had multiple pigmented conjunctival lesions; one of these had a history of melanoma of the hand. Conjunctival biopsy revealed nonmelanocytic pigment granules within conjunctival stroma cells in both cases. The other patient had a history of dry eye, and also showed pigment clumping around a punctal plug. The third patient had canalicular obstruction from a mascara-laden dacryolith ("dacryomascaralith"), the first such case reported. A literature review revealed cases of eyelid dermatitis, infectious keratitis, a conjunctival mass ("mascaroma"), and others. Ophthalmologists should be aware of mascara's associated eye problems. The physical findings combined with a high index of suspicion, especially in cases of heavy mascara use, may allow for an accurate diagnosis and spare the patient an otherwise unnecessary invasive procedure.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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