Discovering a stray eyelash on your face or pillow can be unsettling, and it might raise questions about the potential for these Falling eyelashes regenerate. However, similar to the hair on your scalp, eyelashes go through a natural cycle of shedding and regrowth approximately every six to ten weeks.
Occasionally shedding eyelashes is a common occurrence, but certain health conditions, such as thyroid imbalances, can lead to an excessive loss of eyelashes. Additionally, specific medical therapies, like chemotherapy, can result in the excessive shedding of eyelashes.
Typically, eyelashes will naturally regenerate. However, for individuals seeking to expedite this process, there are treatments available that can assist.
Is it common for eyelashes to shed?
According to Dr. Michele Green, a cosmetic dermatologist with a private practice, it is typical and natural for eyelashes to shed, with most individuals losing approximately one to five lashes daily.
“Every person is endowed with a predetermined quantity of hair follicles, and each individual eyelash has a predetermined growth length before it naturally falls out,” explains Green. This process is an inherent part of a standard cycle that comprises the following three stages:
The growth stage (referred to as the anagen stage) is when eyelashes reach their predetermined length limit, as explained by Green. This phase typically spans around 30 to 45 days.
The transition phase (also known as the catagen phase) involves the shrinking of hair follicles as eyelashes complete their growth, Green notes. This period typically lasts for approximately two to three weeks.
The resting/shedding phase (referred to as the telogen phase) signifies the final part of the cycle, during which new hair begins to emerge from the hair follicle, Green states. As the fresh eyelash grows, the old one falls out, and the new strand continues to develop in its place, marking the beginning of a new cycle. This ultimate phase can endure anywhere from four to eight weeks.
Eyelashes usually require roughly two months to regrow to their full length after shedding, although this duration can vary from person to person, according to Green.
Additionally, it’s crucial to recognize that not all of your eyelashes are in the same growth cycle phase simultaneously, which is why you don’t observe all of them falling out simultaneously, Green highlights.
Nevertheless, if you are encountering excessive eyelash loss characterized by the shedding of eyelashes in clusters, especially when accompanied by hair loss on the scalp or elsewhere on the body, it is advisable to consult with a dermatologist. A dermatologist can help you determine if there is an underlying medical condition contributing to hair loss.
Health issues that result in Falling eyelashes
While it’s normal to lose a handful of eyelashes daily, certain medical conditions can lead to more pronounced and noticeable eyelash shedding. These conditions encompass:
- Alopecia: This autoimmune ailment prompts the body to attack its hair follicles, potentially causing hair loss on the scalp, body, or facial areas, including the eyelashes. Alopecia treatment options differ based on factors like age, location of hair loss, and the extent of hair loss. Generally, treatments may involve topical medications or corticosteroid injections.
- Thyroid Disorder: The thyroid gland, located in the neck, regulates the body’s hormones and plays a crucial role in hair follicle development and maintenance, as explained by Green. Any thyroid dysfunction, whether hyperthyroidism (excess hormones) or hypothyroidism (insufficient hormones), can lead to hair loss, including eyelash loss. Management of a thyroid disorder depends on the specific type and may involve medication or surgery.
- Makeup-Related Irritation: Some individuals might experience allergic reactions to particular makeup products, such as mascara or adhesive for false eyelashes. Inflammation resulting from these allergic reactions can trigger eyelash loss. Additionally, rubbing or scratching itchy eyes irritated by makeup can contribute to eyelash shedding.
- Blepharitis: This condition involves inflammation of the eyelids and eyelashes, leading to symptoms like redness, irritation, and itching of the eyes. It may also cause eyelash loss or irregular growth, according to Green. While there is no cure for blepharitis, treatments like warm compress application or eye drops can help alleviate symptoms.
- Skin Cancer: Localized Falling eyelashes can serve as a symptom of eyelid skin cancer, as indicated by Emily Wood, MD, a dermatologist at Westlake Dermatology. The proliferation of malignant cancer cells can disrupt the natural eyelash growth cycle, resulting in lash loss and permanent damage to hair follicles. Treatment often involves surgical removal of tumors and eyelid reconstruction.
Dr. Green emphasizes that regardless of the cause of hair loss, eyelashes typically grow back as long as the hair follicles and internal hair structures remain intact. However, in cases like skin cancer, where hair follicles are damaged, eyelash loss may be irreversible.