Intended for healthcare professionals

Practice 10-Minute Consultation


BMJ 2012; 344 doi: (Published 23 May 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e3328

Re: Blepharitis

I would like to report a case of chronic blepharitis treated successfully with pure petroleum jelly (Vaseline).

The debate over the significance of demodex involvement in blepharitis (and rosacea) has reached an impasse because, in part, of the absence of a simple test for infestation available in the surgery. Referral for treatment is therefore not possible, and the debate over significance continues.

The available treatments for mite infestation are too toxic to use without evidence of infestation.

If a simple treatment without known side effects could be envisaged then it would surely be possible to treat without evidence of infestation. Hence the choice of pure petroleum jelly to preclude air from the glands and discourage the mite.

I have had some less dramatic success with suggesting the same approach for patients with rosacea (petroleum jelly applied to the skin overnight) and so there may be reason to continue this advice.

Yours sincerely,
John Laband

Competing interests: No competing interests

06 May 2014
John Robert Laband
Locum GP
NHS primary care
Various, West country