Lid Wipes or Lid Scrubs?

When treating ocular surface diseases such as dry eye, blepharitis, meibomian gland dysfunction, and Demodex, there are various approaches and treatment options based on the patient’s condition. Many of these approaches such as lid scrubs and lid wipes not only treat the condition, but also help to prevent it from worsening by adhering to good lid hygiene. However, it is important to understand the differences between the two and when/for what condition each should be used.

Lid Wipes or Lid Scrubs?

Here are some key differences:

Lid Wipes:

  • Typically disease focused products (e.g. contain Tea Tree oil for Demodex blepharitis)
  • Ideal for specific disease purposes
  • Good for pulse dosed therapy (i.e. 3-4 weeks use, then again in a few months when needed for 3-4 weeks)
  • Scrubbing is not recommended, better to simply place the wipes on the involved skin tissue and dab. Dabbing is acceptable but because the solution (e.g. isolated 4-Terpineol [terpinen-4-ol] found in Cliradex®) kills the pathogen, not the scrubbing action, it’s not necessary—and could actually result in patient discomfort.
  • Typically designed to eradicate a persistent pathogen in blepharitis

Lid Scrubs:

  • Typically surfactant (detergent) based products that remove oil and clean the eyelids
  • Ideal for staphylococcal blepharitis and some dermatological forms of blepharitis like seborrheic blepharitis
  • Good for everyday, long-term use
  • Require some friction or scrubbing to fully clean the surface
  • Are typically mild with few side effects if any

We all want to help our patients suffering from what can be very uncomfortable symptoms, so identifying the best treatment for each individual case is important. If a lid wipe is needed, I prefer Cliradex towelettes or for more severe cases Cliradex Complete®, which is applied in the office. These products are preservative-free and the only commercially available products that isolate 4-Terpineol, the most effective ingredient in tea tree oil, which has been proven to help manage symptoms associated with lid margin diseases.1

For more information on how effective 4-Terpineol can be, download the article "Terpinen-4-ol is the Most Active Ingredient of Tea Tree Oil to Kill Demodex Mites" now.

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1Tighe Sean, et al, Terpinen-4-ol is the Most Active Ingredient of Tea Tree Oil to Kill Demodex Mites, Translational Vision Science and Technology, August 2013, Vol. 2, No. 7.