Mascara has a number of beauty benefits. It instantly adds thickness, length, and a darker color to the lashes, which draws attention to the eyes and creates definition. Though there are many positive attributes, there are also short-term and long-term issues that may present themselves.
Short-term issues include eyelid irritation, itching, and redness. These symptoms can occur due to an allergy or sensitivity to one of the ingredients in mascara. Another possibility is that you have a bacterial infection called blepharitis—which often starts in childhood—and it’s affecting your eyes again now. The condition causes eye inflammation and crusting around the lashes. Your doctor will prescribe antibiotic ointment for this condition if it’s diagnosed as blepharitis; otherwise, he or she may recommend using an over-the-counter eye drop such as Visine or Clear Eyes that contains benzalkonium chloride (an antibacterial agent).
Long-term problems include chronic contact dermatitis from mascara application on damaged skin around your eyes (such as from wearing makeup improperly).