Mascara on lashes





Mascara pigmentation of the palpebral conjunctiva in rigid gas permeable lens wear


Palpebral conjunctival pigmentation due to cosmetics was first described by Reese in 1947. He reported a subconjunctival pigmentation under the upper and lower lids with associated mild follicular conjunctivitis. Although he did not prove a causal link between cosmetics and conjunctival pigmentation, Reese theorised that the carbon-black in mascara was the source of the pigmentation.

A 45-year old woman, who had worn rigid lenses for 20 years, presented with lens-related discomfort and poor near vision. Along the length of the superior border of the tarsal plate, there was a narrow band of pigmented dots and clumps. The pigmentation was visible to the same extent in both eyes. No pigmentation was observed on the bulbar conjunctiva. The lashes bore a moderate application of mascara.

Clin Exp Optom 1992; 75:153-155.

Konrad Pesudovs, BSc Optom and
Anthony J Phillips, MPhil, FBCO, FBOA,

Westbourne Park, South Australia

Accepted for publication: 1 September 1992

Also published in Optom Today 1993; 26: 26-28.

Figure 2
Discrete clumps of pigment located within papillae along the upper tarsal border.

Key words: mascara deposits, conjunctival pigmentation, rigid gas permeable lenses


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