The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of topical ivermectin 1% cream application on the eyelashes in combination with eyelid hygiene in the treatment of Demodex blepharitis.
One hundred two eyes of 102 patients with symptomatic Demodex blepharitis were divided into 2 groups according to the use of topical ivermectin in this retrospective case–control study. The ivermectin group (n = 51) applied topical ivermectin 1% cream on the eyelashes for 15 minutes once weekly, but the control group (n = 51) did not. In both groups, eyelid hygiene was performed once daily. The Standard Patient Evaluation of Eye Dryness (SPEED) symptom questionnaire score, Oxford staining score, eyelid debris, eyelid redness/swelling, and telangiectasia were assessed during the follow-up visits.
The mean follow-up periods of the ivermectin and control groups were 15.1 ± 9.7 weeks and 14.8 ± 8.6 weeks, respectively. The SPEED score and eyelid debris grade were significantly improved in both groups during the follow-up, although the SPEED score and eyelid debris grade showed greater changes in the ivermectin group than in the control group. The Oxford staining score, eyelid redness/swelling grade, and telangiectasia grade were significantly improved only in the ivermectin group but not in the control group.
In patients with Demodex blepharitis, the use of topical ivermectin 1% cream for 15 minutes once weekly in addition to eyelid hygiene had more significantly improved symptoms, ocular surface staining, eyelid debris, redness/swelling, and telangiectasia as compared with eyelid hygiene alone. These findings support the efficacy of topical ivermectin 1% cream application in the treatment of Demodex blepharitis.