The Dry Eye Zone

Rebecca's Blog


Abstract: Beware eye whitening procedures.

Some people with chronic dry eye suffer from chronic redness. In some of those cases, the redness is much more noticeable to themselves than to anyone else, but in others it's obvious and unsightly and can be very distressing. Not a lot of fun to have others (think: potential employers?) think you're stoned. The emotional impact of chronic redness makes people quite vulnerable to promises of improvement through surgeries. They figure, the worst that can happen is that it just doesn't work or doesn't last.


Here's a good reason to resist the temptation.

We report necrotizing scleritis as a serious complication of a cosmetic eye whitening procedure that involves the use of intraoperative and postoperative topical mitomycin C.
This is a single case report. A 59-year-old Caucasian male with a history of blepharitis status post uncomplicated LASIK refractive surgery reported chronic conjunctival hyperemia for 15 years prior to undergoing a cosmetic eye whitening procedure. He presented to our clinic 12 months after the cosmetic eye whitening procedure with progressive bilateral necrotizing scleritis and scleral calcification.
Chronic conjunctival hyperemia may prompt patients to seek surgical correction with cosmetic eye whitening procedures. However, conjunctival hyperemia secondary to tear deficiency and evaporative dry eye may predispose to poor wound healing. Serious complications including necrotizing scleritis may result from cosmetic eye whitening procedures and the use of topical mitomycin C.

J Ophthalmic Inflamm Infect. 2013 Feb 22;3(1):39. doi: 10.1186/1869-5760-3-39.
Leung TG, Dunn JP, Akpek EK, Thorne JE.
The Division of Ocular Immunology, The Wilmer Eye Institute, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, 600 North Wolfe Street, Woods Building, Room 476, Baltimore, MD 21287, USA.