Blepharitis is a chronic inflammation of the eyelids, usually around the area where the eyelashes grow. Overgrowth of bacteria or blockage of oil glands around the eyelids can cause blepharitis. It leads to red, swollen, itchy eyelids with crusting and flaking of skin around the eyelash base. Thorough cleaning of the eyelids with warm washcloth can help control the signs and symptoms. If left untreated, other complications may arise including eyelid scarring, stye formation, eyelash problems and even corneal infections. If you suspect you have blepharitis, see your optometrist for proper medical treatment. Prescription antibiotics may be necessary to control its symptoms.