• Does using baby shampoo to cleanse the eye contribute to the formation of cataracts?


    Question:

    Does using baby shampoo to cleanse the eye contribute to the formation of cataracts? I have had ophthalmologists disagree on whether using baby shampoo to cleanse the eye is a good practice.


    Answer:

    Baby shampoo, when used properly, is a great way to clean the external eyelids and eyelashes. I suggest unscented baby shampoo as the chemical that makes the scent can be irritating to some people. Baby shampoo does not cause cataracts, which are clouding of the lens inside the eye. Some caustic chemicals can penetrate the eye and cause serious internal eye damage like cataracts and worse, but baby shampoo is gentle and is not one of them.

    The best way to use baby shampoo as a cleaning agent to the eyelids and eyelashes is to place about half a teaspoon full in a cup or so of warm water (measurements are not exact) and then dip in a washcloth that is not too rough. Gently rub the washcloth back and forth, not up and down, to protect the eyeball from being scratched. Wash off the baby shampoo and dry carefully.


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