Trachoma: can trichiasis be treated with a sticking-plaster? A randomized clinical trial in China

Trop Med Int Health. 1999 Mar;4(3):222-8. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-3156.1999.43375.x.


Trachoma is the most frequent cause of preventable blindness in the world. At the trichiasis/entropion stage, lid surgery is recommended, but many patients only use epilation, which does not prevent loss of vision. We developed a new treatment that should be more accessible than lid surgery and more effective than epilation: a sticking plaster that forces eyelashes back to their correct position. The first randomized controlled trial was conducted in Shanghai with 57 patients to compare the plaster method with epilation. After 3 months of follow-up, with no attrition, 67% of those treated by the new method presented a good clinical status, vs none of those treated by epilation (P < 0.001). The new treatment was well tolerated and lid function remained normal. Although our results show overwhelming benefit of this new, simple treatment for trachoma at the trichiasis stage, more research is needed at the primary health care level and in other settings to determine the potential use of the new method on a large scale and by nonspecialists.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Bandages*
  • Blindness / prevention & control
  • China
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Educational Status
  • Eyelashes*
  • Female
  • Hair Removal*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Trachoma / therapy*