On January 11, 1989, a 47-year-old woman in Georgia scratched her left eye with a mascara applicator and subsequently had onset of progressive pain, light sensitivity, redness, and swelling of the eye. Examination by a physician on January 12 revealed a corneal abrasion; gentamicin ointment was instilled, and the eye was patched. Three days after onset, ophthalmologic consultation documented severely impaired vision and a corneal abscess in the patient's left eye, and the patient was admitted for treatment. Gram stain of corneal scrapings revealed gram-negative rods. Culture of the corneal scrapings and of a sample of the patient's mascara grew Pseudomonas aeruginosa with identical antibiotic susceptibility patterns.
Following inpatient therapy, including subconjunctival gentamicin, the infection resolved; however, on discharge from the hospital, a dense inflammatory corneal infiltrate was present. Subsequently, diffuse neovascularization of the cornea developed; vision in the patient's eye has not improved.
LA Wilson, MD, Emory Univ, Atlanta; RK Sikes, DVM, State Epidemiologist, Georgia Dept of Human Resources. Meningitis
Pseudomonas aeruginosa Corneal Infection Related to Mascara Applicator Trauma—Georgia. Arch Dermatol. 1990;126(6):734. doi:10.1001/archderm.1990.01670300032003