Eczema on Eyelids: Types – Causes – Symptoms & Treatment
Eczema on Eyelids
Are you battling with an unstoppable itching, swollen and dry skin around the eye? Most of the times, a red, dry and itchy spot can develop around the eye causing you a lot of pains and discomfort. Eczema on eyelids doesn’t only cause irritation, discomfort or pains. The spots can turn to highly visible and permanent disfigurations in your face including thickening of the lower eyelids, frequent skin inflammation leading to darkening of the skin around the eyelids and worst, an extra fold of skin developing under the eye, a condition known as ‘atopic pleat’.
If you feel some itching, irritation and swelling around your eyelids often, you may be suffering from eyelid dermatitis (Eczema on Eyelids), which is a very common condition. Learn more about Functions of Eyelid.
Causes of Eczema on Eyelids:
The causes of the appearance of rash or spot around your eyelids can be traced to numerous sources. This is why it’s very important to know what exactly is responsible for the swelling, irritation or pains before sourcing for any solution. It’s better to visit a dermatologist for a close examination to know what the rash looks like, the causes and the frequency of occurrence to treat any form of eczema on the eyelids.
Because the skin around your eyelids is very thin and packed with very sensitive cells and blood vessels with little fat, it’s highly susceptible to different forms of irritations and allergic reactions. This categorically brings the major causes of eyelid eczema into two types including:
Atopic Contact Eczema on Eyelids (Dermatitis)
This form of irritation or eyelid eczema occurs when your immune system produces some antibodies called Immunoglobulin E (Ig E) as a form of reaction to any substance you’re allergic to. These chemical reactions created by the antibodies in the cells are responsible for the allergic symptoms including irritation, inflammation or swelling, redness and, of course, disfiguration if not handled immediately.
Substances that may cause allergic reactions in your body leading to eyelid eczema include:
- Contact lens solution
- Plastic or rubber
- Personal care products including moisturizers, shampoos, makeup, hair dye, cleanser, etc.
- Corticosteroids and antibiotics
- Any material with preservatives including eye drops
- Perfumes and much more.
Irritant Contact Eyelid Eczema (Dermatitis)
The second known type of Eyelid Eczema is the irritant contact eyelid eczema which occurs when the skin around the eye comes in contact with an irritating substance even when you aren’t allergic to the substance. The most common substances that may cause irritant eyelid eczema are the makeups and eye creams you use every day. These skin care products may cause skin irritation and chronic pains or discomforts even without being allergic to their content or ingredients.
Note: Some of the substances responsible for Allergic Contact Eyelid Eczema (Atopic) can also cause irritant dermatitis. However, the difference between the two conditions is mostly dependent on the reaction of your immune system.
Some irritants that may cause Contact Eyelid Eczema (Dermatitis) include:
- Intensive hot or cold temperatures
- Very dry air
- Scratching or rubbing the eyelids
- Chemicals such as chlorine and bleach
- Insect Bites
- Airborne contaminations
- Industrial solvents
- Wood Particles
- Alcohol (rubbing)
- Off-gassing (chemical reactions caused by new carpeting, mattresses, and furniture) and much more.
Symptoms of Eczema on Eyelids:
Most of the symptoms of eyelid eczema may be chronic or seasonal and may affect one or both eyes. Sometimes, only your eyelids may be affected or irritations, swelling, and pains may spread to the surrounding areas. Obvious symptoms include:
- thickened, creased skin
- red rash or spots
- burning sensation or acute pains
- Scaly irritated skin, etc.
Diagnosis of Eczema on Eyelids:
Since most of the symptoms are obvious, it would be very helpful to keep your senses active and observe when and how the rash or irritation started. Some of the symptoms may be associated with specific skin care products or creams. If this is the case, the best way to eliminate the symptoms is to eliminate the product immediately. Also, if this is an allergic reaction resulting from a particular food or material, it may do you good to stop eating the food or using the material too. However, some symptoms may seem very difficult to identify no matter how sensitive or observant you are because they aren’t obvious. This is the time to visit a dermatologist for help.
To clearly identify the cause(s) of your symptoms, your dermatologist may need to review the symptoms and ask you questions about past allergic reactions. He may also ask about your history of:
- Atopic eczema
- Hay fever and other skin conditions.
If an allergic reaction is suspected, then your doctor may recommend some tests to know what you’re allergic to. Some of the recommended tests include:
- Patch test
- Intradermal allergy test
- Skin prick or scratch test
- Radioallergosorbent test
Each of these tests is aimed at knowing exactly what you’re allergic to better manage the allergic reactions. Depending on the type of test, the results may be out in a matter of minutes or days. Your dermatologist will explain everything to you so you don’t have to worry about anything.
Treatment of Eczema on Eyelids:
Whichever type of eyelid dermatitis you’re suffering from (Atopic or irritant); the results are almost the same- itching, pains, irritation, swelling, and redness, etc. And both types can be successfully treated and completely eliminated by strictly following a prescribed medication, lifestyle change or simple home remedies. You can achieve total elimination and restoration by simply following these 4 steps:
Identify Potential Causes of the Symptoms
Although because of the numerous allergens and/or irritants in the environment it’s always very difficult to pinpoint the causes of your symptoms and if your skin is highly sensitive, substances you once tolerated may turn out to be the major cause of your symptoms. However, knowing exactly what’s responsible for your symptoms is one of the surest ways to eliminate the chances of recurrence in the long run.
Identifying and eliminating the causes of your symptoms is your first and best defense mechanism.
- If it’s food, eliminate it completely from your diet.
- If it’s a skincare product, ensure to use only personal care products and cleansers made from all-natural ingredients.
- Try to keep your eyelids and hands clean and avoid any form or scratching or rubbing. Keep a diary of all the food you eat and skin care products use daily to enable you to identify what caused the symptoms when the symptoms started and how they started.
Use of Medication
Have you decided to try over-the-counter topical treatment? Please, endeavor to check the ingredients list to confirm they don’t contain preservatives you’re allergic to which may potentially aggravate your symptoms. Check out and avoid anyone that that contains Parabens, Lanolin, Formaldehyde and/or added fragrance.
Since most of the known symptoms of eyelid eczema respond actively to corticosteroids and/or antibiotics, your dermatologist may prescribe the use of oral corticosteroids to reduce itching, swelling, and inflammation. However, the use of corticosteroids especially on the skin especially around the eye is largely discouraged due to some damaging side effects.
NOTE: The use of corticosteroids around delicate skin tissue of the eyes can initiate other health-related problems including Glaucoma, discoloration, and spider vein. If you must use any form of steroids, please, strictly adhere to your doctor’s prescription. And, if you notice any sign of harmful side effects, discontinue immediately and report to your doctor.
Probiotics or oral sulfur supplements may also help you to alleviate your symptoms.
Use skin care products
Some skin care products can help to relieve, treat or eradicate your symptoms too. Products like CeraVe cleanser, Dove (a non-soap cleanser), Petroleum jelly (a thin coat applied to the area) and more.
Avoid any form of makeup or scented cleansers including hypoallergenic cosmetics while using these recommended products.
There are limitless numbers of cheap and proven home remedies that’ll effectively help you to eradicate any kind of symptoms if you’re committed. Here are a few home remedies to try out among many others:
- Use wraparound goggles when working in a dusty or contaminated environment to eliminate irritations.
- Use cucumber slices to rub the affected area
- Use of Aloe vera gel for eczema on eyelids.
- Coconut oil. This works perfectly if consistently used.
- Use a Sea Spray. Drying a wet or oozing eczema works better and offer quick relief than moisturizing it.
- Magnesium bath
- Avoid contacts with all allergens confirmed by the patch test
- Use fermented Cod Liver Oil
- Probiotics offer a great relief too.
- Use a Homemade Healing Salve
- Eat high gelatin-content foods.
Of course, there are a limitless number of home remedies that’ll help relieve your symptoms or eradicate them completely. However, most of these are just trial-and-error approaches without any scientific backing. So, ensure to discontinue any home remedy that seems not to offer any relief or tend to worsen your symptoms. Don’t forget you have numerous options to choose from while sourcing for a solution to your identified symptoms so, go for the best option that serves you better.