Eyelid Dermatitis: What to Do When Itch Strikes
There are several things that can cause irritated eyelids, including eczema, which causes dry itchy skin, a rash, and other symptoms. Unfortunately, no part of your skin is eczema-immune. Here’s what to do when your eczema decides to show up on your eyelids:
Refrain from touching it
Touching any part of your skin that’s already red will only make things worse. Remember that your eyelids protect one of the most important parts of your body, the eyes. Touching or scratching too much might affect even your vision.
Avoid your triggers
If you have atopic dermatitis, as the cliche goes, prevention is better than cure. If you steer clear of your triggers, or if doing so isn’t enough to calm your eczema, you may need some extra help. Knowing exactly what’s actually causing the rash on your eyelids will help you treat it as best as possible.
Consult your doctor
Experts usually recommend topical corticosteroids to battle inflammation, but these can be too strong on your eyelid skin, and can also cause thinning of the eyelids and the skin around the eyes. They usually prescribe non-steroidal creams for those who need long-term help treating their eyelid eczema. Non-steroidal creams work by tamping down on your overactive immune system or suppressing inflammation.
Moisturize your eyelids and make sure that you only use the gentlest options. Look for products labeled sensitive, fragrance-free, and hypoallergenic. It’s also smart to look for eye creams specifically, since they’re formulated with that area in mind.
Look out for other eye issues
The more severe your eyelid eczema is, the more likely it is that you might experience other eye problems. There are three eye conditions that people with eyelid eczema should look out for: pink eye, keratitis, and keratoconus.
Pink eye or conjunctivitis happens when the conjunctiva or the thin clear tissue lining your eyelids and the whites of your eyes becomes inflamed. It causes bloodshot eyes, itching, and tearing.
Keratitis is an inflammation of the cornea, which may cause eye pain, redness, sensitivity to light, excessive tearing or discharge, and blurry vision.
Keratoconus is an extreme one, because it’s a condition in which the cornea changes from its usual round shape to a bulging cone shape, creating blurry or distorted vision and sensitivity to light.