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A Rash….On Your Eyelids?

By Megan Bramer, MMS, PA-C

Eyelid dermatitis, or a rash on the eyelids, is a very common skin condition.  Eyelids have the thinnest skin of the whole body so they are most susceptible to irritation. Eyelid dermatitis presents as dry, red, itchy skin and can have many causes.    

The winter months in cold and dry climates can bring out eyelid dermatitis as a form of eczema. Some people may have eczema or dry, itchy skin elsewhere, but it is very common on the eyelids because the skin is so thin. Eyelid dermatitis can also be due to an allergic reaction. This is usually caused by something you come in contact with, but determining the item can be tricky. It can be something that you are applying directly to your eyelids, or it can be something that is on your hands, fingers, or nails, and then gets transferred to your eyelids when itching or scratching your eyes.   

The best way to treat eyelid dermatitis is to start with basic skin care. Use a gentle cleanser to wash your face and apply a gentle moisturizing cream daily. Refrain from using any acne or anti-aging skin care products or makeup on the eye area.  A dermatologist may prescribe a medicated cream, but if the rash still persists, allergy testing may be recommended.  Although treatable, people who have this condition usually need to maintain a gentle skin care routine and use hypoallergenic makeup to ensure the rash doesn’t return.

Eyelid dermatitis presents as red, dry, itchy skin around the eyelids.  Pain, swelling, drainage, or pimple-like bumps are not commonly associated with eyelid dermatitis. If these symptoms occur, see your doctor for evaluation and treatment. 

Topics and Subtopics: Skin Health

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