Eczema on Eyelids [Causes and Cures]

What causes Eczema on Eyelids and how to treat the condition.

Eczema on your eyelids is condition that affects your eyelid skin. This is an inflammatory reaction caused by a trigger substance.

The condition may occur as a result of irritation and allergic reaction. This condition may result to irritation, swollenness, and itching.

There are two types of eyelid dermatitis namely; irritant contact dermatitis and atopic/allergic contact dermatitis.


Irritant Eyelid Dermatitis

This condition is an innate inflammatory reaction caused by skin injury. This condition doesn’t involve specific antibodies or immune cells. There are many causes of this condition. We will look at some of the most common causes of irritant eyelid dermatitis. Below are the triggers.

  • Acids and alkalis
  • Dust particles
  • Soap and detergents
  • Chlorine chemical
  • Cosmetics such as eye shadow, eyeliner, sunscreen and mascara
  • Hydrophobic substances

These substances can either have direct entry into your eyelids or indirectly through your hands. Lets look at the physical triggers of this condition:

  • Humidity extremes (moist or dry)
  • Temp extremes (cold or hot)
  • Mechanical physical causes that may involve scratching or rubbing.

Anyone can be a victim of this condition but it is more common in people that have sensitive skin. The condition is also common in people with a background of atopic eczema(1), hayfever and asthma. If you have a pre-existing inflammation on the skin. Then your skin waterproof barrier can get compromised. This may increase the chances of contact dermatitis.

Symptoms of Irritant Eyelid Dermatitis

It is important to know that this is a serious condition that affects the skin of the eye. If you see or experience the below symptoms, you need to see the doctor. Below are the symptoms.

  1. Itching
  2. Swelling
  3. Burning sensation or pain
  4. Irritated skin scaly or red rash
  5. Creased skin, thickened.

Diagnosis of Irritant Dermatitis

For this condition to be easily diagnosed, the doctor must first and foremost learn the characteristics and of course the causes. We have already outlined the causes of this condition. Before the doctor prescribes the right medication, he must look at the following characteristics

  • The doctor will look if there is an itchy rash that affects either one or both eyelids. The rash may occur continuously or intermittently
  • Suspicions that it may have been aggravated or caused by contact with irritants
  • If there is pre-existing atopic eczema or sensitive skin
  • The doctor will perform a patch test to determine if you have had an allergic reaction.

Allergic Contact Dermatitis

This is another condition that affects the sensitive part of the eye skin. This condition is a form of eyelid dermatitis/eyelids eczema. The condition is caused by an immune reaction triggers called allergens. After you have contacts with allergens that cause the condition, you may experience some kind of rash. We will look at the causes of this condition and much more.

What Triggers Allergic Contact Dermatitis

This condition is caused by direct exposure and contacts with allergens. For example, allergy to cosmetics may be as a result of contacts with allergens in:

  1. Eye creams
  2. Emollients and moisturizers
  3. Makeups
  4. Sunscreens
  5. Cleansers
  6. Jewelry containing gold and nickel
  7. Fragrances and essential oils

Other potential allergens may also be found in:

  • Contact lens solution
  • Eyelash curlers or tweezers
  • Eye drops. This may include antiseptics and eye drops
  • Rubber goggles
  • Spectacle frames

Eyelid contact dermatitis can also occur even if you were indirectly exposed to allergens. This is because indirect exposure may result in poor transfer of allergens through rubbing and touching the eyelids. Some of these allergens may include:

  • Fragrances
  • Nickel from metal coins and cloth fastenings
  • Nail cosmetics
  • Hair dye

As we have seen, this condition can be triggered by airborne allergens such as pollens and dust mite. Composite allergy is the best example of airborne allergen that causes eyelid dermatitis.

Who is at risk of getting allergic contact dermatitis

This condition can affect anyone. No one is immune or safe from this condition. The condition is more common in people with atopic eczema and sensitive skin. These people have a higher chance of getting the problem than those who haven’t heard skin related conditions. It is now obvious that contact with allergens may cause this condition.

Diagnosis of Eyelid Dermatitis

The doctor will first check and identify the characteristics that include

An itchy rash that affects either one or both eyelids. Of course it can occur intermittently at regular intervals of days, months or years. The doctor will also check if he suspects that the condition may have been caused or aggravated by direct or indirect contact with allergens. Of course the patch tests will also be conducted to help determine the trigger of the allergic reaction and the best medication.

The Treatment

We will now look at the treatment of contact dermatitis. Of course it is very important to avoid irritants known to cause this condition. You should also avoid potential allergens that cause the condition.

This is one of the most important steps toward achieving a healthy skin. By doing this, you will be able to help form a waterproof barrier and thus preventing the effects of dermatitis. Below are important steps that you should take

  • Avoid scratching and rubbing
  • Never touch your eyelids with dirty hands. After you wash your hands, always rinse it using a clean towel.
  • When you’re washing your eyelids, do it with clean water. You can also use cream cleanser meant for sensitive skin.
  • Avoid contacts with allergens that were detected when the patch test was done. This is a very important thing to do.
  • Every time you’re getting exposed to cold water, ensure you wear protective spectacles. Goggles will also protect you from scratching your eyelids.


Your eyes are among the most important parts of the body. If you notice any symptom associated with this condition, it is very necessary to consult the physician. The doctor will give you the way forward and conduct the necessary tests.

Those who avoid direct contacts with allergens are less likely to fall victim of this condition.

Your eyes should always be taken care of and you should always avoid anything that will trigger this condition. There are direct causes and indirect causes. Always contact the doctor in case you have this problem.

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