Eyelid dermatitis is an inflammatory condition involving the skin of upper and/or lower eyelids. It can be due to irritants and or allergens that come into contact with the skin. While it is more common in patients with history of eczema or sensitive skin, it can be seen in any patient and at any age.
Itching, burning, stinging, redness, dryness, and scaling. Over time, eyelid skin can become thickened with increased skin folds.
Because eyelid skin is so thin, it is especially sensitive to allergens and irritants. This makes it one of the most common (and first) places on the body to develop contact dermatitis. While we often first think of the things that we are putting on our eyelids as the obvious culprits, even substances that are not coming into direct contact with our eyelids can cause a reaction, due to transfer from our hands.
Some of the most common causes of eyelid dermatitis include cleansers (including face wash, makeup wipes, shampoo, hand soap), eye creams, facial or hand moisturizers, sunscreens, makeup, perfumes/fragrances, essential oils, nail polish or false nails, hair dye, jewelry containing nickel, eyeglass frames, goggles, eyelash curlers, eye drops, contact lens solution, adhesive used to attach false eyelashes.
It is often difficult to identify the exact cause of your eyelid dermatitis. Your dermatologist may consider a special test called patch testing to help identify the underlying cause.
Completely avoiding the known or potential irritants or allergens is the most important part of
treatment. Only touch eyelids with clean hands. Avoid rubbing and scratching. Wash eyelids with plain water or fragrance free sensitive skin cleanser recommended by your dermatologist. Avoid eyelid cosmetics while dermatitis is active. Applying Vaseline® (petroleum jelly) to the eyelids at bedtime can help soothe and moisturize irritated skin.
Short course of low potency topical corticosteroids or topical calcineurin inhibitors (such as pimecrolimus or tacrolimus) may be prescribed by your dermatologist to treat active rash.
Eyelids are one of the most common and first places to see skin reactions to products
or substances that touch our skin. It is often chronic and recurrent. While identifying the exact cause may be difficult, avoiding common culprits is key to improving eyelid dermatitis.