Eczema is a skin condition in which patches of skin become swollen, itchy, reddish, and cracked. Blisters may also occur in some cases.
It most commonly affects children, although adults can also get it. Eczema is also called atopic dermatitis. Treatment includes oral medications, steroids, topical creams and laser/light therapy.
Your skin around the eyes is thinner and more delicate as compared to the skin of other areas. This may make the area under eyes and around eyes more susceptible to rashes or irritations caused by skin diseases such as eczema.
Eczema under the eyes or eczema on eyelids can be challenging to manage and treat because of the sensitive skin in this area. Eyelid or eye swelling may affect your vision and cause severe complications if not attended timely and properly. Treatment of eczema around eyes focuses on keeping the affected area moist, reducing the inflammation under eyes and avoiding exposure to irritants or any triggers.
See also: An Overview of Eczema
See also: What Causes Eczema?
Common symptoms and signs of eczema on eyelids or around eyes are:
Diagnosis of eyelid contact dermatitis is done by identifying its characteristic features in a physical examination. These features are:
Patch tests can be recommended by your doctor to confirm the allergens that trigger the flare ups of eyelid eczema.
Read more: Eczema Diagnosis and Tests
It is important to keep the eyes and area around the eyes clean. Avoid touching it or scratching it. This can otherwise further spread the irritation and infection.
It is helpful to identify the irritants, allergens and triggers that can cause flare ups of eczema, and avoid coming in contact with them. Common triggers of eczema on eyelids are:
You can use the following treatment options for managing the symptoms of eczema under eyes or eyelids:
Calcineurin inhibitors: It is used to treat inflammatory problems, such as atopic dermatitis (eczema) and psoriasis. It can be applied as cream or taken orally. You should not use it without doctor’s prescription as it can suppress immune function.
Corticosteroids: these are steroid-based creams that can be applied to the eyelids to treat inflammation, dryness, and other symptoms of eczema around eyes. Corticosteroids can be taken orally if the symptoms are severe. These creams should e use carefully. If used close to the eye, there is a risk of severe eye problems such as glaucoma when used for longer time periods.
Moisturizing creams: Creams that moisturize the skin can help relieve dryness and itching caused due to eczema. A variety of creams are available through prescription or over the counter. They are usually more effective for treating mild cases of eczema in eyes.
Allergic contact dermatitis (eczema): Allergic contact dermatitis occurs as a result of an allergic reaction that causes inflammation of the skin. Certain cosmetic products or metals, such as nickel are common causes of allergic eczema.
Seborrheic dermatitis: Seborrheic dermatitis can cause the skin to become swollen with flakes. It usually affects the scalp but can also affect other areas of the body, such as the eyelids or areas around eyes.
Irritant contact dermatitis: It is caused when the eyelid comes in direct contact of something that can damage the outer layer of the skin. Certain types of cosmetics, soaps, face-washes, and detergents can cause this type of eczema.
Atopic dermatitis: Atopic dermatitis is a type of eczema that can affect the eyelids or areas around the eyes.
It is not exactly known what causes conditions such as atopic dermatitis. Scientists believe that genetic factors may play some role. The disease can run in family.
You can take the following steps to prevent outbreaks and flare ups of eyelid dermatitis (eyelid eczema):
The causes and triggers of eyelid dermatitis or eyelid eczema may vary. Not everyone can get the symptoms with same types of triggers. It is therefore important to understand the most important triggers that cause the flare ups in your eyelids.
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