Eczema is a chronic inflammatory skin condition. It is characterized by the appearance of red patches on the skin and itching. The area around the eyes and the eyelids are relatively common locations for eczema. What are the solutions to reduce eyelid and eye eczema?
Eczema of the eyes and eyelids: what are the solutions?
- What are the symptoms of eczema of the eyes and eyelids?
- What are the causes of eczema on the eyes and eyelids?
- Eczema of the eyes and eyelids: determining the cause
- How to soothe eczema on the eyes and eyelids?
What are the symptoms of eczema of the eyes and eyelids?
The eye contour, as well as the upper and lower eyelids, are thin and delicate areas. They are thus prone to inflammation and often subject to eczema. The symptoms of eye and eyelid eczema vary from one person to another. They usually start with a subtle redness before evolving into a marked irritation.
This condition is accompanied by feelings of tightness, tingling, itching, and burning sensations. Red patches also appear. In addition, areas of peeling are often visible around the eye contour.
Despite the itching caused by eczema, it is crucial to not scratch as this exacerbates inflammation and promotes the formation of edema, that is, the excessive swelling of the lower and/or upper eyelid.
What are the causes of eczema on the eyes and eyelids?
Eczema of the eyes and eyelids can be caused by a genetic predisposition and an atopic condition, meaning a tendency to react easily to common substances such as pollen or animal hair. In this case, it is referred to as atopic eczema. It is also possible that the reaction occurs following contact with an irritating substance or a specific allergen, without any particular genetic predisposition. In this case, it is referred to as contact eczema. Generally, eczema of the eyes and eyelids is a type of contact eczema. This contact can be either direct or indirect.
The product comes directly into contact with the eyes or eyelids, triggering an allergic reaction. The culprits are often toiletry or hygiene products such as eye contour creams, shampoos, or hair dyes. Certain medical treatments can also cause eczema of the eyes and eyelids. These can include eye drops, contact lenses, or ophthalmic ointments, for example.
Through indirect contact, four types of eczema can appear on the eyes and eyelids.
Hand-transferred eczema : It is caused by rubbing the eyes with the hands. The reaction may be due to a skincare product or an allergen touched by the hands, such as nail polish, skin care products, or metallic objects.
Airborne Eczema : This type of eczema develops due to allergens carried in the air, including pollens, animal fur, dust, or perfumes.
Proxy Eczema : it is triggered by the interaction of one person with another. This could be, for example, a parent who has dyed their hair and then a strand comes into contact with their child's eyelids.
Phototriggered Eczema: some individuals are highly sensitive to sunlight and develop eyelid and eye eczema following exposure to the sun.
Eczema of the eyes and eyelids: determining the cause.
The allergic reaction causing eye and eyelid eczema does not always trigger immediately after contact with the irritating substance. Therefore, it can sometimes be difficult to identify the source of the allergy. To confirm the allergen, it is recommended to consult a dermatologist-allergist.
This health professional can then offer you several tests that will allow them to make an accurate diagnosis on the cause of the irritation. These tests are often conducted via the application of patch tests. Once the allergen is identified, it is crucial to avoid future contact with it as much as possible.
In addition, to prevent the recurrence of eye and eyelid eczema, it is recommended to cleanse your face morning and evening with a gentle and natural care product, and to always wash your hands before touching your face. This will limit the risks of future contact with an allergen.
How to soothe eczema on the eyes and eyelids?
Following a medical consultation, your dermatologist has likely prescribed you anti-inflammatory creams. These are typically topical corticosteroids, treatments designed to soothe the itching caused by eczema and combat irritation. The eye contour area is delicate, so do not apply a topical corticosteroid intended for another part of the body without prior medical advice.
emollient to moisturize and nourish the delicate skin of the eyelids and strengthen the skin barrier there. This should be done at least once a day to observe its effectiveness.
To combat the itching caused by eczema, you can also apply cold compresses to your eyelids. Indeed, cold is an ally against itching. Spraying thermal water on the eyes is another solution because this ingredient is rich in minerals and trace elements and has soothing properties that will help alleviate the itching.
GOLDENBERG G. & al. Eczema. The Mount Sinai Journal of Medicine (2011).
BORRADORI L. & al. Dermatologie et infections sexuellement transmissibles. Elsevier Masson (2017).