Eczema is a chronic inflammatory skin condition. It is characterised by the emergence of red patches on the epidermis and by itching. The eye contour and eyelids are relatively common sites for eczema. What are the solutions to reduce eyelid and eye eczema?
Eczema of the eyes and eyelids: what solutions?
- What are the symptoms of eczema of the eyes and eyelids?
- What are the causes of eczema of the eyes and eyelids?
- Eczema of the eyes and eyelids: determining the cause
- How to soothe eczema of 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, as well as burning sensations. Red patches also appear. In addition, areas of flaking are often visible around the eye contour.
Despite the itching caused by eczema, it is crucial to not scratch as this exacerbates the inflammation and promotes the formation of oedema, that is, the excessive swelling of the lower and/or upper eyelid.
What are the causes of eczema of the eyes and eyelids?
Eczema of the eyes and eyelids can be caused by a genetic predisposition and an atopic condition, that is, easily reacting to common substances such as pollen or animal hair. In this case, it is a atopic eczema. It is also possible that the reaction occurs following contact with an irritating substance or a defined allergen, without any particular genetic predisposition. In this case, it is a contact eczema. Generally, eczema of the eyes and eyelids is a contact eczema. This contact can be 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 could be 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 triggered 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 treatments, or metallic objects.
Airborne Eczema : This type of eczema develops due to allergens carried in the air, including pollens, animal fur, dust, or perfumes.
Vicarious 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. As a result, it can sometimes be difficult to identify the source of the allergy. To confirm the allergen, it is recommended to consult a dermatologist specialising in allergies.
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 carried out via the application of patch-tests. Once the allergen is identified, it is crucial to avoid coming into contact with it again in the future.
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 of the eyes and eyelids?
Following a medical consultation, your dermatologist will likely have 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 being delicate, do not apply a topical corticosteroid intended for another part of the body without the prior advice of a doctor.
emollient to moisturise 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 around the eyes is another solution as this ingredient is rich in minerals and trace elements and has soothing properties that will help to 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).