Eyelid dermatitis, aka, eyelid eczema, manifests as a red, swollen, itchy rash. The skin may also have a rough, wrinkled, and thickened appearance if it’s been rubbed and scratched. This condition is common in women and in individuals with a history of sensitive skin or eczema. It may be caused by an allergic or irritant reaction to cleansers, eye creams, makeup, sunscreens, fragrances, essential oils, eye drops, or contact lens solutions with preservatives. Exposure and allergy to nickel (jewelry, tweezers, eyelash curlers) or gold (jewelry), adhesives from false eyelashes, certain nail cosmetics, and hair dyes may also be involved. Some are affected by airborne allergens including dust mites and plant pollens. Physical aggravating factors include extremes of temperature and humidity and rubbing or scratching.
- Avoiding rubbing and scratching.
- Wash eyelids with plain water or use a cream cleanser designed for sensitive skin.
- Avoid contact with irritants. Strictly avoid allergens that have been confirmed by patch tests — this is necessary life-long.
- Avoid eyelid cosmetics while the dermatitis is active.
- Wear protective wrap-around glasses if exposed to cold, wind, dust particles etc. Glasses can also make it easier to stop scratching and rubbing the eyelids.
Hypoallergenic moisturizers can relieve dryness and irritation and antihistamines are helpful to minimize itching. Occasionally, prescription medications, such as topical or oral steroids are required.
(Adapted from: https://dermnetnz.org/topics/eyelid-contact-dermatitis)