A number of skin conditions are collectively referred to as eczema. In all of them, red, scaly and very itchy patches form on affected areas of the skin.
Two main types of eczema can occur around the eyes, especially on eyelids. These are called contact and atopic dermatitis. (Dermatitis is usually used interchangeably with eczema). Differences between them can rarely be noticed on photos.
Babies are most likely to develop atopic dermatitis. The condition can however appear regardless of age. Without treatment, eczema on the eyelid can cause the eye to swell, become irritated and itch terribly. It can also encourage other types such as eczema on the upper lip or behind the ears. Luckily, there are several ways by which the condition can be treated successfully.
Symptoms and causes of eyelid eczema
The body system is not always perfect. Sometimes, a common food product, for example, can be interpreted as a foreign product by the immune system. In response, certain parts of the body will inflame, one of the mechanisms by which harmful agents are kept from the body. Such a reaction can lead to allergic, better known as atopic dermatitis. Common allergens include rubber, latex, dairy and soy products, pollen, contact lenses, some medications and some skin care products.
It can also happen that one’s skin is sensitive to some chemical, plant and so on. When the skin comes into contact with the irritant, a reaction meant to force retreat is induced. Sometimes, the effects may appear on other parts of the skin different from where the contact occurred. In such case, irritant contact dermatitis may develop on the eyelid. Common irritants include chlorine, hot temperatures, insect bites and some cosmetics.
Since the skin covering the eyelids is very thin, these areas are very prone to enough traumas to trigger eczema. Irritants and allergens are the main causes of eyelid eczema.
In any eczema definition, regardless of the type of eczema being defined, red, itchy and dry patches on the skin will be mentioned. Symptoms of eczema on the eyelid persist for a long time in some people. In others, they may keep appearing and disappearing. The symptoms can appear on one or both eyes. They include:
- Swelling of the eye(s)
- Red scaly patches
- With time, the patches will thicken and may form blisters and crusts.
How to treat eczema on the eyelid
Depending on a number of factors such as the extremity of the condition, the following eyelid eczema treatment options are available:
Moisturizing creams and ointments
The common symptom in all eczema cases is red, dry patches. If left alone, the dryness can go to the extent of forming cracks. To avoid this, doctors usually recommend a moisturizing cream or ointment. They are meant to keep from moisture loss. Creams are less viscous compared to ointments. They are better used during daytime while ointments are best applied at night. It is best that a doctor be the one to choose the right cream or ointment for your case.
A number of such medications are available, both over the counter and with prescription. Most of them rely on mild steroids to reduce inflammations. 1% hydrocortisone cream is a good example. Depending on how the eczema is reacting to treatment, stronger anti-inflammatory medications can be prescribed. Ensure to consult with your doctor before using such medications, even when they are available over the counter.
Antibiotics and antihistamines
Bacterial infections are common when eczema is involved. Antibiotics can therefore be prescribed to address that issue. They are very necessary for dyshidrotic eczema treatment, since the hands and feet are more likely to collect bacteria. Antihistamines on the other hand help relieve symptoms such as burning and itchiness.
As mentioned earlier, eczema on eyelid may be as a result of allergic reactions. Some drugs can be administered to suppress the immune system. This treatment option is usually the last option.
Phototherapy is a non-medical treatment approach. As the name suggests, it relies on the ability of UV rays to boost skin health. If done correctly, the treatment is usually very effective. It can however take a long time to be permanently effective.
Eczema on eyelids home remedies
When it comes to how to treat eczema on the eyelids, some home remedies can prove to be of help. Eczema on eyelids home remedies work best when used on mild eczema.
Aloe is a strong antiseptic and with skin soothing abilities. It is also very mild and can be used by people with sensitive skins. The herb is one of the best natural remedies for eczema.
Olive oil is known for its anti-aging skin benefits. It can also help ease skin irritations on eyelids. Furthermore, the oil can help keep from bacterial infections.
Apple cider vinegar
If you are familiar with this home remedy, you know that its use on sensitive parts of the body is not advised. The secret is in knowing the right way to dilute it. About three cups of water should be added to a quarter cup of the solution. After application, leave it for about 15 minutes and then rinse with water.
Raw oatmeal works by keeping skin moisture from evaporating. It also helps in non-abrasive skin exfoliation. A solution made from finely ground oatmeal and water can be used to rinse the affected eyelids twice a day.
Coconut oil is a mild moisturizer and an antiseptic. It also helps soothe irritation due to eczema. The oil can be applied directly to the affected areas. Since the oil is largely made up of fats, it can be used as a hair and scalp moisturizer. In fact, it is one of the best home remedies for eczema on the scalp.
Fish oil supplements
These supplements contain omega-3 fatty acids. The fatty acids are not only helpful in regards to skin health but also help boost immunity.
Some habits such as smoking, sugary diets, a lot of caffeine and alcohol intake encourage and worsen symptoms of eczema on eyelid. Much the same can be said about high stress levels. Try maintaining healthy diets with a lot of fruits and drinking at least 6 glasses of water per day.
Tips on how to treat eczema and symptoms
- Use non-fragrance skin care products and cosmetics
- Apply moisturizers such as ones containing almond oil and cocoa always after bath
- Consider eczema on eyelids home remedies such as aloe Vera
- Find out more about the possible triggers and causes for your case
- Increase your vitamins A, E and D. They all are involved in improved skin health. They are available in food products but can also be sourced from supplements. Zinc and sulfur deficiency also worsen eczema symptoms.
- Keep away from long exposure to direct sunlight. This also goes for any allergen or irritant you may have identified as a probable trigger.
Precautions for how to treat eczema on eyelids
Both allergic and irritant contact dermatitis can affect vision. Irritation on the eyelid causes swelling which in turn compromises vision. Some studies have linked the condition to cataracts and retinal complications.
Furthermore, some attempts on how to treat eczema on eyelid can be of harmful consequences to the eyes. Be sure to seek guidance from a doctor before considering any treatment option. This is especially when using home remedies and OTC eyelid eczema treatment medications.
As far as how to remove eczema on the eyelids for children, the best approach is to get prescribed with steroid eye drops. This is because the condition tends to be more severe in children, to a point of spreading to the inner sides of the eyelids.
Eczema may keep coming back even after the initial successful treatment. For this reason, it is good for you to learn more on therapeutic treatment approaches. This is a treatment approach that seeks to not only heal but prevent recurrent flare-ups from happening.