Eczema around your eyes can be painful and frustrating. Learn what causes it, what to look for, and the best tips for treating it at home.

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Eczema Around Your Eyes: What To Know And How To Treat It

07/05/20228 min read

No one wants to experience eczema around their eyes. It can be dry, itchy, red, scaly, and irritating. But just because you don’t want to deal with something doesn’t mean you won’t. Unfortunately, eczema around the eye area is very common.

At Bodewell, we know what it’s like to suffer from less-than-ideal skin. Below, you’ll discover what causes this irritation and, most importantly, steps that you can take today to treat it at home.

Table Of Contents

What Is Eczema Around Eyes?

Woman touching her face

First things first: The eye area tends to be very sensitive, and it’s not uncommon for your eyes to get itchy from time to time. But how do you know you have eczema around your eyes and aren’t just dealing with a regular itchy area?

Let’s break down some common symptoms you may experience to help you understand the difference.


Some of your symptoms may include the following:

  1. Itching that gets worse at night
  2. Skin that becomes thick and scaly, sometimes forming scabs
  3. Skin that is dry
  4. Tiny raised bumps on the skin that leak fluid when scratched or irritated
  5. Scratched skin that is raw, swollen, and sensitive
  6. Red, gray, or brown patches

Note: Eczema should never be self-diagnosed because it can resemble multiple skin conditions. Before self-treating, remember to consult your doctor about your symptoms.

Common Causes Of Eczema Around Eyes

Now that we’ve established what eczema around the eye area looks and feels like, it’s important to discuss some of the common reasons you may be experiencing this skin issue.

1) Contact Dermatitis

Eyelid with severe eczema

Contact dermatitis is sometimes referred to as contact eczema. This is basically when your skin becomes inflamed and irritated, and it is usually in response to something that causes an allergic reaction.

If you have sensitive skin, you may be more prone to contact dermatitis, which can cause your eyelids to become scaly, red, or discolored. Contact dermatitis around your eyes can affect the upper lids, lower lids, or both. If symptoms persist, your eyelids may thicken.

The severity of the condition will differ from person to person, and, in some cases, your eyes may even sting and burn.

2) Atopic Dermatitis

The most common type of eczema is atopic dermatitis. It affects adults more than children and can be caused by your genetics, environment, or a combination of the two.

Flare-ups can be triggered by:

  1. Climate pollution: dry, cold air and extreme temperature variations
  2. Certain microbes on clothing that scratch the skin
  3. Certain foods allergens (such as dust mites or pet dander) stress sweat

If you have atopic dermatitis, it can also appear around your eyelids in the form of red, dry, and scaly skin.

3) Seborrhoeic Dermatitis

Seborrhoeic dermatitis is a common form of eczema that mainly affects the scalp area. However, it can also affect your face, ears, brows, and eyes. This skin condition leaves the affected area greasy, swollen, and covered in a white or yellowish crust.

If seborrhoeic dermatitis is the reason you have eczema around your eyes, you may experience it specifically on the edges of your eyes or eyelid margins.

Serious complications from this type of eczema are, thankfully, rare. However, sometimes people who have it run the risk of developing a bacterial infection on their eyelids.

By now, you probably have a better idea of what may be causing you to experience eczema around your eye area. So, let’s get into some effective at-home treatment options you can turn to.

3 Effective Ways To Treat Your Eye Eczema

1) Practice Proper Skincare

Woman applying face cream in the mirror

One of your best defenses against eczema around the eyes is through a proper skincare routine.

By “proper,” we mean:

  1. Avoiding the use of harsh soaps and chemicals on your face
  2. Washing your skin with a gentle cleanser
  3. Moisturizing with a gentle cleanser that’s free from harsh chemicals
  4. Avoiding greasy face moisturizers
  5. Removing eye makeup with a damp cotton pad
  6. Avoiding scented face creams

One of our favorite methods for treating eczema is to use our Eczema Daily Calming Cream. With colloidal oatmeal and a mix of botanicals, this blend of ingredients helps heal and soothe your skin. When using this product, be careful not to get any in your eyes.

It’s also important to note that, while it may be challenging right now, it’s essential to have as little contact with your eyes and face as possible. Your hands are constantly touching different surfaces, and any bacteria that you pick can further aggravate your symptoms.

If you have to touch your eyes, be sure to wash your hands thoroughly before and after.

2) Try Home Remedies

You can try a variety of home remedies and over-the-counter medications. However, before proceeding, you should consult with your doctor. To get rid of your eczema, you may need to use a combination of treatments.

You might want to start with home-based eczema treatments. Consider the following options:

  1. Apply a cold compress to the inflamed area to reduce itching, swelling, and redness
  2. Use a humidifier in dry areas, and avoid extreme hot and cold temperatures
  3. Apply honey topically to alleviate symptoms
  4. Apply a thick, unscented moisturizer or cream to the affected area
  5. Avoid wearing makeup or other irritants while the eczema is flaring
  6. Trim your fingernails to avoid scratching or irritating the itchy eczema
  7. Avoid using olive oil because it can harm the delicate skin around your eyes

One thing we haven’t spoken about is the effect that stress can have on your skin. The busyness of everyday life can contribute to stress, which may aggravate eczema symptoms.

While it’s impossible to completely stop stress, it’s essential to find methods that can help you reduce it in your life. These may include exercise, yoga, or talking to a friend or professional.

3) Avoid Irritants

Keep in mind that the everyday products your family uses can have an impact on your skin, especially if it’s sensitive.

For example, lotions, perfumes, and detergents may rub off on your skin and further aggravate your symptoms. Make every effort to eliminate irritants from your home.

Here are a few common irritants to be aware of:

  1. Harsh chemicals in laundry detergents
  2. Soaps with high lather
  3. Sweat
  4. Pollen and dust

In addition, sometimes your diet can trigger eczema flare-ups. If this is the case, you may need to avoid certain foods, like:

  1. Milk
  2. Soy
  3. Eggs
  4. Wheat

In addition to avoiding the above triggers, you can also lessen your symptoms by:

  1. Bathing or showering in warm rather than hot water
  2. Shortening your bath or shower time
  3. Applying moisturizer while your skin is still damp from the shower or bath

When To Contact The Doctor

Doctor examining woman’s skin for eczema around eyes

Eczema can increase your chances of developing other conditions because your skin can become raw, making you more susceptible to bacteria entering your bloodstream.

Skin conditions that commonly affect those with eczema on their eyelids include:

  1. Corneal inflammation (keratitis): When your cornea becomes inflamed, your eyeball becomes infected, resulting in pain and discomfort, watering, and light sensitivity. Because of the infection, your cornea's shape may change, causing changes in your vision.
  2. Pink eye (conjunctivitis): Pink eye is distinguished by redness on the whites of your eyes, itchiness, sensitivity to light, persistent watering, and the presence of a sticky substance that crusts.
  3. Light sensitivity: When it is dark at night, you may find it challenging to drive. You may also experience increased sun sensitivity.
  4. Nearsightedness: Permanent changes to your vision, such as nearsightedness, can occur, affecting your ability to see far away.

If you experience any of the conditions above, contact your medical professional immediately.

Say Goodbye To Eczema Around Your Eyes

Woman applying moisturizer to eczema around eyes

Eczema is a common skin condition that affects millions of people in the U.S. It also affects different areas of the body. If you find yourself experiencing eczema around your eyes, don’t panic.

The first thing to do is contact your doctor immediately so they can diagnose which type of eczema you have.

Once you have confirmation, they will often recommend a treatment plan for you. While at home, it’s important to take care of yourself by developing a proper skincare routine and avoiding common triggers that may aggravate your symptoms.

While it may be frustrating right now, remember that if you follow the doctor’s orders and the above self-care tips, within a few weeks (sometimes a few days), your eyes will look and feel better than ever.

Here’s to more good skin days!

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