Adults With Eczema Should Watch For Eye Problems
Eye problems can be a fact of life for anyone living with atopic dermatitis , the most common type of eczema. AD can develop on your eyelids and around your eyes, causing itchy skin and red, swollen eyes.
If your eyes have felt this way for some time, you may pay little attention to eye problems. You should. Treatment can help you feel more comfortable, and possibly save your eyesight.
Found early and treated, most eye problems linked to atopic dermatitis can be successfully treated.
Symptoms Of Eyelid Dermatitis
Associative symptoms with eyelid dermatitis depend on whether the condition is periodic or chronic. The malady may affect one or both eyes, and the signs may differ depending on the causative factors. Common symptoms include:
- Creased and thickened skin
- Pain and a burning sensation
- A red or pinkish rash for people with light skin tones and a tan or dark brown rash for those with darker skin tones
How Do Doctors Treat Eyelid Dermatitis
Doctors usually dont have much trouble reaching a diagnosis where eyelid dermatitis is concerned the hard part is determining the underlying cause so they can start treatment.
But before that, doctors have to sort all of this out, starting with a patient history. That means tracking down as many facts as possible about your life, including your job, family, habits, home and friends. Its crucial to tell your doctor as much as possible about yourself to ensure all possible triggers are ruled in or out.
For example, if you already have sensitive skin, youre more likely to get dermatitis. There might even be something in your genes that makes you more prone to a flare-up. Things like diet and exercise might also play a role. So, if youre a jogger or a kick-boxer who does a lot of intense aerobic training and you have hay fever, you could be inhaling a lot of the allergen causing your outbreak.
Another way for doctors to narrow down the cause of eyelid dermatitis is to have the patient apply a small amount of a suspected irritant on the forearm for several days. If dermatitis symptoms occur there too, the mystery is most likely solved.
Once the cause is determined, the treatment may be as simple as breaking off all contact with the substance causing the trouble. That means no eye makeup, for instance, until the dermatitis clears up.
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Diagnosing Eczema Near Your Eyes
Diagnosing eczema anywhere is actually super easy. They dont need to do lab tests or anything.
Your doctor will ask you a bunch of questions if youve had eczema in other places or have had any irritants near your eyes.
Once they ask some questions, theyll tell you if its eczema or not. The only extra step is that your doctor may want to do a patch test, which exposes an area of skin to allergens, to check for a reaction.
Prescription Treatments For Eczema Near Your Eyes
If home remedies and OTC medication dont do the job, your doctor can prescribe more intensive treatment. Severe and recurring eczema will probably require some kind of prescription medication.
Your eyes are pretty sensitive. This may limit the treatments your doc can offer because they want to protect your eyes condition from becoming more severe. Prescription eczema treatments that are safe to use near your eyes include:
- topical and oral corticosteroids
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Who Can Get Eczema On Eyelids
Anyone, even people who dont normally suffer from eczema on their body can get eczema on eyelids. Children are the most at risk as they cant communicate when the symptoms start. Dry and itchy patches on or around their eyelids are the first indication that theyre suffering from the condition. Adults will feel and see the symptoms and react to them quicker than a child. Watch out for unusual itching and rubbing of the eyes.
A Rashon Your Eyelids
Eyelid dermatitis, or a rash on the eyelids, is a very common skin condition. Eyelids have the thinnest skin of the whole body so they are most susceptible to irritation. Eyelid dermatitis presents as dry, red, itchy skin and can have many causes.
The winter months in cold and dry climates can bring out eyelid dermatitis as a form of eczema. Some people may have eczema or dry, itchy skin elsewhere, but it is very common on the eyelids because the skin is so thin. Eyelid dermatitis can also be due to an allergic reaction. This is usually caused by something you come in contact with, but determining the item can be tricky. It can be something that you are applying directly to your eyelids, or it can be something that is on your hands, fingers, or nails, and then gets transferred to your eyelids when itching or scratching your eyes.
The best way to treat eyelid dermatitis is to start with basic skin care. Use a gentle cleanser to wash your face and apply a gentle moisturizing cream daily. Refrain from using any acne or anti-aging skin care products or makeup on the eye area. A dermatologist may prescribe a medicated cream, but if the rash still persists, allergy testing may be recommended. Although treatable, people who have this condition usually need to maintain a gentle skin care routine and use hypoallergenic makeup to ensure the rash doesnt return.
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Breast And Vaginal Eczema: The Fix
Regarding the genital region specifically, excess cortisone can also increase the risk of getting a yeast or fungal infection as a warm area that accumulates moisture, its already predisposed to these types of infection. If cortisone is causing issues, you can instead apply a soothing ointment, such as Vaseline or Aquaphor, to provide a barrier that minimizes further irritation.
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How To Use Topical Corticosteroids
Do not be afraid to apply the treatment to affected areas to control your eczema.
Unless instructed otherwise by a doctor, follow the directions on the patient information leaflet that comes with your medicine.
This will give details of how much to apply.
Most people only have to apply it once a day as there’s no evidence there’s any benefit to applying it more often.
When using a topical corticosteroid:
- apply your emollient first and ideally wait around 30 minutes until the emollient has soaked into your skin, or apply the corticosteroid at a different time of day
- apply the recommended amount of the topical corticosteroid to the affected area
- continue to use it until 48 hours after the flare-up has cleared so the inflammation under the skin surface is treated
Occasionally, your doctor may suggest using a topical corticosteroid less frequently, but over a longer period of time. This is designed to help prevent flare-ups.
This is sometimes called weekend treatment, where a person who has already gained control of their eczema uses the topical corticosteroid every weekend on the trouble sites to prevent them becoming active again.
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What If Its Just Ridiculously Itchy
If its unbearably itchy, obviously its only a matter of time before you lose your willpower and start scratching, and thats why I understand its so annoying, when people who dont have eczema say just stop scratching as if it was that easy!
Thats why you have my unique solution. Something I came up with using some common sense doctors seem to have not.
You use a topical anesthetic cream, you know the ones that they use so that surgeons can cut you open. Unsurprisingly they are powerful itch removed duh!
Lidocaine cream is used for tatoo removal. A thin dab of this over your eyelids will remove any itching. For this to work you need surgery grade Lidocaine cream. Not a doctor here, but its completely safe as they use lots and lots of it in tatoo parlours. There are Lidocaine creams for mosquito bites at 3-4% its just way too weak to have an effect on extremely itchy skin.
For how to do this properly read my next section about the Ring Finger technique.
Another point: Rubbing your eyes all the time makes you look older faster. The skin around your eyes is so fragile that constant rubbing or stretching will create fine lines much earlier than when they should appear . I have the scars to show for this one. The same goes if you constantly have eczema around your eyelids. The skin here is just very very vulnerable.
How Do You Determine The Cause Of The Allergy
You will need to remove the allergen from your daily routine, as well as any products or objects likely to contain the allergen. Take varnish for example it is not the varnish itself that is causing the allergy, but rather an allergen found in the varnish!
Identifying the culprit can be a complex task: the allergic reaction may appear long after the initial exposure or following indirect contact . Consult a doctor specializing in dermato-allergology. They will be able to guide your search and confirm any suspicions.
The doctor will conduct a thorough investigation by asking you questions on your habits at home and at work. They will also carry out allergy patch tests to identify the allergen or allergens responsible.
An allergic reaction is caused by an allergen, or molecule, and not by the object or product itself. With costume jewelry, for example, the allergy is to nickel.
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Will I Grow Out Of It
Yes, this is possible but you need to control and maintain the condition if you have it until hopefully, you grow out of it. Just the same as people with eczema who normally just past there teenage years start to see an improvement in their eczema the same can be said for eczema on eyelids. The best way to cure this condition is to try and eliminate the trigger points. Whats a trigger point? All eczema conditions have something that triggers a reaction and makes your condition worse. Treating eczema is all about finding those trigger points and eliminating them from your life. This can be anything from pets, allergic reactions to certain foods, Makeup, Dust, Damp and just about everything we come into contact with daily. One of the best ways is to track your day and try to spot recurring instances of flare-ups and connect them to a pattern.
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Lets say youre fine all day and you go visit a friend at their home. Later that day you start to rub and scratch your eyes. Make a diary of this as this will help you find the trigger points. Do they have pets in the home? Do they smoke? Did you eat something? All these may seem normal to most people but if you suffer from eczema they can all cause flare-ups and are called triggers.
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Is It Really Eczema
Its worth repeating that other skin conditionssuch as yeast and fungal infections, psoriasis, and herpesand certain ingredient allergies can sometimes look like eczema, so you want to make sure what you have is truly eczema.
Dr. Fusco recommends patch testing at a dermatologists office to identify anything that you could be allergic or hyper-sensitized to. If your physician finds that you do have an allergy to a specific ingredient, she can provide a comprehensive list of products that dont contain it.
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Whats The Best Eyelid Eczema Treatment
If you do have eczema on your eyelids, youll want to do your best to avoid your triggers. This can range from pretty easy to completely ludicrous, depending on what specifically incites your eczema. If you cant steer clear of your triggers, or if doing so isnt enough to calm your eyelid eczema, you may need some extra help from a pro.
This is one of the hardest forms of eczema to treat with medication because of the sensitive area we are treating, Dr. Rodney says. We have to make sure your eyemeaning your eyeballis safe, as some prescriptions can lead to complications like glaucoma.
To treat any form of eczema, experts will often recommend topical corticosteroids to battle inflammation, the Mayo Clinic says, but these can be too strong on your delicate eyelid skin. If your doctor decides a corticosteroid cream is the best treatment for your case of eczema, theyll likely only prescribe it for a short period of time because it can cause thinning of your eyelids and the skin around your eyes, Cynthia Bailey, M.D., a diplomate of the American Board of Dermatology and president and CEO of Advanced Skin Care and Dermatology Inc., tells SELF. This treatment needs to be supervised by a physician, Dr. Bailey says.
Dr. Rodney also suggests placing a thin layer of petroleum jelly around and on your eyelids twice a day to reinforce the protective skin barrier, hydrate the dry skin, and reduce itching.
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Lets Back Up A Second And Cover Some Eczema Basics Like What Exactly It Is And Why It Happens
Atopic dermatitis, which is what people usually mean when they say eczema, is a chronic condition that happens due to a problem with your skins protective barrier, the Mayo Clinic says. If you have atopic dermatitis, your top layer of skin doesnt retain adequate moisture or protect you as well as it should against things like irritants and allergens.
People with atopic dermatitis generally experience symptoms like very dry and itchy skin, red, brown, or gray skin patches, raised, weeping bumps, and thick, cracked, or scaly skin. They may also have raw, sensitive, swollen skin due to scratching-induced irritation.
If you have atopic dermatitis, your skin can seem totally fine sometimes, and then during a flare, remind you just how frustrating this health condition can be at full force. Triggers like sweat, stress, harsh soaps and detergents, dust, and pollen can cause flares, although its possible for eczema to rear its head for no apparent reason as well, the Mayo Clinic says.
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What Are Some Complications That May Occur With Eczema On Eyelids
According to Dr. Heba Abdallah, complications that can occur with eyelid eczema are the following:
- Skin infections. Scratching or rubbing the eyes can make the skin vulnerable to infection.
- Eye infections. Bacteria can enter the eye by repeatedly touching or rubbing the area, causing infections.
- Difficulty sleeping. Symptoms of eyelid dermatitis can cause discomfort while sleeping.
- Neurodermatitis. Chronic scratching or rubbing can increase the urge to scratch.
What Are The Possible Complications Of Eyelid Eczema
The more severe your eyelid eczema, the more likely it is that you might experience other eye problems, the AAD says. The organization specifically highlights three eye conditions that people with eyelid eczema should have on their radar: pink eye, keratitis, and keratoconus.
Keratitis is an inflammation of your cornea that may cause eye pain, sensitivity to light, redness, a feeling that something is in your eye, excessive tearing or other discharge, and blurry vision, among other symptoms.
Finally, keratoconus is when your cornea changes from its usual round shape into a bulging cone shape instead, creating blurry or otherwise distorted vision, sensitivity to light and glare, a need to change your eyewear prescription too frequently, and cloudy vision13.
These issues could also be tied to using those too-harsh medications that thin out your skin, Dr. Silverberg says. Scratching and rubbing that extra-thin skin can create tiny tears or irritate your eyes, making you more vulnerable to infection and inflammation that may present as pink eye or keratitis. That rubbing can also change the shape of your cornea, leading to keratoconus, the AAD says.
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How To Treat Eczema On Eyelid
As it can be caused by coming in contact with the allergens so its necessary that the masses should keep their eyes clean and avoid scratching, rubbing and touching the areas of eyes too frequently. This can help prevent the growth of infection caused by allergens or irritants. The sufferers should try to identify, avoid contact irritants and treat their condition for an immediate relief:
- Calcineurin inhibitors: It can be used to treat inflammatory disorders, like psoriasis and atopic dermatitis. These can be taken orally or applied as an ointment on the affected skin. It should be used with caution, as it may suppress immune function.
- Moisturization: Dont forget to moisturize in a regular manner as it can relieve dryness and itchiness. Moisturization can be the best to treat mild eczema conditions.
- Corticosteroids: These are the steroid-based creams that can be applied directly to the eyelids to treat skin inflammation and reduce dryness. It can be taken in tablet form orally and the medication strength particularly depends upon the severity of the symptoms.