Eyelids are sensitive as well as delicate structures giving cover and protection to the eyes while contributing to the ‘good looks’ of a person. Due to their location, eyelids attract many cosmetic applications, especially in relation to females and are frequently touched by one’s own fingertips, which carry many germs and irritant substances.
What is eyelid dermatitis?
Eyelid dermatitis is a relatively common medical condition, which can be seen at a higher prevalence among females. There can be several causes for its occurrence and in most, the underlying problem would be an inflammatory reaction mediated through the hyperactive immune mechanisms of the body.
What are the symptoms of eyelid dermatitis?
When dermatitis sets in on the eyelids, the common manifestations would be redness, itching, swelling, blistering, and tenderness. The inflamed eyelid may feel warmer than the rest of the skin while excessive tearing and red eyes could be associated in certain instances. At the same time, due to the swelling of the eyelid, the opening and closing of the eye would be difficult and the affected eye may appear partially closed as well.
What are the common causes of eyelid dermatitis?
Among the most common causes of this type of dermatitis, cosmetics would be playing a major role. Cosmetics the likes of eyeliners, eyeshadow, mascara, eyelash curlers, and eye makeup removers could all contribute to eyelid dermatitis. However, one should realize the fact that development of hypersensitivity or allergies to certain substances can take time and therefore even a cosmetic agent used for many times can give rise to eyelid dermatitis when the body reacts to it differently. Furthermore, manufacturers of cosmetics may change their ingredients without any notice to its users and this can be another reason for a person to develop adverse reactions to a product used for a long time.
Irritating substances can also lead to eyelid dermatitis and the eyelids can be exposed to such substances through various means. These could be through direct contact, through airborne particles or through intermediary devices such as contact lenses and facial tissues, which may be contaminated or made from materials a person can be allergic to. Therefore, you need to be extra careful when choosing contact lenses, especially colored ones. Only purchase your colored disposable contact lenses from trusted sources.
When considering the event of direct contamination, chemical ingredients such as nail polish, hair dye, soaps, and skin lubricants could contribute to the development of eyelid dermatitis.
Among the airborne irritants, dust, pollens, and sprays could lead to such manifestations in susceptible individuals.
Apart from the above possibilities, another causative factor for eyelid dermatitis would be autoimmune mechanisms in which the body’s immune system recognizes the body’s own tissues as a threat. This could trigger an inflammatory reaction which may manifest as eyelid dermatitis. Furthermore, medications used to treat certain conditions of the eye have also been attributed to similar manifestations.
What are the methods used for managing eyelid dermatitis?
In most of these instances, dermatitis would be self-limiting and would settle without any complications. Avoiding further contact or exposure to the allergen or to any irritant substance, cold compresses, and topical hydrocortisone treatment could relieve the person from most of the symptoms and could enhance the healing process while preventing further complications of the eye condition.
How do contact lens wearers prevent eyelid dermatitis?