Itchy eyelids: What are the possible causes?

20 May 2016
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20 May 2016, Comments: 0

Itchy eyelids can be intensely annoying and has the potential to affect the vision. Various conditions can cause itchy eyelids including acquired skin conditions, infections and allergies.

Some of the causes of itchy eyelids include limited conditions that can resolve with proper treatment. The other causes can be considered chronic which entails continuous treatment to control the underlying issue and minimize the symptoms.

Itchy eyelids due to allergic dermatitis

Allergies are considered as a common cause of inflamed and itchy eyelids. The potential triggers include the following:

  • Animal dander
  • Perfumes
  • Dust
  • Mold
  • Makeup and cosmetic applicators
  • Nail polish
  • Artificial nails
  • Antibiotic ointments or eye drops

    Itchy eyelids

    Atopic dermatitis affecting the eyelids causes inflammation of the interior and exterior eyelids.

  • Metals

Various preservatives present in shampoos, cosmetics, lotions, hair-care products and lubricating eye drops can initiate the eye allergy symptoms. It is vital to avoid exposure to the trigger substances which is part of managing the condition. Anti-inflammatory and antihistamine eye drops are beneficial in alleviating the symptoms of eye allergies.

Atopic dermatitis

Among those with atopic dermatitis, the eyelids might also be involved which is a condition characterized by intense itchiness due to the heightened skin reactivity to substances in the environment.

Atopic dermatitis affecting the eyelids causes inflammation of the interior and exterior eyelids. The itchy eyelids can be intense that the cornea becomes deformed due to continuous rubbing of the eyes. The itchiness can be accompanied by burning, excessive tearing and drainage.

Ocular rosacea

Rosacea is a lingering condition characterized by swelling and redness of the skin. The face is the main site where rosacea occurs but the scalp, ears, chest, neck and back might also be affected.

Almost half of those who have rosacea have eye involvement which is called as ocular rosacea. The symptoms include excessive tearing, itchiness, burning sensation, redness, scratchy feeling and eye drainage. The eye surface might also be affected as well. The treatment involves application of a warm compress, eyelid scrubs and an extended course of oral antibiotics.


Chronic inflammation of the eyelids or blepharitis is a usual cause of itchy eyelids. The possible causes of blepharitis include staphylococcal infection, seborrhea and abnormal functioning of the oil glands in the eyelids.

Aside from the itchy eyelids, the other symptoms include scratchy sensation, redness, tearing and burning. It is important to note that blepharitis is a chronic condition that entails long-term treatment. The commonly used treatment measures include the application of warm compresses and eyelid scrubs. In addition, topical or oral antibiotics can also be used to control the condition.

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