paupières irritées - itchy eyelid

Eyelid itches? It could be contact dermatitis…

Eyelid itches, rashes or dermatitis are relatively common. They can be really painful, both in terms of the actual itch they create, and in terms of the disfiguration impact, they may have, with their significant social consequences.

Finding the reasons for eyelid rashes and dermatitis can be very long – some doctors say it can take an average up to 7 years to find the real reason. This is enough to ruin the life of many sufferers!

In the interesting paper referred to here, the authors remind that in most cases (65-75%), eyelid dermatitis is not due to some internal trigger, contrary to common intuition, but rather it is rather due to contact dermatitis; in other words, the rashes are the consequences of external contact with an allergen or an irritant. Therefore, it is critical to identify what is coming in contact with the eyelid, either directly (e.g., makeup), or indirectly (e.g., something that comes in contact with someone’s fingers before the person then touches her eyelids with her fingers).

Among the most common reasons for contact triggered eyelid dermatitis are:

– Ophthalmic solutions

– Nails

– Nickel, Chromium and other metals contained in eyelash curlers, mascara, eye shadow, contact lens cleaning solutions and eyebrow pencils. Nickel can also cause eyelid dermatitis through hand transfer from a metal nail file, occupational metal exposure, or jewelry placed on the hands and finger

– Hair dye and PPD. Paraphenylenediamine (PPD) is a chemical allergen often found in hair dye, as well as textile or fur dyes, cosmetics, henna tattoos, inks, photography film, black rubber, oils, and gasoline. Hairdressers and those working with printing inks and film can also get in contact with PPD.

What can you do?

As with any significant health concern, the first thing is to consult with a doctor or health professional.

Then, of course, the best way to avoid the contact dermatitis on the eyelid is simply to avoid bringing the allergen or irritant in contact with the face, either directly. In particular:

– Avoid using skin care or makeup products that contain known allergens, including PPD, or Nickel, Chromium and other metals; the safest is even to use exclusively products that contain the fewest – and safest -ingredients, such as the skincare line recently developed by Skintifique.

– Always protect your hands from potential irritants and allergens if you are in a risky environment, either with gloves or with the appropriate protective cream, like the Protective Cream HPS

– Wash your hands with abundant soap and water, or appropriate Cleansing lotions such as the Cleanser P (which contains only 5 ingredients and is demonstrated to gently remove Nickel metal when it is present at the surface of the skin), before touching your eyelids!

For more information

– Solving the Mystery Of the Itchy Eyelid. The cause of an itchy eyelid can be a diagnostic puzzle, but persistence often uncovers some common culprits by L. Koo, MD, D. Peng, MD, MPH, and E. Chang, MD, 2006, Review of Ophthalmology

Eyelid Contact Dermatitis – DermNet NZ

Our top products for Nickel allergy

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Protective Cream HPS

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