There are many causes for itchy eyelids including genetic disorders (less common), acute short term diseases, and chronic diseases. The eyelids can be red, swollen, swollen eye, itchy eyes, drooping eyelid, excoriated skin, scaly skin, nodules, and crusting of the eyelashes. The eyelids itch and can be painful.
Common causes of itchy eyelids:
- Contact dermatitis
- Ocular Rosacea
- Various growths on the eyelids
Blepharitis (eyelid inflammation)
Blepharitis is a very common eyelid disease. It can be caused by a seborrheic skin condition, Staph infection involving the eyelid and eyelashes or a combination of both, and side effects of certain glaucoma drugs. The eyelids are red especially at the lid margin, itchy, crusting of the eyelashes, and can be swollen. In most cases this is a chronic condition that may need continual treatment.
- Daily lid hygiene
- NovaBay application to the eyelids daily
- Antibiotic eye drops and ointment when indicated
- Doxycyline pills for months or rarely longer
- Warm compresses
- Demodex treatment
Allergies can cause red, puffy, swollen eyes, swollen eyelid, itchy eyes, and itchy eyelids. Many eye doctors are now performing skin testing for things that can cause eye allergies. Treatment is based on what the person is allergic to. Avoidance of the antigen, topical allergy medications, and cold compresses are some of the treatments.
Contact dermatitis occurs when a person comes in contact with a chemical or substance that they are sensitive to. This can be transmitted to the eyes by rubbing their eyes or other means of coming in contact with the substance. This causes irritation to the eyelids. The person’s hands may be normal since the skin of the hands are not as sensitive as the eyelids. The skin can feel hard or stiff, red, excoriated areas, and scaly. Treatment is with topical steroid medication and trying to determine what the person is sensitive to. It could be cosmetics, shampoo, laundry detergent, soap, household cleaning products, and the list could go on and on.
Chalazion and Styes
These are cysts or follicular infection of the eyelids associated with swelling, redness, itching, and can be painful. Treatment includes hot compresses, antibiotics, and in some cases incision and drainage of the lesion.
Rosacea is a condition characterized by red blotchy lesions on the face. Other areas of the body can be involved such as the scalp, neck, chest, back, and ears. Symptoms are red, itchy, burning eyelids that can be associated with watery eyes.
If your eyelids are red, itching, swollen, or painful, you should see your eye doctor for diagnosis and treatment. They can discuss how to get rid of puffy eyes and eyelids.