‘Tis the season… for eyelid dermatitis
David T. Harvey, MD Mohs Surgeon & Cosmetic Dermatologist
Although allergic contact dermatitis is the most common cause of eyelid rashes, many rashes that inflame the eyes and eyelids arise from airborne particles. Allergies to tree, grass, leaf molds and weeds are the culprits in most instances.
In the springtime, trees are the most common cause of airborne dermatitis of the lids, while in summer it is grasses and in the fall, ragweed. Patients usually complain of red, watery, eyes and chaffed, itchy, swollen eyelids. In addition, some patients also experience breathing difficulties with their airborne induce rashes.
To treat eyelid dermatitis, it is important to gently compress the skin with cool water (without soap) and to use OTC antihistamines as needed. I will recommend that ophthalmic preparations containing corticosteroids or antihistamines be used in severe cases. It is important to avoid using cosmeceuticals that contain formaldehyde or quaternium-15. These can exacerbate the symptoms of airborne induced eyelid dermatitis. Other factors such as seborrheic dermatitis, use of acrylic nails, history of collagen vascular disorder, exposure to animal dander, use of irritating eye medications, and presence of atopic eczema can also exacerbate symptoms.
Have fun this spring and enjoy the beautiful show that mother nature has to offer… just be wary of the skin rashes that are also more common this time of year.