Contact dermatitis is an itchy, reddish rash which occurs when a particular substance comes in contact with the skin. It isn’t infectious or life threatening, but can be extremely distressing.
To manage the condition successfully, you need to recognize and steadily steer clear of the cause of your reaction. When you sidestep on the offending substance, the rash tends to clear up in about a month.
The reaction develops within minutes to hours of exposure to the offending substance and lasts for 2 – 4 weeks. The eyelids appear reddish, there is intense itching, and there may also be small bumps or blisters. These blisters may ooze and crust. In case of a chronic condition, the eyelids look dry and scaly. There will also be inflammation, burning, swelling or tenderness.
What Causes Contact Dermatitis On Eyelids?
Contact dermatitis is caused by an agent, which irritates the skin and sets off an allergic reaction.
Common irritants include:
- Rubbing alcohol
- Skin care products – creams, soaps, shower gels, hair dyes, shampoos, nail polish, eyeliner, mascara, deodorants, perfumes and cosmetics.
- Airborne substances, such as sawdust or wool dust.
- Medications, such as antibiotic creams and oral antihistamines.
- Skin tattooing and black henna.
- Plants such as poison ivy and mango are known to contain a highly allergenic substance called urushiol which triggers dermatitis.
- Extreme and prolonged sun exposure.
- Health care workers and pharmaceutical industry employees are at a risk.
- Hairdressers and cosmetologists could develop dermatitis.
- Scuba divers or swimmers may develop a rash because of the rubber in goggles and face masks.
- Chefs and others who work with food and also gardeners are at risk.
Natural Remedies For Contact Dermatitis On Eyelids
To help decrease the discomfort and itching, these self-care approaches will help:
- Steer clear of the reaction-causing agent. The key to finding what is causing the rash and steadily staying away from it. Your health care provider will give you a list of things that may be affecting you.
- This helps reduce the redness and itching and will prevent exacerbation.
- Apply calamine lotion to the eyelid; but do confer with your health care provider. A lotion containing 1 % hydro-cortisone temporarily relieves the itch.
- You may also take oral anti-histamine, especially when the itch is severe.
- Wet compresses are helpful too. Dip a cotton swab in ice water and place over the eyelids. Repeat several times through the day.
- Do not scratch the eyelid; make sure that you trim your nails.
- Baking soda or oat meal have also been recommended for dermatitis.
- Do not wear mascara or use an eyeliner or any kind of make-up till the rash clears; thereafter too check with your dermatologist whether it is safe to wear the make-up.
- Use very mild soaps without any added perfume. Rinse well, pat dry and apply a gentle moisturizer.
- Cocoa butter is exceedingly beneficial for contact dermatitis. Mix 1 tablespoon of cocoa butter with 2 to 3 drops of jojoba oil and apply over the affected eyelid every night.
- In extreme cases that do not respond to home remedies as well as the standard therapy, you may need prescription steroid creams.
- Furthermore, in severe cases, your doctor will need to prescribe oral corticosteroids to reduce the redness and inflammation along with anti-histamines to allay the itching or anti-biotic to battle infection.