Symptoms of Contact Dermatitis on Eyelids

Updated February 21, 2017

Contact dermatitis on the eyelids is much more common than you may think. The skin on the eyelids is very thin and can become affected by an irritant that has been exposed to the skin. Contact dermatitis can also be an allergic reaction. Identifying the cause of the itchy rash is often a key to avoiding future episodes of dermatitis.


The skin on the eyelids is very thin and prone to skin rashes. The symptoms of contact dermatitis can be confused with other skin disorders such as scabies or atopic dermatitis. To treat the rash effectively, it is important to identify the symptoms of eyelid contact dermatitis. The symptoms include dry skin, cracked skin, blisters, reddened skin, and itchy skin.

A patch test is performed to determine if contact dermatitis is the cause of the symptoms. The patch test that is used to diagnose contact dermatitis is different from what is involved in allergy testing. No needles are used to test for this skin condition. Instead, the doctor utilises a tape that has been treated with chemicals and placed on the back. The tape stays in place for 48 hours. The results will be read at 48 hours, 72 hours and again at 96 hours to determine if contact dermatitis is the cause of the symptoms.


The effects of the symptoms of contact dermatitis on your eyelids can be very disruptive. The itchy rash can make it difficult to sleep or concentrate during the day. There can also be pain involved when the skin becomes very dry and potentially cracks.

The eyelids are a very sensitive area for an itchy, dry rash to occur, and vision impairment may even occur if it becomes painful to blink the eyes.

Time Frame

With treatment, the symptoms should clear up within a week, but a very severe case could last for months. When treatment is begun soon after the rash develops, it is reasonable to expect that the rash will last for only a week to 10 days.

Do not use make-up or lotions with fragrance near the eyes while treating contact dermatitis. It is also important to determine the cause of the dermatitis to avoid a future outbreak.


To prevent contact dermatitis from affecting the eyelids in the future, it is vital to determine the cause. Make-up, soaps, lotions, creams, and airborne allergens can all cause this type of rash. Analysing the products that have been used in the eye area or may have been on the hands is a good way to determine what may have caused the condition.

Contact dermatitis can be caused by a product that has been used for many years, as well. Intolerance to the chemicals in some products develops over time and causes the condition. Use only hypoallergenic products and keep your hands away from your eyes to avoid the symptoms of contact dermatitis.


Topical medications are used to treat contact dermatitis. To treat the symptoms and find relief from the itching and dry skin, cool compresses placed over the eyes can be very soothing.

Oral antihistamines are used to treat the itching symptom. This can help lessen the effects of the symptoms while the rash is treated with medicated cream.

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About the Author

Luanne Kelchner works out of Daytona Beach, Florida and has been freelance writing full time since 2008. Her ghostwriting work has covered a variety of topics but mainly focuses on health and home improvement articles. Kelchner has a degree from Southern New Hampshire University in English language and literature.