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What are the causes of eyelid discoloration?

Updated February 21, 2019

The lids of the eyes can become discoloured for many reasons, including hormone change or imbalance, certain disorders, infections, medications, inflammation and ageing.

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Some of the most common causes of eyelid discolouration are: Bruising: Usually after a trauma to the eye area Hormone changes caused by cyclic changes, thyroid, pregnancy, menopause or illness Prescription medications can cause eyelid colour change. An example of a common medication that can cause lid discolouration are prescribed drops for glaucoma called prostaglandins. Jaundice: A yellowing of the skin associated with liver function Diseases and illnesses

Associated Illnesses

Some of the illnesses that can cause lid colour change include:

Chronic allergic conjunctivitis Illnesses affecting the liver Periorbital infections of the skin can cause colour change in the lid and may be associated with influenza or strep infections. Blepharochalasis is a rare degenerative disease unique to the skin of the eyelids. Connective tissue disorders, such as Lupus Cancer and benign lesions


Lid discolouration can be gradual, in the case of ageing and normal skin changes. But it can also be a sign of changing health issues and should be monitored. Sudden discolouration is more concerning and should not be disregarded.


If you notice a change to your lids, note the time frame and degree of discolouration. Also keep track of any new medications, including vitamins and supplements, that you take on a regular basis, have started taking or might have recently stopped using.


Any change in lid colour warrants a consultation with your physician or eye-care specialist. Eye infections can rapidly deteriorate and should be treated as soon as possible.

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About the Author

Beth Richards, a freelance writer since 2002, writes about health and draws from her 25 years as a licensed dispensing optician. She has authored several books, writes for national magazines including "Country Living" and "Organic Family" and is a health and wellness features writer for several publications. She is earning a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Maryland.

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