Why are my eyelids very dry and what to do about it?

Why are my eyelids very dry?

Dry eyelids are quite a common condition, but it tends to affect those who already suffer from issues with dry skin. Dry skin on your eyelids can be extremely irritating, uncomfortable and unattractive. Before you apply moisturisers or lotions to your eyelids to relieve any dryness, it’s important to find the root of the cause. Some common conditions associated with dry eyes are listed below.

Dry Eyes

The main symptoms of dry eyelids include:

  • Dryness
  • Discolouration of skin
  • Scales
  • Swelling
  • Itching
  • Soreness

Eyelid Dermatitis

This condition is known to manifest as an allergic reaction to certain products and elements that come into contact with your eyelids. This allergic reaction could be caused by anything from shops and shampoos to outdoor allergens. Effective treatment with antibiotics should clear up the eye dryness.

Atopic Dermatitis

This condition is the result of airborne allergens and could be the reason you are experiencing dry eyelids.

Seborrheic Dermatitis

This happens when the skin starts to react to its own natural bacteria and oil and is a common reason for experiencing dry eyelids.


This is a chronic inflammation of the eyelids which is due to excess bacteria in the eye. Various types of rosacea, dermatitis and allergic reactions can cause this condition. Symptoms in addition to dry eyelids include a pink or red eyelid, crusty eyelashes or eyelid, eyelid pain or discomfort, stickiness, swelling, tearing or grittiness. There are many treatment options available for this condition, depending on the type you have. Treatment includes oil containing artificial tears and ointments, antibiotics and the discontinuing of contact lenses amongst others.

Other common causes of dry eyelids

If you suffer from dry eyelids, it doesn’t instantly mean that you have an underlying condition. There are other common factors that can lead to dry eyelids, including,

  • Cosmetics (foundation, eyeliner, eyeshadow)
  • Shampoo
  • Food
  • Allergies
  • Cleansers
  • Hair Dyes
  • Eyelash Curlers
  • Eczema
  • Psoriasis

If you are experiencing dry eyes without any additional symptoms, it may be a good idea to change the various products you are using to see if that relieves the symptom.

When to see your independent optician

In some cases, itchy and dry eyelids could be a sign of a major condition such as Sjogren’s syndrome. If you are experiencing additional symptoms alongside your dry eyelids, it’s best to consult an eye doctor to gain a proper diagnosis and receive the correct course of treatment.

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