Menopausal women may begin to notice eye changes, including dryness, pressure, increased or decreased tear and mucus production, blurred vision, and tired eyes. Many women complain of irritated eyelids, specifically with burning, swollen, reddened, or dry skin around the eyes. Fortunately, once the cause is identified, there are several simple remedies to help relieve the pain and discomfort of dry skin under eyes.
Itchy Skin on Eyelids
It is a common for women to experience itchy, swollen, or dry skin on eyelids in the beginning stages of perimenopause and possibly lasting into postmenopause, commonly caused by hormonal imbalance. Along with these symptoms, some women reported having hyper-pigmented eyelids - when eyelids become darker in color due to inflammation. Before selecting a treatment option, it is important to know that there are many potential causes of itchy and dry skin under eyes besides menopausal hormone changes.
It is normally referred as contact dermatitis, which is when an allergen or irritant affects the eyelid. Air pollution, smoke, perfume, pollen, cosmetics, and other allergies can cause eyes to become itchy, red, and swollen. Other causes of itchy and dry skin around the eyes include:
Contact lenses. Wearing contact lenses for longer than recommended or in high exposure to sunlight can cause the eyes and eyelids to become inflamed and painful.
Blepharitis. Blepharitis causes the eyes to become red and itchy, and the edges of the eyelids to grow inflamed and scaly. This can sometimes be related to dandruff. In more severe cases, the eyelids may stick together and become difficult to open.
Rhematoid arthritis. This common inflammatory disorder affects the skin and eyes by causing the eyes to feel red, dry, hot, and gritty. Rhematoid arthritis is more common in women than men, and it is a common complaint of women during menopause.
Soothe Dry Skin Under Your Eyes
The easiest way to restore dry skin on eyelids is to determine what it is causing the irritation and avoid it. Many people scratch and rub the area around the eye for relief, which only causes further irritation, swelling, and reddening. There are; however, simple at-home treatments available to help soothe dry skin around the eyes.
Cleanse with warm water
Cleansing the dry skin under the eyes can help replenish moisture to the area, but be cautious not to use excessive moisture. Also, use warm water rather than hot water, as hot water can dry out the skin even further, increasing irritation.
Use natural soaps
Try only using soaps that contain all-natural ingredients and no fragrances. Perfumes and other ingredients typically found in soaps can be extremely drying and irritating to the skin, which will counteract the treatment.
Use formulated skin care cream
Find a cream that is made for delicate skin and apply it on the dry skin on eyelids and around the eyes for a deep moisturizing effect. Similar to soaps, fragrance-free and all-natural creams will be most effective for treating dry skin under the eyes. If possible, use creams that include antioxidants - vitamin C and E - and citrus seed extract to stimulate greater skin health.
Itchy and dry skin on the eyelids is a painful and uncomfortable symptom of menopause from which many women suffer. While the symptoms vary, identifying them early on can help determine the cause and the appropriate treatment needed. Fortunately, medical treatment is not always necessary, and simple at-home remedies can bring relief to dry skin around the eyes. Click on the following link for more information on itchy skin due to menopause.
- Alexander, I.M. & Knight, K.A. (2005). 100 Questions & Answers About Menopause. Massachusetts: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.
- DermNet New Zealand. (2014). Eyelid contact dermatitis. Retrieved November 16, 2016, from http://www.dermnetnz.org/topics/eyelid-contact-dermatitis/
- Jacobs, M.B. (2002). Taking Care: Self-Care for You and Your Family. New York: Random House Inc.
- Mayo Clinic. (2016). Rheumatoid arthritis. Retrieved November 16, 2016, from http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/rheumatoid-arthritis/home/ovc-20197388
- Moini, J. (2013). Introduction to Pathology for the Physical Therapist Assistant. Massachusetts: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.
- National Health Service UK. (2015) Eyelid problems. Retrieved November 16, 2016, from http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Itching/Pages/Causes.aspx
- National Institutes of Health. (2016). Handout on Health: Atopic Dermatitis (A type of eczema). Retrieved November 16, 2016, from http://www.niams.nih.gov/health_Info/atopic_dermatitis/default.asp