The skin around the eyes is several times thinner than the skin in other parts of the body making it more vulnerable. Eyes are delicate and sensitive organs that respond quickly to any kind of irritation, dust and allergens. Eyes are the organs that are kept open most of the time (except while sleeping) it is prone to dust and pollution. Accidentally you may scratch the eyes with fingers which can damage the skin around it causing irritation and rash.
Eye rashes can develop on the eyelids (upper or lower or both) and sometimes inside your eyes. Small blisters or pimples filled with pus can be seen beneath the eyes or eyelids. These rashes are commonly reddish in color with a tiny white dot in the middle. Rash around the eyes can be caused by various factors. When small sacs in the eyes are filled with debris it may lead to blisters.
Symptoms Of Rash Around Eyes :
You are likely to have eye rashes if you have any of the following signs :
- Persistent dryness around the eyes
- Irritation and soreness
- Itchy feeling in and around the eyes
- Red patches beneath the eyes
- Tiny blisters on the eyelids and corner of the eyes
- Swelling of skin beneath the eyes
Rash Around Eyes Causes :
As said early several factors can cause rash around the eyes since they are vulnerable. Some of the common causes are discussed below:
Eczema is a chronic skin problem that causes dryness and hardening of the skin. It can occur throughout the body or limited to the face. This can cause rash around the eyes and on the entire face. It is quite common to have flare-ups and recession period in eczema. Atopic dermatitis or eczema attacks on dry skinned people largely and it takes several weeks for the symptoms to disappear.
- Allergens of many kinds such as dust, pollution, insect bites and pollen can cause skin irritation. Symptoms of allergic reaction include skin irritation, redness and rash formation. Allergy can occur anywhere in the body and even on your face and around the eyes. Rashes can develop in the chin, lips, and cheeks and beneath the eyes. In severe form, allergic reaction can cause itchy bumps and pus filled lesions on the body with persistent itchy feeling.
- Allergy can occur due to food poison and exposure to toxic substances like poison ivy and sometimes even by new cosmetic products. Application of cheap cosmetics like eye liner, mascara and lotion around the eyes can trigger rashes around the eyes leading to the formation of blisters and pimples beneath the eyes.
- It can be stated here that most of the allergic reaction around the eyes are caused by cosmetic products and face washes. Buying unknown and new brands for cheap price can cost you more than the expenses incurred for buying branded products.
- It is necessary to remove your make-up before retiring to bed since old cosmetic creams can accumulate in the corner of your eyes giving room for infection.
3. Lyme Disease
Lyme disease rarely causes rash around the eyes since it occurs due to tick bite causing circular rashes on the affected skin. Initial symptoms may appear from 3-30 days of tick bite and the size of the rash can be of few inches resembling a bull’s eye. In severe cases it can affect the nervous system and even your heart. But Lyme disease can cause severe symptoms like high fever, chillness, muscular pain and fatigue along with rash.
4. Rubber and Plastic Allergy
Products like goggles and masks can cause skin irritation causing rash around the eyes. Eye infection can get transmitted easily by wearing goggles of other (infected) person. Similarly products that are worn tightly can cause pressure on the skin leading to skin irritation and rashes.
Bacterial and viral infection can cause skin rash in the body. Herpes simplex virus can cause eye infection (about 2 out of every 1000 people) ranging from moderate to severe infection. Some of the symptoms of herpes infection include eye pain, redness, blurry vision, excessive tears, cloudiness and swelling of eyes. It can cause painful sores inside the eyes or around the eyes. In addition, it can cause signs of fever and headache.
People with good immunity are not generally affected by herpes virus but the virus may still remain inactive in the nerve cell, waiting for favorable condition. Virus could possibly travel from the nerves of the mouth to that of the eyes passing on the infection. Herpes eye infection is mostly preceded by cold sores. Wearing contaminated lens can trigger herpes eye infection.
Bacterial infection can easily spread from one part of the body to the eyes when you accidentally touch the eyes with dirty fingers. Cellulitis is a kind of bacterial skin infection causing rashes and inflammation. Symptoms of this infection include redness, painful blisters and warm/tender feeling of skin and fatigue. Both the above infection should be promptly treated to prevent any complication.
6. Other Causes
Using make-up or cosmetic products frequently and wearing ill fitting eye-glasses and lenses can trigger rash around the eyes.
When To See Your Doctor ?
If you have rash around the eyes for several days in addition to symptoms of body pain, fever, muscle pain and joint pain check with your doctor.
Any eye specialist can identify the kind of eye rash and its possible cause by examining the eyes through lighted instrument.
- Home remedies For Rash Around Eyes :
It is not necessary that you should seek immediate medical care when you develop rashes around the eyes. Mild to moderate form of eye rash can be treated with simple home remedies.
1. Wet Compress
Application of wet compress is probably the ideal solution for redness and swelling of eyes. All you have to do is to take few ice cubes and wrap them in a soft cloth and place this gently on your eyes. Do not place the ice cubes directly on the eyes since it can damage the blood vessels. Even a bag of frozen vegetables will do if you don’t have ice cubes in your refrigerator readily. Repeat this cold compress several times a day or until the inflammation around the eyes is reduced.
2. Salt Water
Salt water solution can serve as an effective antibiotic for infection. It also helps in reducing dryness of eyes and keeps them moisturized for long. Simply wash your eyes with saline water which would remove any dirt or debris particles from the eyes.
3. Other Home Remedies
Cucumber slices can be kept on closed eyes for 5-10 minutes to retain moisture in the eyes. Winter season can affect your body as well as eyes. You can use additional humidifier in your room to retain moisture. Using baby shampoo and Aloe Vera gel can help in clearing rash around the eyes. Apple cider vinegar and essential oils can also be used on eyes for treating eye rashes.
- Medical Treatment :
Your ophthalmologist may recommend suitable eye drops after examining the eyes. Antibiotic eye drops are prescribed for bacterial infection. Ointments and oral pills can also be given in some cases for treating eye infection. Eye drops that contain corticosteroids like betnesol, FML eye drops or dexamethazone eye drops are recommended for reducing swelling around the eyes. Optrex sore eyes are effective in clearing off irritated eyes.
How To Prevent ?
- Eye rashes or eye infection is largely caused by spreading the infection through fingers.
- Control the temptation of rubbing your eyes if the eyes are getting dry and irritated. You can use cold compress or simply wash your eyes with cold water to remove any dirt inside.
- People using contact lenses should keep them clean and replace the lens solution periodically to prevent any infection.
- Identify the allergens that trigger irritation and rash and avoid them completely.
- Wear sunglasses while going out in hot sunlight.
- During winter, take care to keep the eyes well moisturized.