What to do for eyelid rash?

An eyelid rash is considered as a common issue among women and can be caused by various allergic reactions as well as autoimmune conditions. The skin on the eyelids is quite thin and prone to rashes due to allergies. Most of these individuals have allergic causes to the symptoms they experience, often due to hair care products or cosmetics used in daily life.

Contact dermatitis

Contact dermatitis is a common form of eyelid rash often due to cosmetics that are applied directly on the eyelids such as eyeliner or eye shadow. Remember that these cosmetics might include various antigens that can trigger the eyelid rash such as formaldehyde.

Eye cosmetics that have blue or green color might contain cobalt or nickel that are common triggers of contact dermatitis. Mascara can also trigger an eyelid rash. Even eyelash curlers can trigger the manifestation of dermatitis due to nickel.

Eye makeup is not the only culprit for issues since chemicals applied on the scalp such as conditioners, shampoos, hair dye and other hair products can trigger an eyelid rash even if there is no rash on the scalp.

Eyelid rash

Contact dermatitis is a common form of eyelid rash often due to cosmetics that are applied directly on the eyelids such as eyeliner or eye shadow.

The skin on the scalp is thick and the rash will not manifest initially. Similarly, hair sprays can also trigger rashes since an individual closes their eyes when applying the spray. Dermatitis can also be due to chemicals present on the hands that are transferred to the eyelids when the face is touched. In addition, nail polishes are also common causes of dermatitis on the face.

Atopic dermatitis

Always bear in mind that atopic dermatitis can cause an eyelid rash. In most cases, there are other parts of the body affected by the skin condition but the eyelids might be affected especially among adults.

Food allergies might also be the cause for atopic dermatitis especially among children as well as the eyelids and face.

Other causes of eyelid rashes

Various conditions can trigger eyelid rashes especially autoimmune conditions such as systemic lupus erythematosus and dermatomyositis. In most cases, other symptoms can also occur with these conditions such as fever, weight loss, night sweat and fatigue as well as muscle pain.


If an eyelid rash is due to contact or atopic dermatitis, various skin creams can be useful in managing the symptoms. The skin on the eyelids is quite prone to the side effects of topical steroids and once these enter the eyes, it can result to cataract formation or glaucoma.

The topical steroids in low potency such as over-the-counter strength hydrocortisone cream must be used sparingly and short-term and with extra care on the eyelids.

Alternative options that can be applied on the face include topical calcineurin inhibitors. These medications have been approved for atopic dermatitis in both children 2 years up and adults. Unlike with the topical steroids, they will not cause these side effects or lose effectiveness with extended use.


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