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Dry skin around my eyes. What could be the cause?

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Hello, and thank you so much for taking the time to answer my question! I greatly appreciate it. Lately I've been having extreme issues with red/swollen/dry skin around my eyes. This has only begun recently it started about three weeks ago, and at first appeared only as bits of dry skin. But as time has gone on, it's gotten worse and worse. Now it's to the point where it's almost painful just to blink, and stings horribly when I wash my face. The stinging continues for about half an hour after I wash. At first I thought this was related to the changing season, but now that it's this extreme I think it's something else. I haven't tried any new skin care products I've been using the same ones for months without a single problem, so I'm not sure why this would suddenly happen. It's to the point where I don't want to go out because 1. I don't want people to see me like this, and 2. I want to be inside with my humidifier to help keep the skin as moist as possible. I put some Vaseline on it today, and it seemed to help a little. But I know I can't go out day by day with Vaseline on my eyes. If there's any insight into this at all, I would greatly appreciate it. This is really frustrating and painful in many ways. I've attached a photo for you to take a look at and see what I'm talking about Thank you again!


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Category: Family Physician-GP
Dr. John Monheit is online now

Expert:  Dr. John Monheit replied 4 Days.

Hello, the area around the eyes is extremely thin and sensitive. This area shows first sign of ageing in the form of fine lines and wrinkles. Usually aged people develop dry skin around eyes and mouth, leading to wrinkles, dark circles under the eyes and fine lines. Sometimes even young people are also affected by it. Causes may be due to the absence of sufficient oil glands in this area. These oil glands secrete sebum, which is responsible for keeping the skin moisturized. The area around the eyes has very less oil glands and is susceptible to dryness. It is also due to stress, improper nutrition or malnutrition, allergic reactions, excessive use of cosmetics, lack of adequate sleep, constant late nights. The dry skin around the eyes can change the whole look of the face. I would suggest a few remedies such as:

a)Drink at least eight glasses of water per day, to make sure that the skin is well moisturized.

b)Avoid pulling the skin around t he eyes as it can lead to burning sensation, redness or itching.

c)Avoid the use of harsh cosmetics.

d)Proper nutrition is a must.

e)Supplements like vitamin E, C can be taken.

Certain medical conditions such as Eczema, blepharitis, Atopic dermatitis, hair dyes, Seborrhic dermatitis can cause the above-mentioned condition. A patch test would be beneficial in finding out the cause. I would suggest you to consult your dermatologist for a complete assessment. Thank you.


Dr. John Monheit
Category: Family Physician-GP
Experience: 
Residecny: North Colorado Family Medicine
Medical School: The Chicago Medical Center
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