There are a number of different things which can cause itchy eyelids. Most of them are not particularly serious, and can often be treated with a mild medication. Some causes, though not serious, do not respond to medication, and eyelid surgery may be needed. Only a few itchy eyelid problems require special attention when there may be a potential for more serious complications to develop.
Eczema Is One Cause - One cause of itchy eyelids is eczema. Eczema is a fairly common skin disorder, thought to be the result of an allergy, and a disorder that can affect the skin on any part of the body. It most often appears on the face or the extremities, but can appear on the eyelids as well, though this is not too common. While an eczema outbreak can be tolerable on many parts of the body, this isn't usually the case when the eyelids are affected. The skin is thin, and very sensitive to possible irritants. The danger eczema poses is that rubbing the eyelids can irritate the eyeball to the point where an infection may occur. Moisturizers are the first line of defense here, and if ineffective, a topical medication may be necessary.
The Stye - The stye, or chalazion, is another common source of itchy eyelids and eye irritation in general. The sty is an itchy red lump on the eyelid. It can result from bacterial infection of an oil gland though the stye itself is not considered infectious. It often comes about as a result of poor facial hygiene, or dirty hands coming into contact with the eyelids, and as such, most often affects young children. A warm compress which softens the stye and allows it to drain is the usual treatment. If the stye refuses to go away, it may have to be surgically removed at some point.
Blepharitis And Cellulitis - Another itchy eyelid disorder is blepharitis, where the eyelid becomes inflamed due to one of several possible causes, including dermatitis, lice, the Herpes simplex or Herpes zoster (varicella) virus, or bacterium Staphylococcus aureus. Crusting or flaking of the skin on the eyelid can occur, accompanied by itching. Like most eyelid infections, the condition usually does not last long, though for some individuals it may become chronic due to allergies. Anti inflammatory medication or antibiotics will normally adequately address a blepharitis occurrence. A similar though slightly more serious condition is cellulitis. Where blepharitis may only affect a small portion of an eyelid, cellulitis usually affects the entire eyelid, which can become hot to the touch. Antibiotics usually halt progression of this disorder, but there is always a risk of the infection spreading to the eyeball itself, and this type of infection should be brought to the attention of a doctor as early as possible.
Three More Causes - A few other disorders which can result in itchy eyelids are Seborrheic keratosis, a greasy and itchy outgrowth from the eyelid, which usually needs to be removed surgically, Actinic keratosis, a lesion caused by ultraviolet light, which should be removed as it is potentially cancerous, and that old standby the wart. Warts are caused by a virus and are generally harmless, though they can be inconvenient when appearing in certain places. The eyelid is one of those places. Depending upon the location of the eyelid wart, one may or may not experience itching. Putting a wart removing compound on the eyelid is definitely not recommended. When a wart appears on an eyelid, surgical removal is the proper remedial choice.
Summary - In summary, most of the more common causes of itchy eyelids tend to be more bothersome than serious. Actinic keratosis, usually caused by exposure to the sun is potentially cancerous, and a few other infections are a danger, if allowed to irritate or spread to the eyeball. Most disorders however respond to warm compresses, topical creams or lotions, or antibiotics.
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