If the skin around your eyes is dry, red and itchy then you may have Atopic Dermatitis. Some people also experience a burning sensation.
If you or your child already experience Atopic Dermatitis on other areas of your body then it is likely that the symptoms around your eyes are linked. Facial Atopic Dermatitis is especially common in babies and children, but many adults have it too. You can find out more in Atopic Dermatitis and babies, Atopic Dermatitis and children and Atopic Dermatitis and adults.
If you are in any doubt about your symptoms, we advise that you consult your doctor who will be able to give you a full diagnosis and advice.
If you or your child do not have Atopic Dermatitis then there are several other types of Dermatitis that are also common in the eye area, and which present very similar symptoms. These include:
- Seborrheic Dermatitis (or Seborrheic Eczema): This type of Dermatitis, thought to be caused by a reaction to yeast on the surface of skin, can also affect the margins of the eyelid. Skin appears red with yellow flakes but is rarely itchy. Seborrheic Dermatitis can affect both children and adults but, when it appears in the eye area, it is normally adults who are affected. You can find out more about Seborrheic Dermatitis in general here.
- Contact Dermatitis: Common on the hands, Contact Dermatitis is a red and irritating rash caused by an allergic reaction to something that the skin is, or has been, in contact with. The most common form of Contact Dermatitis in the eye area is caused by an allergic reaction to nail polish, which occurs when people wearing polish rub their eyes, but other types of make-up can also cause sensitivity in the eye area.
You can find out more about the symptoms of Atopic Dermatitis, and about how they differ on different parts of the body, in Facial Atopic Dermatitis, Atopic Dermatitis on the head/scalp, Atopic Dermatitis on the hands and Atopic Dermatitis on different parts of the body.