Eczema on the Eyelids

eczema of the eyelids

A question from Breanna who suffers from eczema, eyelids being her particular problem.

Hello! I just found your page from a post on I will get right to the point-I have eczema all over my body, but the worst part is my EYELIDS! They do -okay- in the summertime, but with the wind and cold comes a horrible condition. This began happening a few years ago and I found a suggestion online (it was hard to find anyone talking about this, so I suppose it is rare) that said to use Burt’s Bees Royal Jelly Eye Cream. I love this product, but it is a bit expensive for me. I am a student and while .5 ounces lasts a while, I hate having to spend $20 all at once on this product. What is worse, the only place in the U.S. I have been able to find it is in Whole Foods stores, and the closest one is over an hour away from my home. I was wondering if you perhaps knew of any other products that may be cheaper/easier to find? Some of the products I have tried that did not seem to work: Vaseline (this seems to prevent it from getting worse, but does nothing to help the damage already there) Nivea Even tried ChapStick Neem Aura balm Bag Balm etc. All of these products stung and burned, and none worked to reverse and heal the dryness except the Burt’s Bees Royal Jelly Eye Cream. Any information you have would be AMAZING

Hello Breanna

Thanks for getting in touch.

I am afraid there isn’t much that can be done about eczema, and it sounds like you have already tried a lot and probably know a lot.

A few points you might not be aware of, please excuse me if you do.

– very dry skin lends itself to bacterial infection, and bacterial infection can provoke the eczema to flare up.  This is one of the reasons a lot of people with eczema have flare ups of the condition.  A mild antibacterial can sometimes help.  There are some medical products that are designed specifically  to do this, Dermol 500 and Oilatum Plus are a couple of brand names.  But before going for this far it might be worth trying something simple like Carex.  Don’t be put off by the marketing talking about it being suitable for hands – if you take care to keep it out of your eyes it will be fine on your eyelids.

– the best agent for any kind of dry skin is lanolin, which in the UK at least you can buy in pharmacies.  It is hard to handle on delicate skin but I am sure you can work out a way.  It might help to try mixing it with some olive oil – you can melt them together in a cup placed in a bowl with some warm water.

– most difficult bit last, rubbing and scratching will make things worse.  I know that this is almost impossible to do and most people simply cannot stop themselves even if threatened by imminent and painful death.  But the basic problem is your skin’s poor barrier function, and anything that impairs it is going to make things worse.  This includes physically damaging it.

I know these aren’t much.  I know what a miserable condition eczema is and I would love to be able to help more.

When I sent this reply Breanna came back with a further question.

I have read online that people with eczema are not to use “real” soap-and I do not. Typically I do not wash my skin at all in that respect; rather I put tons of baby oil on my skin instead. Do you have any suggestions about these non-traditional “soaps” someone with eczema should be using? I wasn’t quite sure I understood what I was reading online when I came across this information, but perhaps you could shed some light on what this really means.

All soap dries the skin to some extent so it is better to avoid it if you have a problem.  Synthetic soap is better than real soap, but your approach of using oil is best of all so I would stick with it.


10 thoughts on “Eczema on the Eyelids”

  1. Eczema is a miserable problem. Having it on your eyelids must be terrible. I do not have eczema myself, but I work as a skin consultant, and so like to learn more about it wherever I can. I found this really useful to read, and would like to make a suggestion that perhaps you should try coconut oil on your eyelids. I have used it myself for removing eye make up, and it certainly improves the skin in that area. Even a very high grade raw organic coconut oil will be low cost compared to the Burt Bees. It’s very good on chapped lips too.

  2. Hi Colin
    I too suffer from eczema (have done all my life) and have the eyelid problem on and off. I have found that E45 Anti Itch Cream sorts it out for me – not sure if it is available outside UK tho. I get it on prescription but it is on the shelf in Boots so maybe there is a way to get hold of it elsewhere? Hope this helps some people!

  3. @ Jessica – yes that sounds like a good suggestion. Breanna is I think already doing it if I have read her e-mail right, but it is good to emphasise it a bit.

    @ Jo – thanks for that suggestion. For people who can’t get hold of E45 in their countries, it is a light emollient cream with urea. There is bound to be something similar available where you are, and I’d love to hear what it is and how it works.

  4. It’s still quite expensive, but it comes in a massive bottle for what you need. I get bad eczema across my shoulders and la roche posay cicaplast every evening has cleared it right up. It’s in the bigger boots stores.
    I would also use a more moisturising cleasner than mineral oil/ baby oil. They do sell other cleansing oils, but I prefer cleansing balms. I love the clinique one, but I think no.7 do a reasonably priced one, but I’ve ever tried it.

  5. I had the same problem on my eyes during a really bad eczema flare up. My eyes lids would itch and peel and they were so irritated I could barely keep them open. I started using a tea tree oil and olive oil. A tiny drop of tea tree oil to about a tablespoon of olive oil started doing the trick. Any more tea tree oil and your eyes will burn, so be careful about that. And I also was with a q-tip and baby shampoo to help getting the peeling skin off.

  6. I get eczema around my eyes, especially under my eyes. So I use pawpaw lotion. It’s a product from Australia in a bright red tube or tub. It’s fabulous. You can put it pretty much anywhere, it’s great on lips! It’s like a Vaseline consistency, a little goes a long way.
    Hope that helps too

  7. Itching eyelids are unbelievably hard not to touch. Last year a droplet of dishwash liquid landed on my eyelid – and I developed an itchy red scaly patch where the drop landed. I live in the UK so had access to argan oil (expensive) and made my own herbal infusion of pansy and chickweed for the itching. You could try Jojoba/Calendula (only use a smidgen each time) and find a USA grown herb that helps with itching. If you use only use just a smidgen of the oil it will last you ages. And nutritionist types always suggest taking omega three supplements eg flax oil/fish liver oil. With Christmas coming, put your Burts Bees Royal Jelly on your wishlist…

  8. I have had eczema on my lids off and on for years and it drives me crazy, the peeling, swelling and itching! I will try the Burts Bees Royal Jelly if I can find it. What I’ve been using is the Aveeno 1% hydrocortisone anti-itch creme. You are not suppose to use it on a daily basis due to the skin thinning that happens with cortisone cremes so I use it a couple of nights at bedtime and then I use a good eye moisturizer in between times.

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