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We feel you. Dry, itchy and flaky skin around your eyes can be annoying! But can your regular moisturizer help in this case? Err..maybe not! To understand its causes and treatments, we talked to our chief dermatologist Dr. Harish Koutam, an accredited member of Indian Association of Dermatologists, Venereologists and Leprologists (IADVL) and Cosmetic Surgeons of India.

What Causes Dry Skin Around Your Eyes?

The skin around your eyes is thinner compared to the skin on the rest of your face. This means that it can't retain moisture and becomes dry over time. It can get very uncomfortable too with all the flakiness, itchiness, cracks and redness.

Some Of The Major Causes Of Dry Skin Around Your Eyes Are:

  • Climatic conditions (extremely hot or cold weather)
  • Aging
  • Improper makeup practices
  • Harsh skin care ingredients
  • Harsh rubbing
  • Use of hot water
  • Exposure to irritants
  • Crying

However, There Can Be Other Underlying Skin Conditions Causing Dryness Around Your Eyes:

1. Contact Dermatitis

Contact dermatitis is a skin condition that arises when your skin interacts with an irritant [1]. It leads to dry, red and flaky skin. Certain hair products, face washes, moisturizers, sunscreen, dust and makeup are some of the irritants responsible for contact dermatitis. Fragrances in skin care products can also cause contact dermatitis. You can spread this condition if you touch your eyelid immediately after touching the product.

2. Atopic Dermatitis

Atopic dermatitis affects the skin on your eyelids. Symptoms include scaling, redness, itching and oozing in some cases [2]. Risk factors are family history, immune system or the environment. This condition is chronic and mostly occurs in children.

3. Blepharitis

Blepharitis is caused by a bacteria or an existing condition like rosacea. It leads to scales on the eyelids, redness, irritation, burning and tearing [3].

How To Treat Dry Skin Around Your Eyes?

1. Moisturize

Irrespective of your skin type, make it a habit to apply a moisturizer [4]. Invest in a good eye cream [5] that is formulated with ingredients suited for the delicate skin around your eyes. The more good news? Eye creams also contain anti-aging ingredients.

2. Adequate Sleep

Lack of sleep leads to fatigued eyes and dry skin around your eyes. Get at least six hours of sleep every night. This will allow your body to repair the damaged and dry skin around your eyes.

3. Sunscreen

Harmful UV rays from the sunlight can lead to a breakdown of collagen and elastin in your skin. The result being fine lines and wrinkles. Protect the skin around your eyes by applying a broad spectrum sunscreen [6] every time you step out. Don’t ignore the upper eyelids.

4. Topical Corticosteroids 

Your doctor may recommend topical corticosteroids [7] in case you have an underlying skin condition. Mild corticosteroids should be used as strong ones tend to thin out the skin around your already sensitive and thin skin.

5. Massage With Essential Oils

Massaging improves blood circulation in the skin around your eyes. You can choose from flaxseed oil, chamomile oil, lavender oil, rose oil or lemon oil. Dab a few drops of the oil around your eye and gently massage in circular movements.

Word Of Caution:

Be careful and do not get any oil into the eye. Do not rub the oil in a way that you pull out the delicate skin accidentally.

Home Remedies To Treat Dry Skin Around Your Eyes

1. Aloe Vera Gel

It is extremely soothing, moisturizing and helps in the synthesis of collagen to fight anti-aging.

2. Almond Oil

Almond oil helps heal dry skin as it is a great emollient.

3. Vitamin E Oil

Besides treating dry skin, vitamin E oil helps in anti-aging.

4. Butter/Yogurt

Yogurt or butter are known to elevate moisture levels in your skin.

5. Green Tea Bags

Green tea has skin renewal and skin soothing benefits. 

6. Rose Water

Rosewater has calming and anti-inflammatory properties.

How To Prevent Dry Skin?

1. Pay Attention To What You Put On Your Skin 

Make sure you read the ingredients on the labels before buying skin care. Harsh skin care products tend to dry out the skin around your eyes. Say no to alcohol, fragrances, dyes, sulfates, parabens, harsh cleansers and scrubs.

2. Watch What You Eat

Hydration is important for your skin. Eat a lot of antioxidant rich foods, fresh fruits and vegetables, greens and nuts. Steer clear of cola, processed foods, chocolates and sugars.

3. Don’t Stress Out Your Skin

You may be tempted to wash your face with hot water after a long tiring day, but stop! Hot water around the yes can strip your skin off the natural oils (sebum), making it dry. Do not rub the area around your eyes while cleansing or scrubbing. Handle this delicate skin with extra care.

4. Avoid Touching

Touching or rubbing your eyes can cause harm to the skin around your eyes. You may accidentally transfer germs or bacteria from your hands to the skin around your eyes.

5. Use Eye Goggles

Even if you are using sunscreen, make sure you cover your eyes with goggles. Doing this can protect your skin around your eyes from humid conditions, sunlight, dust and other irritants.

6. Remove Makeup Before Sleeping

The ingredients in your makeup can dry your skin if left overnight. Remove makeup around your eyes before you sleep.

Here’s How: 

  • Apply eye makeup remover to a cotton pad.
  • Press the pad on your skin very gently and drag it in an outward motion.
  • Repeat this step until your skin is completely off the makeup.

When To See Your Doctor?

Dry skin that lasts for many months or years (chronic dry skin) can make your skin less elastic and lead to sagging. The cracks in the skin around your eyes can cause skin infections.

See a Doctor If 

  • Dryness is getting worse
  • Your eyelids have remained dry for a long time
  • You experience other symptoms along with dryness around your eyes

We hope you find comfort in these dermatologist-recommended ways to manage dry skin around your eyes. Also make sure to follow a good skin care routine for healthy, balanced and glowing skin.

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