What are dry eyelids?
According to Dr. Libby, dry eyelids refer to, “irritated, flaky skin around the eyes, which occur from the skin’s normal barrier being disrupted.” The dry skin then leads to a loss of hydration and moisture in the skin and inflammation follows.
Like all dry skin, most cases are easily detected when there is a change of texture and/or appearance. “You will know if you have dry skin on the eyelids if you have dryness, redness, itching, flaking or swelling,” Dr. Libby says. And, since the skin around the eyes is thin and often sensitive, these conditions may be more irritating on your lids than it would be on other parts of your body.
Hadley King, MD, a dermatologist in NYC, says another way to identify if you’re dealing with dry eyelids is to see how the skin reacts with a moisturizer. If there is inflammation and the flaking doesn’t resolve with moisturizing, then it is likely dry skin and can include conditions like seborrheic dermatitis, contact dermatitis or eczema.
What causes dry eyelids?
Unfortunately, there are numerous causes of dry eyelids. These reasons can include, but aren’t limited to, genetic skin conditions, stress, and overall health. But when it comes to the most common concerns, both Dr. Libby and Dr. King agree that dry eyelids often come with seasonal changes like cold temps and dry weather. “During the fall and winter months, the weather can cause skin to be stripped of its oils which impairs the skin’s natural moisture barrier and leads to dry, itchy skin on the body.” It’s similar to how your lips are hydrated and smooth in the heat of summer, but then transform into chapped and cracked lips come winter time.
Another cause is allergens and irritants which are typical triggers for eczema or inflamed skin. “Common culprits may be makeup, perfume droplets, pollen or even nail polish,” Dr. Libby mentions. This is why skin experts recommend testing new products on a small area of skin before slathering it all over your face. This will help you understand if your skin has any negative reactions to specific ingredients.