Eczema is a term used to describe many different skin disorders. Eczema usually results in itchy, dry skin rashes that cause redness and swelling. This skin disorder typically occurs around joints; however, eczema can also appear around the eyes and eyelids. Many factors could contribute to eczema around eyes; remedies vary depending on the causes.
Causes of Eczema around Eyes
There are different kinds of eczema. To diagnose a skin rash as eczema, it is useful to know the possible causes of eczema around the eyes.
1. Immune dysfunction
Although studies are contradictory, there may be an immune system cause of eczema. Some types of eczema seem to be related to a dysfunction of the immune system. In fact, people who develop immune diseases may also develop eczema.
Environmental allergies may lead to development of eczema. Cosmetics, detergents, soaps and other products can lead to an allergic reaction which can result in eczema.
3. Environmental factors
Environmental factors such as wind, weather, sun and low humidity can cause an eczema rash.
4. Consumption of certain foods
Allergies or sensitivity to food can result in eczema around the eyes. Avoidance of these foods is essential.
5. Stress and anxiety
Stress, anxiety and other emotional problems can be a major trigger for an outbreak of eczema. Try relaxing and ease your mental stress.
6. Heredity factors
There may be a hereditary component to eczema. Studies suggest that the propensity for eczema may run in families and may be more prevalent in families where there is also a history of asthma.
Remedies for Eczema around Eyes
There is no known cure for eczema but there are medical and homeopathic treatments that may help the symptoms. Medical treatment for eczema typically includes the use of steroids and cortisone lotions on the rash. Due to the possible side effects of these medications, many people opt for more natural treatments of the disorder.
Natural remedies for eczema:
The anti-oxidant and immune-boosting properties of some vitamins seem to limit the severity of eczema outbreaks. Vitamin E fights free radicals and moisturizes the skin. Vitamins A and C are useful in boosting immune functions. The B vitamins help to repair and maintain healthy skin. Try to get these vitamins in your diet rather than in a supplement.
If your eczema is caused or worsened by allergies, try using probiotics. These helpful bacteria that you take in a pill form work to stop the growth of harmful bacteria. This treatment may be most useful for children with eczema.
3. Tropical creams and gels
Licorice, witch hazel and chamomile extracts in the form of a topical gel can help stop the spread of eczema. Since some of these herbs may cause allergic reactions, it is important to watch for worsening of symptoms if you use any of these options.
4. Gamma linolenic acid
Gamma linolenic acid is an essential fatty acid found in evening primrose and borage oils. Apply these oils directly to the rash to decrease inflammation and provide nutrition to the skin.
Dry, hot air can increase the severity of eczema around your eyes. Adding humidity to the air in your house may help the symptoms. A humidifier is a great way to add humidity but be sure to clean it regularly to prevent growth of mold in the unit.
6. Witch hazel
Witch hazel is a powerful astringent that can also help reduce inflammation associated with eczema. Apply the oil directly to the skin around the eyes but be sure to avoid getting witch hazel in your eyes!
An oatmeal bath can help eczema on all parts of the body. For eczema around the eyes, mix 2 cups of oatmeal in a sink of warm water. Soak a washcloth in this mixture and apply it to the area around your eyes.
8. More omega-3, less omega-6
Diet, and particularly fats, can have a profound effect on eczema around the eyes. The omega fatty acids produce prostaglandins that work in the inflammatory process.
- The omega-3 fatty acids produce "healthy" prostaglandins while the omega-6 fatty acids produce "unhealthy" prostaglandins. Be sure to eat plenty of fatty fish, flax and hemp oil, nuts, seeds and avocados.
- Limit omega-6 by reducing the amount of sunflower and corn oil you use. Be sure to read the labels on all processed foods to identify which kind of omega fatty acids the food contains.
9. Avoiding certain foods
Along with increasing omega-3 fatty acids and decreasing omega-6 fatty acids, there are other foods you should avoid to decrease symptoms of eczema. First, avoid any foods to which you have a known allergy.
- Typically, these foods might include dairy products, peanuts, wheat corn, eggs, and tomatoes. Your nutritionist can help you determine your food allergies.
- Second, saturated fats, food high in sugar, and processed flour foods may lead to inflammation that causes eczema. Try to choose whole grain foods and reduce your intake of processed sugar.