Why the Skin Around Your Eyes Is Dry: Quick Tips on How to Fix It

Dealing with dry skin can be an uncomfortable experience, especially when it affects the delicate area around the eyes. The skin in this region is particularly susceptible to moisture loss and dryness. In this article, we'll explore what causes dry skin around the eyes and how you can treat it effectively.

Common triggers for dryness around the eyes

Dry eyelids can stem from various factors, spanning environmental influences to underlying medical conditions. Below, we outline the main culprits contributing to dry skin around the eyes.

1. Aging

As you get older, your skin may produce less and less sebum oil that helps moisturize your skin. This can make your skin become dryer and more sensitive. You may also lose fat in the skin around your eyes. This makes the eyelid skin even thinner and more likely to dry and become irritated.

2. Weather conditions

Your skin can become dry because of the weather. Skin usually becomes dryer in cold, dry weather where there is little humidity. Also, using lots of hot water during showers can strip your skin of its natural oils, which can make your eyelids more itchy and dry.

3. Contact dermatitis

Contact dermatitis is caused when your skin comes in contact with allergens or irritants in your skincare or eye care products. Contact dermatitis can make your skin become itchy, dry, and irritated.

4. Atopic dermatitis

Atopic dermatitis is a common type of eczema. It’s a long-lasting health condition that can make the skin on your eyes become flaky, dry, and irritated. While typically more prevalent among children, it can manifest at any age.

5. Blepharitis

This is the inflammation around your eyelids. It results from tiny oil glands at the base of the eyelashes clogging up, causing irritation, redness, and dryness. You might experience a burning sensation and excessive tearing.

Signs of dry skin around the eyes

Dry skin around the eyes is a common issue, and its signs are easy to recognize. Some symptoms include:

  • Flaky skin
  • Patches of itchy or scaly skin
  • Stinging or burning
  • Rough skin
  • Redness or discoloration
  • Peeling
  • Pain

How to treat dry skin around the eyes

The treatment for dry skin around the eyes typically varies based on the underlying cause. Here are the common approaches to addressing this issue:

Moisturizing

Regardless of your skin type, always make a habit to apply a moisturizer. Look for dry skin eye cream that will add extra moisture to your skin. What's even better is that eye creams also contain anti-aging ingredients to prevent wrinkles and fine lines.

Eating a healthy diet

The foundation for healthy-looking skin always starts on the inside. A diet rich in skin-loving nutrients is great in helping you maintain your best skin and also combat dry skin. So, eat a diet rich in antioxidants, which include fruits, leafy greens, and nuts. Also, make sure you drink plenty of water throughout the day. This will help keep the skin around your eyes hydrated.

Applying sunscreen

Any time you’re out in the sun, make sure you wear sunscreen. Sun can be both drying and damaging to the skin because the UV rays can break down elastin and collagen. Although so many people forget, it’s important to apply sunscreen to the skin around your eyes. Just dab it on carefully to avoid getting it into the eyes.

Getting enough sleep

Lack of sleep usually leads to fatigued and dry skin around your eyelids. Make sure you get at least 7–9 hours of sleep. This will allow your body to repair the dry and damaged skin around your eyes.

Medication (if necessary)

If your dry skin is due to an underlying condition, then your doctor may prescribe medication. The most common one is topical corticosteroids. It should be a mild corticosteroid as a strong one can thin out the skin around your eyes, which is already thin and sensitive.

Home remedies for dry skin around the eyes

Home remedies offer simple and effective solutions for addressing dry skin around your eyes, using items readily available in your home. Among the best remedies are:

  • Aloe vera. It hydrates and moisturizes your skin. Aloe vera can promote collagen production, thus addressing wrinkles, which is especially beneficial for treating dry skin around your eyelids.
  • Petroleum jelly. It helps prevent moisture loss from your skin. This feature of petroleum jelly helps keep the skin around your eyes hydrated.
  • Cucumber. Cucumber has a nice cooling effect on the skin. When you apply it to the eye area, it helps reduce under-eye circles, hydrate the skin, and may also prevent inflammation.
  • Glycerin. Glycerin is an amazing product to keep your skin hydrated and also prevent dryness. One study found that creams containing glycerin were effective in atopic dry skin.

How to prevent dry skin around your eyes

To prevent dry skin around the eyes, it's crucial to consider the root cause and take appropriate measures. Start by avoiding harsh face products, as ingredients like fragrances, sulfates, alcohol, and harsh cleansers can strip the delicate skin of its natural moisture.

Also, refrain from rubbing your eyes vigorously, as this can damage the delicate capillaries and result in swelling and bruising. Likewise, ensure proper removal of makeup every night to allow the skin to breathe and regenerate.

Lastly, when cleansing your face, opt for warm water instead of hot water, as hot water can deplete the skin's natural oils, leading to dryness.

Can dry skin around the eyes cause wrinkles?

Dry skin around the eyes does not directly cause wrinkles to form, but it may make them more noticeable. Nonetheless, when your skin isn’t properly moisturized and hydrated, it can speed up the appearance of any existing wrinkles and fine lines.

When to seek professional help?

You should see a doctor if you suspect a more serious health problem like contact dermatitis or atopic dermatitis. Your doctor can review your signs and symptoms and conduct a physical exam to diagnose your condition.

You should also see a doctor if:

  • Dryness is getting worse
  • Your eyelids have been dry for a long period of time
  • You notice other accompanying symptoms that worry you

There are so many different reasons why you may have dry skin around the eyes. The good news is dry skin around the eyes can be supported at home and even prevented in the future. Implement the following tips to maintain optimal eye skin health. However, if your dry skin persists despite home remedies or if you experience additional symptoms, it's important to consult your doctor.

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