Psoriasis on and around the Eyelids, Causes, and Treatments
Eyelid psoriasis is a chronic skin condition that develops as a result of rapid cell production, resulting in a build-up of cells on the eyelids. It is characterized by thick, scaly patches on the eyelids. The condition cannot be cured, but several treatment options exist to manage it.
Read on for more information on the symptoms, causes, and treatments of psoriasis on and around the eyelids.
Symptoms of Psoriasis Around the Eyelids
Psoriasis on and around the eyelids is not very common, but its effects might be more disturbing because of its location. For instance, the patches resulting from the cell build-up might affect your ability to close and open your eyelids.
Here are the major symptoms of eyelid psoriasis:
- Skin discoloration and scaling on and around the eyelids
- Dry, cracked skin that might bleed
- Dandruff-like scales that fall and cover the eyelashes
- Inflamed eyelids that are painful to move
- Burning or tightness around the eyelids
- Trouble opening and closing the eyelids
Causes of Eyelid Psoriasis
The exact cause of eyelid psoriasis is not known. However, you are more likely to get it if you have a family history of the disease. In addition, there are dietary and environmental triggers that cause and worsen the flare-ups. These include:
- Infections and illnesses that lower the immune system
- Skin damage caused by vaccinations, insect bites, or sunburns
- Dry air due to decreased humidity levels
- Excessive smoking and alcohol abuse
- Side effects of medications like bipolar disorder, high blood pressure, and heart rate medicines
- Excessive weight gain
Eyelid Psoriasis Treatment Options
Psoriasis does not have a cure, but many treatment options exist to reduce the symptoms. Because eyelid psoriasis affects the eyes, it should be treated with urgency.
There are home remedies and medical treatments for eyelid psoriasis, but you should not take any before proper diagnosis. Remember that the eyes are very sensitive and you could worsen the situation by using the wrong treatment.
Psoriasis on and around the eyelids can be treated with the following methods.
Various topical creams, lotions, and mist sprays are used to treat psoriasis. Topical treatments are applied to the affected areas to reduce the symptoms, but they do not cure the condition.
You can purchase these ointments over the counter, but you must be careful with what you use because the skin around your eyes is susceptible to damage.
Moreover, excessive usage of topical treatments around the eyes puts you at risk of glaucoma and cataracts. Therefore, always consult your doctor before starting topical treatments for psoriasis.
Some commonly prescribed topical treatments for eyelid psoriasis include tacrolimus and pimecrolimus. Although they are mostly eczema ointments, they are also approved by FDA to treat psoriasis.
Oral and Injectable Medications
Systemic medications for psoriasis are administered in cases of severe symptoms and where the symptoms do not calm after topical treatment. Your doctor might prescribe oral steroids, methotrexate, or oral retinoids such as acitretin. These treatments have side effects and should not be used for a long time.
Light therapy/phototherapy helps to reduce and calm the symptoms of psoriasis, but excess exposure might worsen the condition. Moreover, frequent exposure to ultraviolet B (UVB) light puts patients at risk of skin cancer because the eye's skin is very sensitive. Light therapy is not recommended for all skin types. Therefore, consult your doctor before starting light therapy for eyelid psoriasis.
Biologic therapy is a form of eyelid psoriasis that targets specific immune system components. This treatment can only be prescribed by a doctor because they must consider the type and severity of your psoriasis. Patients with stubborn moderate to severe psoriasis are only prescribed biologic drugs.
Home remedies can calm eyelid psoriasis symptoms independently or with the above medical treatments. These include:
- Soothe the skin with cold water - Cold compressing your eyelids for around ten minutes twice a day helps to get rid of the scales. It works effectively if paired with topical treatments.
- Do not touch or pick the affected areas - you will be tempted to rub and pick the affected areas to get rid of the scales, but you will worsen the condition over time. Picking the flakes causes more to come out.
- Do not use eye makeup - using eye makeup on the red, inflamed, and flaky skin causes more irritation and makes the condition worse. Therefore, do not use mascara, eye shadow, or any other eye makeup until the symptoms clear up.
- Adapt an anti-inflammatory diet - A healthy diet can help alleviate your psoriasis symptoms. Replace processed foods, dairy products, and processed carbohydrates with leafy green vegetables, fruits, and seeds and observe if the symptoms will reduce.
- Good skincare - A good skincare regime is crucial for treating psoriasis. Dermatologists recommend gentle products like revitalizing mist to prevent further skin irritation. Incorporate revitalizing mist in your morning, midday, and evening skincare routine for the best results. Also, ensure to use the mist on a clean face.
- Personal hygiene - psoriasis is not an indication of poor hygiene, but you must ensure that the affected areas are clean to prevent further irritation. Use gentle soap, warm water, and a soft cloth to clean your eyelids for the best results. It is crucial to keep the area clean and moisturized all the time.