Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Scaly, dry skin on your eyelids? It could be eczema

I have eczema on my eyelids. What strength hydrocortisone cream should I be using? Should I be concerned about using it so close to my eyes?

Hydrocortisone is a topical steroid cream that helps with dermatitises like eczema, which is a skin inflammation. Steroids are anti-inflammatory thus helping to reduce the redness and swelling from dermatitises (and any inflammation).

Prescription steroid creams are always going to be stronger than OTC brands. That’s why they are prescribed by a doctor. In the over the counter variety, you will most likely find 1.0% topical cortisone creams. Prescription products are usually around 2.5%.

You definitely don’t want to get this or any cream in your eyes. And unfortunately, eczema commonly manifests on the upper eyelids and under and around the eyes. So you must use extreme caution if you are going to use a medicated cream around your eyes.

During the day you wouldn’t want to put anything on your eyelids. Due to the fold in the eyelid skin, the chances of the cream migrating into your eye is pretty high. At night you could use the cream or ointment sparingly to help treat the upper eyelid area. If using prescription strength, consult with your doctor to get his or her professional advice. No matter where you purchased the cream, strictly follow the instructions on the cortisone product label.

FYI: both of these photographs show extreme cases of eczema around the eye area. In my practice I see eczema quite often. And many times it is just a small piece of skin that is affected. Sometimes my client isn't even aware she is developing eczema; other times clients are fully aware.

If using a topical cortisone cream on the skin irritation doesn’t seem to be doing the trick, I highly recommend going to see your dermatologist. And while you’re there, have a full-body mole check!

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