Open Your Eyes to the World of Puffiness and Other Irritations

“Eyes are the windows to the soul” — Peng Liyuan

The eyes are also a snapshot of your overall health and well-being. Fatigue, anemia, aging, medications, genetics, and other factors can cause various eye irritations.

The skin around the eye area is the thinnest and most delicate region of your face. Lack of sleep, high blood pressure, and stress can cause capillary leakage and blood pools, creating the appearance of dark circles and puffiness. Due to the thinness, light bounces off the area making the darkness look worse. Certain eye creams and makeup have light reflectors that can assist with this. You may read more about dark circles in my earlier post.

Puffiness or under-eye swelling is a symptom sometimes caused by allergy or infection. Other times, it is caused by fluid retention from hormonal changes, stress, and too much sodium in the diet, which causes water retention. Puffiness may also be from lack of sleep or overindulgence in alcoholic beverages the night before.

To relieve puffiness, you can try cool, damp tea bags or ice packs and place them on the affected area for up to 20 minutes. Some people say that elevating themselves in bed, while they sleep, is helpful. They put an extra pillow under their mattress or prop themselves up on two pillows to assist with lymphatic drainage. Certain Estheticians are trained in a technique called Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) and may be able to reduce the puffiness using the MLD method.

blepharitistreatment1
Photo by Dr. Soroudi

Blepharitis refers to irritation of the eyelid, particularly at the base of eyelashes. The eyelids appear red, puffy, and occasionally come with flakiness. In addition to causing discomfort, this condition can also interfere with tear production. The term “blepharitis” originates from the word “blepharon” which is Greek for eyelid. It is often caused by the inflammation of the oil glands that lubricate the eye.

Dermatitis can cause dry, crusty red patches around the eyelids. Itchiness indicates an allergy; it can be caused by an unknown allergen in the air, such as smoke or pollen, or something you directly came into contact with, such as makeup or eye creme. A known allergen means that you know what caused it. One way to treat an allergic reaction on the skin is to use an antihistamine or a cream based in aloe or calendula. Sometimes using a warm, moist compress can relieve the itchiness.

If it is not itchy, it is probably not an allergy and more likely an irritant and may or may not be contact dermatitis. Take a look at your daily routine to see what could be causing it. Common sources of irritation include eye shadow, eye creams, makeup, jewelry, soaps, dust, fragrances, benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid and contact lens solutions.

People who have been diagnosed with eczema can experience similar looking irritation around the eyes and may benefit from the home remedies above. However, they typically use medications like corticosteroids or calcineurin inhibitors for treatment.

Feel free to send comments, questions, and ideas for new topics.

Stay in touch,

Shelley

p.s.

Follow my blog to learn more about your skin. I look forward to sharing interesting and newsworthy skin care tips + knowledge with you.

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