Q:

What does dry skin around the eyes indicate?

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Dry eyelids can indicate allergies to cosmetics or shampoo, eczema, or psoriasis, according to EyeHealthWeb. They may also be a symptom of Sjögren's syndrome, an autoimmune disease characterized by dry eyes and mouth. Inflamed and dry eyes can be caused by blepharitis, which also comes with discharge and swelling.

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Sjögren's syndrome causes the eye to fail to produce an adequate amount of tears, according to the Wilmer Eye Institute. The dry eyes are further worsened when the glands of the eyelids decrease oil production, causing the skin to dry out as well.

Blepharitis is a common and non-contagious eye disorder that EyeHealthWeb loosely associates with rosacea and seborrhea. It is characterized by the inflammation of eyelash follicles, causing the secretions of the oil glands to thicken and block up the follicles. It is usually caused by bacteria, allergies or rosacea, but in some rare cases, it has been traced back to eyelash mites and lice.

EyeHealthWeb strongly discourages applying moisturizers and lotions to the eye area unless they are specifically made for the eyes. Because the skin around the eyes is more delicate, lotions can further irritate the skin and worsen the dryness. Try washing the area with baby shampoo and avoid touching the face and eyes with hands to prevent the transmission of bacteria and germs.

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