There’s acne. There’s wrinkles. There’s redness. But, out of all the skin condition–related terms, one rather surprising issue ranks high on the old Internet search factor: itch.
According to research published in the January issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, Americans are typing in the keyword “itch” to the tune of more than 18 million—with the skin on the eye/eyelids appearing at the top of the list with 3 million hits.
The research, which was based on four years of search data, also notes that pruritus, or itch, is “the most frequent symptom seen in dermatology and significantly impacts quality of life.”
Fresno, CA dermatologist Kathleen Behr, MD says she’s not super shocked by the results, and sees cases like this often. “Eyelid skin is the thinnest skin on the body and it is also one of the most common areas to be itchy. This can be caused by contact dermatitis or atopic dermatitis. We touch our eyelids more often than we think, and this can lead to irritation or contact dermatitis.”
One additional off-the-radar culprit Dr. Behr says can be a big problem: Nail polishes and artificial nails, both of which are common allergens.
“My number-one treatment for eyelid dermatitis includes avoid touching or rubbing your eyelids,” she says. “Moisturizers such as Aquaphor should be applied twice a day. Topicalcalcineurin inhibitors (protopic and elidel) or Eucrisa (crisaborole) are prescription treatments safe for the eyelids. Topical steroids can be used as a last resort, but they can thin the skin and precipitate glaucoma.”
Omaha, NE dermatologist Joel Schlessinger, MD agrees that eyelids are a common area for itch to occur and, with his son, Dr. Daniel Schlessinger, he formulated a product that is perfect for this concern.
“FixMySkin 1% Hydrocortisone Healing Balm is a 1% hydrocortisone formulation that doesn’t contain the irritating ingredients that all other over-the-counter hydrocortisones contain, such as alcohol and/or petrolatum. For this reason, it is perfect for the areas around the eyes and eyelids. Since it is a balm that is not ‘gloppy’, it stays in place on the delicate eyelids and won’t drip in the eyes! Additionally, it is easily portable and won’t melt in your purse or pocket.”