Infant with Itchy, Irritated Eyelids

Updated on October 27, 2008
B.P. asks from Minneapolis, MN
14 answers

My 7 month old baby has dry, red eyelids that seem to itch a lot. She's had a lot of problems with skin allergies and sensitivies, but we've gotten most of those under control using scent-free everything (lotion, baby wash, detergent, etc). Yet her eyelids remain red and she ends up rubbing them a lot, which of course makes it worse. Since the area is so close to her eyes, I don't want to put anything on her that will burn or sting if she rubs it into her eyes.

I've tried to watch for connections to food she eats, but haven't seen any correlation. Plus, it's been a problem since before she was eating any solid foods.

Any ideas on what could be causing the dry skin on her eyelids, and what we can do to make it better? Thanks!

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A.W.

answers from Milwaukee on

My mother actually had a similar problem recently. She finally went to the doctor (after trying to treat her issue as allergies, and it wasn't getting any better). She was told she had ezcema on her eyelids. She was given a Rx. cream (Elidel) (which I've also used on both of my kids at one point or another) and now it's totally cleared up after just a few days of treatment. I would make a appointment with her pediatrician to see what they think and go from there. I've also had to use vasaline by my daugther's eyes when she had a flare up there. Her ped. said it would be fine even if she rubbed a little in her eye. Good luck!

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M.D.

answers from Minneapolis on

Do you have pets? It may be a pet allergy. I'm allergic to cats and my eyes do the same thing when I am around them.

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A.S.

answers from Minneapolis on

Sounds like it could be eczema. I had a friend who was allergic to formaldahyde and had horrible eczema from it. She had gone to doctors for 15 years for the eczema without a solution. Formaldahyde is in most cleaning products and lots of personal care products because it's a great preservative (Johnson & Johnson baby shampoo for example). My friend switched her home over to Melaleuca products (no formaldahyde in any of their products) and her eczema symptoms are gone. Melaleuca is a catalog shopping system. If you want to hear more about their great products, feel free to contact me at [email protected]____.com and I can get you more info.

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L.G.

answers from Minneapolis on

What I've heard is that even though a product may be scent-free, it's not necessarily free of irritating chemicals. I've even heard that companies go so far as to put extra chemicals into a product to remove the scent or at least disable our olfactory sensors. (Not sure if this is true, but I can't completely dismiss it.) I would be careful of those products. Try to adhere more closely to the rule of: if you can eat it, you can put it on your skin. I don't use lotion on my baby at all. If he has dry skin I use olive oil, almond oil, or coconut oil, all of which are edible and oz. for oz. are most likely LESS expensive than any lotion out there. (Plus you can use them in your cooking!) :) If you wanted to check out how hazardous (or non-hazardous) the products you're using are, go to www.cosmeticsdatabase.com. It's a wonderful site put out by the Environmental Working Group, a non-profit organization to help people like us be aware of what toxic chemicals are in the products that are being sold and marketed as "safe." Go ahead and check it out. They'll ask you to "sign in" on the first page but you can just click on the "no thanks" beneath it and get right down to business. I hope it proves to be as revealing to you as it was for me. :)

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A.M.

answers from La Crosse on

I get funny dry patches on my eyelids when my allergies are especially bad. They get worse if I rub them -- which I assume your daughter is doing. I'm not sure if it's connected to my excema (had it pretty bad as a kid, it's mostly gone now).
The thing that has worked the best for me is a lotion called "Vanicream." Most drugstores have it. I know it's safe to use on children/babies because I've asked my doctor about it. Personally I use it on my eyelids, but I'd probably ask before using it on a babe's eyelids.
What about one of the jelly moisturizers that you can use on eyes? Some are petroleum, some are not. I've had problems with dry eyes and some of these moisturizers are like vaseline, but for your eyes. At any rate, it seems like it would be safe outside the eye too. I'd ask a doctor.
Good luck!

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S.S.

answers from Appleton on

My daughter had eczema and was always rubbing her eyes, too. Our pediatrician advised me to put a thin application of plain vaseline(white petroleum jelly) on her eyelids before she goes to bed every night. She never had any eye irritations from this and no longer has itchy eyelids!

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E.W.

answers from Madison on

Do you have any pets? She could be allergic?

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J.A.

answers from Omaha on

if you are nursing, put some breast milk on the lids and even in her eyes. We used this technique with great success when my daughter had tear duct issues. We avoided surgery this way! Breast milk has many antibiotic properties to it and is soothing as well. It is all natural, free, has no side effects and doesn't need a prescription. Well worth it.
Hope this works for you!
J.

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C.S.

answers from Omaha on

It may be an enviromental allergy, the carpet, any pets or even pollen that gets brought inside. I would take to your Dr. but i know from past experience they don't like doing the allergy test until the child is at least a year old.

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L.L.

answers from Dubuque on

Hi B.,

Even tho you have gotten rid of things with 'scent' in them, that might not be the only thing she is allergic to or is causing the problem. Check out my blog for other possibilities.

http://www.livegreeneveryday.com I'm thinking especially the 8/30 post.

Good luck,
L.

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D.N.

answers from Minneapolis on

My son had a similar sounding problem a couple years back & it was actually a bacterial infection in his lashes. A couple weeks prior to this he had a bacterial infection in his hair folicles on his body. The Dr. said they were related. The Dr & they gave us a prescription for a clear cream (can't remember the name of it) to rub on his eyes twice a day that cleared it up.

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S.P.

answers from Minneapolis on

My daughter had the exact same thing - eczema on her eyelids. We used Aquaphor to help calm her skin down on the rest of her body, but I can't for the life of me remember what we used on her eyes! Because eczema is related to dry skin, we now use organic olive oil on her skin after a bath - it helps a lot. I would definitely go see a doctor who can give you something to stop the inflamation and itching right now while you find a solution to the dry, oversensitive skin issue.
Good luck -

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K.H.

answers from Minneapolis on

hmmmm-think ya might want to talk to a dr.bout that...and not get advice on line...i see this alot on here-its really kinda bothersome-these are your children....you should seek proper medical advice for their health an welfare.i raised both my kids pretty much alone-no computers,no family,no hubby,(divorced)nothing like they have now days...kids are 26&27...if i was concerned,to the dr.plain an simple.good luck

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D.B.

answers from Minneapolis on

Hi, my son had itchy dry eyelids when he was 3 months old. I took him to the Dr. to rule out anything serious. What worked for us was plain vaseline rubbed on the eyelids and surrounding area 2-3 times per day. The vaseline was recommended by the pediatrician; and I specifically asked if it would burn his eyes and she said no. He stopped rubbing his eyes once the vaseline was on, and his skin cleared up in about a week.

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