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What Causes Itching Eyelids?

Nicole Madison
Updated May 17, 2024
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A person may develop itching eyelids for a variety of reasons, and among the most common are allergies. For example, a person may notice his eyelids itching when he is exposed to dust, animal dander, or pollen. Often, the itching is accompanied by other allergy symptoms, such as itching eyes, runny nose, sneezing, and coughing. There are also some conditions, such as blepharitis and ocular rosacea, that may cause or contribute to itching eyelids. Sometimes parasites may be at the root of this problem as well.

When a person has an allergy, he may experience itchy eyelids as one of his allergy symptoms. For example, a person may notice itchiness in the eyelid area along with such symptoms as a runny nose, itchy eyes, and a cough. In some cases, however, itchy eyelids may occur as an allergy symptom in the absence of other symptoms.

Some people develop itching eyelids that are caused by a condition rather than an allergy. A condition called blepharitis is marked by inflammation of the part of the eyelid from which the eyelashes extend as well as itching eyelids, reddened eyes, and flaking skin in the affected area. In some cases, an affected person may also experience a burning sensation in his eyes, and his eyelashes may appear crusted in the mornings. In some cases, a person may also lose eyelashes as a result of this condition. Typically, blepharitis is caused by oil glands that fail to function properly.

Another condition called ocular rosacea can also cause itching eyelids. This skin condition is often chronic and not only may cause itching of the eyelids, but also eye discharge, burning, redness, and swelling. The cause of this condition is unknown, but many scientists believe there may be both hereditary and environmental links to its development.

While it may not be as common as allergies, some people may experience itching eyelids because they have parasites in their eyelashes. For example, a person who has head lice may sometimes note that lice are on his eyelashes as well. This can cause itching eyelid symptoms.

When itching eyelids are caused by allergies, a person may use over-the-counter allergy medicines to treat them. If itchy eyelids are caused by blepharitis, on the other hand, symptoms can sometimes be lessened by gently wiping the eyelids with a warm, damp cloth. Often, however, a doctor's evaluation and treatment is required when the itching is caused by a skin condition or a parasite.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Nicole Madison
By Nicole Madison , Writer
Nicole Madison's love for learning inspires her work as a WiseGEEK writer, where she focuses on topics like homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. Her passion for knowledge is evident in the well-researched and informative articles she authors. As a mother of four, Nicole balances work with quality family time activities such as reading, camping, and beach trips.

Discussion Comments

By SarahGen — On Apr 26, 2013

@feruze-- It's probably an allergic reaction to the makeup products you're using. You should switch to hypoallergenic or organic makeup.

If you experience itching even when you don't wear makeup, it could be an eyelash or eye infection. Are your eyes red or inflamed?

You can clear your eyelashes by dipping a cotton ball in hot water with one or two drops of baby shampoo and wiping it across your eyelids.

But if the problem seems to be with the eye and not the eyelash, you need to see a doctor right away. You might be in need of antibiotic eye drops.

By bear78 — On Apr 25, 2013

Why do my eyelids itch on some days when I wear eye makeup?

By turquoise — On Apr 25, 2013

I have dermatitis. My skin is very dry and sensitive and during the winter months, it becomes even more dry and eventually flaky and itchy.

This condition affects my whole body but more so the areas that are out in the open like my face and hands. I have a lot of trouble with my eyelids and lips because the skin is very thin in these parts. When my eyelids starts to itchy and the skin flakes off, it's very painful.

I try to prevent it by applying moisturizers several times a day but I can't say that it's been working all too well.

Nicole Madison

Nicole Madison


Nicole Madison's love for learning inspires her work as a WiseGEEK writer, where she focuses on topics like...
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