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Swollen eyelids with red, itchy patches. Taking antibiotics. What is causing this? Safe remedy?

Answered by
Dr. Praveen Tayal

Orthopaedic Surgeon

Practicing since :1994

Answered : 11271 Questions

Posted on Thu, 24 Jan 2013 in Skin Hair and Nails
Question: Hi

I have had an ongoing problem with my eyelids for a few months now. It started with a few raised red and itchy scaly patches which soon spread to both eyes causing swelling along the upper eyelid only. My lashline is clear. The pharmacy gave me antibiotic ointment which resolved the itchiness and flakiness, but my upper eyelids are now red and have milia like bumps. Last week my Dr prescribed hydrocortisone cream and moisturiser which is making little difference. The skin is swollen first thing in the morning and looks almost stretched and crepey. Any ideas?
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 2 hours later
Thanks for posting your query.
The swelling in your eyelids seems to be either due to lymphatic drainage problem or is due to any infection- these can range from bacterial to virus infections, and can be caused by numerous different things ranging from allergies to chemicals.
Using dirty contact lenses and sinusitis can also lead to such a swelling of the eyelids.

The first thing you can do, regardless of the cause of your swollen eyelid is avoid touching, rubbing or staring at the swelling. Staring at the swollen eyelid will only lead to touching and rubbing, so stay out of the mirror and avoid the temptation.
Avoid wearing make-up, including powders and base. Particles can fly through the air and irritate your eyelids even more.
Try using a cold cloth or even cucumbers twice a day.
Splashing cool water on your face can help reduce swelling.
Gauze pads soaked in milk can also help reduce the swelling around your eyes.
Over-the-counter antihistamines and/or eye drops can help too.
Physical check up is necessary to find out the cause. You need to consult your ophthalmologist to get antibiotic and anti allergic eye drops prescribed. Systemic steroids may also be needed for relief.
I hope this answers your query.
In case you have additional questions or doubts, you can forward them to me, and I shall be glad to help you out.
Please accept my answer in case you do not have further queries.
Wishing you good health.
Dr. Praveen Tayal.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar

The User accepted the expert's answer

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