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Eyelid skin problems

Author: Dr Emily Ryder, Dermatology Registrar, Hamilton, New Zealand; Chief Editor: Dr Amanda Oakley, Dermatologist, Hamilton, New Zealand, May 2014.



Although the eyelids may be involved with many skin conditions, the most common are listed here.

Skin lesions

Stable painless solitary lesions

Stable painless solitary lesions of eyelid

Growing solitary lesions

Skin cancers progressively enlarge.

Skin cancers of eyelid

Multiple lesions

Eyelid lesions

Infections affecting eyelids

Bacterial skin infections

Eyelid bacterial infection

Viral skin infections

Eyelid viral infections

Fungal skin infections


  • Demodex mite infestation of the eyelashes
  • Pediculosis pubis (pthiriasis), also called crabs or pubic lice

Eyelid fungal infections

Inflammatory skin conditions affecting eyelids

Dry itchy patches

Eyelid dermatitis

Dry non-itchy patches

Dry eyelids

Papules and pustules

Acne vulgaris tends to spare eyelids. 

Eyelid papules and pustules

Blisters and erosions

Eyelid erosions


Systemic disorders may mimic eyelid disease by causing swelling or redness of the eyelid:

Eyelid swelling

Dry irritated eyes

  • Keratoconjunctivitis sicca




  • Papier A, Tuttle J, Mahar TJ. Differential Diagnosis of the Swollen Red Eyelid. Am Fam Physician. 2007 15;76(12):1815-1824. PubMed.
  • Zug KA, Palay DA, Rock B. Dermatologic Diagnosis and treatment of itchy red eyelids. Surv Ophthalmol. 1996;40:293-306. PubMed.
  • Guin JD. Eyelid dermatitis. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2002;47:755-65. PubMed.

Books about skin diseases

Text: Miiskin


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