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Dry, Flaky Skin Around Eyes

author image Nicole Adams
Nicole Adams is an accomplished writer, publishing in print and online. She has submitted hundreds of articles for websites, including CBS Local and Education.com. Adams earned a Bachelor of Science in psychology with concentrated studies in health and nutrition, and animal behavior and nutrition. She loves to cook and volunteers in animal rescue.
Dry, Flaky Skin Around Eyes
Creams and lotions can help keep your sensitive eye area skin hydrated. Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images

The skin around your eyes is very delicate, and if it is dry and flaky, it could also be red and irritated. Dry skin around your eyes can occur for a number of reasons, and can be tackled with a number of treatments. Your condition may be mild to severe, requiring simple solutions or stronger medicinal treatments.


Normal hydrated skin has plump cells, but when the skin becomes dry, those cells shrivel, creating fine lines and wrinkles, according to MayoClinic.com. The dry skin can flake and itch, and become red and irritated. It may feel rough and raw, causing the skin around your eyes to swell and become sore. In some instances, your skin may show scales. You may be more prone to dry, flaky skin around your eyes if other areas of your face or skin are also dry.

Medical Conditions

Facial psoriasis can occur around your eyes, most often in the eyebrows. It causes your skin to dry and flake, and scales may cover your lashes, according to the National Psoriasis Foundation. Seborrheic dermatitis also occurs on the face and around the eyes. It is a red, scaly, itchy rash, typically due to oily skin. When it makes your skin flake, it also causes it to dry out. Eczema can occur anywhere on the body and causes severe dry patches that can get very itchy, red and inflamed. Blepharitis is an inflammatory condition that affects the eyelids, due to malfunctioning oil glands. This condition causes red, itchy and flaky eyelids.

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Cosmetic Effects

Contact dermatitis is a common ailment resulting from an allergic reaction to certain irritants touching your skin, according to the Eye Care Source website. This can occur from eye make-up or skin foundation. Your eyeliner, mascara, eye shadow or the tools used for applying them may have accumulated bacteria over time. This will irritate your skin, dry it out and perhaps cause it to flake. Facial cleansers or lotions, eye make-up remover or even the towel you use to dry your face can irritate your skin and dry out the skin around your eyes.


Facial psoriasis can be treated with topical antibiotics, but in some cases, a steroid medication made specifically for the sensitive eye area may be needed. Eczema is treated with over-the-counter lotions and moisturizers, but may need to be treated with topical or oral steroids, according to the National Eczema Foundation. Creams, gels and lotions containing anesthetic, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antibiotic, antifungal and antihistamine medicines are also used to treat eczema. Blepharitis can be treated with antibiotics and steroid ointments. Creams and lotions specific to the eye area are also available to help keep the sensitive skin moisturized.


Dry, flaky skin around your eyes can be quite bothersome. If your skin has not cleared up from simple treatments, contact your doctor, as you may have an underlying condition that requires different or additional treatment. Your eyes are important, and the surrounding skin area is delicate. Be sure to talk with your doctor for the best solution for you.

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