What Causes Red Skin Around the Eyes?

Medically Reviewed on 11/11/2022
Red Skin Around the Eyes
While redness around the eye may be associated with harmless conditions, such as aging, it could indicate a more serious health concern.

Redness around the eyes can be caused by a variety of factors, including:

Sometimes, underlying conditions might also cause redness around the eyes.

Home remedies are sufficient in most cases. However, in some cases, medical attention is required and one should be aware of when to consult a doctor.

Shingles and cellulitis (an infection that occurs around the eyes) are a few of the conditions that require immediate medical attention. If redness around the eyes is accompanied by any other severe symptoms, one must seek medical attention.

If you have developed a layer around the eyes that is circular, then you should be worried about a possible infection.

What are the common causes of red skin around the eyes?

Five common causes of redness around the eyes include:

  1. Eczema
    • One of the most common causes of redness around the eyes. This is atopic dermatitis and is commonly seen in children in the age group of 5 to 10 years. This can develop in adults as well.
      • Symptoms vary from person to person but the most common ones include:
        • Dry or itchy skin
        • Swelling
        • Flushed skin
        • Bumps (present on the itchy skin)
    • Several factors can cause eczema, but some of the main reasons are genetic variations, environmental factors, and allergies. There is no cure for eczema, but doctors may suggest or prescribe oral corticosteroids, such as prednisone, to relieve itching and redness and to make your skin look a little softer.
  2. Cellulitis
    • A common bacterial infection. It usually appears on the lower legs and face, but it can appear anywhere on the body. This includes preorbital cellulitis and orbital cellulitis.
      • The generic symptoms for this type of bacterial infection include:
        • Redness around the eyes
        • Swelling
        • Pain
        • Tenderness
        • Itchiness
        • Dryness
    • Taking oral medications (antibiotics) for five to seven days can reduce or completely relieve the symptoms.
  3. Shingles
  4. Nonallergic rhinitis
    • Rhinitis is an inflammation of the nose. These are caused by generic allergies and other factors. If not caused by allergies, this inflammation is called vasomotor rhinitis. This is more like a dilation of blood vessels. Nonallergic rhinitis involves sneezing or a congested, drippy nose without any cause and can affect both children and adults.
      • Some triggers can cause nonallergic rhinitis, such as:
        • Spicy food
        • Perfumes
        • Fumes from paint
        • Stress and anxiety
        • Smoke
        • A sudden drop in temperature
    • Some causes are due to hormonal imbalance, during pregnancy or puberty
    • Symptoms include running nose or stiff nose, continuous sneezing, and in
    • In some cases, loss of smell is also noticed.
    • Treatment includes several medications which can help your symptoms, but there is no cure for nonallergic rhinitis. Nonallergic rhinitis is caused by a virus, and in most cases, it will be resolved on its own. The usage of humidifiers is recommended to get rid of some symptoms, and also usage of nasal sprays for relief was included in these treatments 
  5. Rosacea
    • A chronic skin disease that mostly affects the face. When it affects the eyes, it is called ocular rosacea and can cause red, itchy, and swollen eyelids. It mostly affects people in the age group of 30 to 50 years. The eyes get stimulated easily by light, which causes blurred vision.
    • The treatment may include applying a warm, moist compress. Antibiotics are used to relieve the symptoms. Corticosteroid ointments and eye drops may reduce swelling and irritation.


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Medically Reviewed on 11/11/2022
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