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How is a rash around the eyes treated?

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Quick Answer

Most cases of rashes around the eyes are caused by contact allergens and the first step to treat the condition is to identify the allergens and prevent them from having further contact with the affected area. Referred to in medical terms as periocular or periorbital dermatitis, rashes around the eyes may respond temporarily to topical corticosteroid treatments. While corticosteroids may provide temporary relief, rash flareups may occur if the treatment is stopped.

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Full Answer

In a 2009 study published in the Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, researchers tested 401 subjects to determine the cause or causes of periocular dermatitis, or PD. The test subjects were known to be suffering from periocular dermatitis and they were tested from 1996 to 2006.

The researchers in the study determined that sensitivity to contact allergens caused periocular dermatitis in more than 34 percent of the test subjects. Other causes for PD were ophthalmic in nature and atopic dermatitis. Among the most common allergens among the individuals tested were nickel sulphate, fragrance mix, balsam of Peru, thiomersal and paraphenylendiamine. Some of these allergens are commonly found in cosmetic products such as creams and eye shadow. The other allergens are components of eye drops, fragrances and drugs.

Periocular dermatitis can be quite difficult to treat and it causes mild to severe discomfort among individuals suffering from the condition. The rashes also have different physical appearances, which also make them difficult for doctors to diagnose. Apart from eliminating the particular allergen causing the condition, calcineurin inhibitors can also relieve some of the symptoms of PD.

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