The white area around the iris is called the sclera. The sclera makes up most of the surface of the eye and protects its liquid inner contents by providing a tough outer covering.
An alternate term for the sclera is the white of the eye. Although the sclera is white in healthy adults, it can also be other colors under certain conditions. In infants and young children, the sclera is thinner than in adults and has a bluish cast. An inflamed or irritated sclera can appear red or pink. Finally, the liver condition jaundice can make the sclera turn yellow as bile builds up in body tissue.