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Understanding Redness Around the Eyes: Causes and Treatment Options

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Written by- Gina Walters

Redness around the eyes is a common issue that many people experience at some point in their lives. 

It is an uncomfortable condition and also affects one’s appearance. 

Normally, redness is not a serious concern, but persistent redness around the eyes may indicate underlying health conditions. 

Let us explore more about redness around the eyes, its causes, and treatment options.

What causes redness around the eyes

Redness around the eyes or periorbital redness is a common condition that causes discoloration of the skin surrounding the eye area. 

Symptoms like eye pain, itching, swelling, and sensitivity to light may also accompany the redness. 

Periorbital redness can result from various factors such as Eczema, Contact Dermatitis, Cellulitis, Rosacea, and more. 

Identifying the cause of redness around the eyes is important for effective management. 

Let us explore the causes in detail.

Avoid rubbing your eyes, as it can increase inflammation.


Eczema (Atopic Dermatitis) is a skin condition that makes the skin dry and itchy.

The symptoms of Eczema include flushed skin, red itchy eyes, swelling, and more. 

Eczema is common, as more than 31 million people in the United States are affected by the condition.

Eczema can be caused by factors like environmental factors, irritants, and allergens.

Contact Dermatitis

Contact Dermatitis is an itchy rash caused by skin irritation or an allergic reaction.

The irritants and allergens include shampoos, detergents, jewelry, personal care products, and more.

The condition is not contagious but is uncomfortable and can lead to redness around the eyes.

The symptoms of Contact Dermatitis include itchiness, dryness, cracked skin, and more.


Eye allergySource: Andrei310_from_GettyImages
A closeup of an eye suffering from Cellulitis

Cellulitis is a bacterial skin infection that mostly affects the lower legs and face. 

This common condition can cause symptoms like redness, swelling, pain, and more. 

Cellulitis can worsen in the eye area if it’s not treated immediately.

The primary cause of Cellulitis is bacteria entering the area due to an insect bite, an injury, or more.

Orbital Cellulitis is a serious eye infection that causes eye inflammation and leads to vision problems if not treated early. Consult a doctor for proper treatment.


Rosacea is a skin condition that may cause long-term redness on your face.

Rosacea may lead to irritation, red bumps under eyes, and swelling.

The triggering factors of Rosacea include drinking hot beverages, eating spicy foods, drinking alcoholic beverages, and more.

Other causes

The other factors of redness around the eyes include Shingles, Dry Eyes, Pink Eyes, and more. 

The above factors can cause redness in or around the eyes.

Dry eyes cause inadequate tear production and may lead to irritation and redness. 

One should consult an eye doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment options.

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How to get rid of redness around the eyes

The treatment options for redness around the eyes include cold compress, artificial tears, and allergen avoidance. 

Remedies like cold compress can help reduce redness and irritation around the eyes.

Also, one can use artificial tears or lubricating Red Eye drops for redness caused by dry eyes.

The eye drops can help provide moisture and reduce redness. However, consult a doctor and choose preservative-free drops.

One can also avoid redness around the eyes by identifying and avoiding allergens.

Consult a doctor and follow proper hygiene tips to protect your eyes and face from redness and irritation. 

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Key takeaways

Redness around the eyes is a common problem that may cause discomfort and affect facial appearance. 

Symptoms like itching, swelling, and sensitivity to light may also accompany the redness.

However, it is important to understand the causes of redness around the eyes to manage the problem effectively. 

The causes of redness around the eyes include Eczema, Contact Dermatitis, Cellulitis, Rosacea, and more. 

Fortunately, treatment options like cold compress, artificial tears, and allergen avoidance may help with redness and irritation. 

Consult an eye or skin doctor for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does redness around the eyes last?

The duration of redness around the eyes differs based on the severity and causes of the condition. Minor redness from irritations or allergies may resolve in a day or two but may last longer if you stay exposed to allergens.
However, other conditions like Eczema, Dry Eyes, and more may last a week or longer.

How do I reduce redness around my eyelids?

Treatment options like cool compress, preservative-free lubricating eye drops and more may help reduce redness around the eyelids. 
One should identify and avoid potential allergens. Consult a doctor if the redness is constant.

Can I use contact lenses with redness around the eyes?

No, one should avoid using contact lenses when experiencing redness around the eyes. Contacts can increase the irritation and slow the healing process. Also, consult with an eye doctor before resuming contact lens use.

Is redness around the eyes a sign of an eye infection?

Yes, redness around the eyes can be a sign of an eye infection if accompanied by symptoms like itching, discharge, and swelling. Consult an eye doctor for accurate diagnosis and treatment.

Is redness on eyelids normal?

Yes, eyelid redness can be normal and often occurs due to minor issues like allergies, irritation, or lack of sleep. However, constant or serious redness may indicate an underlying problem, such as an infection or Dermatitis.

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