Psoriasis on the Eyelid: Causes, Symptoms, Complications, and Treatment

By | 14/11/2018
treatment for psoriasis on the eyelid

Psoriasis is a highly common proliferative skin disease that results in inflammation and thickening of the superficial layers of the affected area of the body.

This particular condition causes an abnormally fast turnover of the skin cells.

The term Cell Turnover refers to a process in which the body sheds dead skin cells to replace them with new skin cells.

Under normal circumstances, such a process takes between 21 and 28 days to occur, which is the time it takes for a skin cell to mature and reach the surface of the skin where it gets discarded.

When patients have Psoriasis, their bodies will shed skin cells at a much faster rate, around 4 to 7 days. That is why this condition results in a build-up of dead cells in the affected area.

This skin disease can affect virtually any part of the body. However, Psoriasis usually appears on the outside of the elbows, knees or scalp.

One relatively common location affected by this disease is the face. More often than not, Facial Psoriasis affects the eyebrows as well as the skin between the nose and upper lip, and the higher part of the forehead.

In some rare cases, a patient may have Psoriasis around the eyes, which can result in inflammation and dryness.

Causes

Similarly to other forms of Psoriasis, medical experts are still unsure as to what could be the primary cause of this skin disease.

Some doctors suggest this condition is the result of an autoimmune response set by specific trigger factors such as infections, stress, and even sunburns.

In this regard, medical experts theorize that T cells, which usually defend the body defend against foreign substances or harmful bacteria, start attacking healthy cells by mistake.

This autoimmune action may trigger a remarkable increase in the production of new skin cells and more T cells as well as other white blood cells.

The new skin cells move to the outermost layer of the skin too quickly, which results in a build-up of cells creating thick and scaly patches on the flesh.

Other researchers had concluded that the genetic make-up of the individual plays a significant role in the development of this skin condition.

Medical experts claim that people can inherit this condition from their parents or even their forefathers.

Scientists assume that the malfunction in the immune system, which could potentially cause Psoriasis, occurs due to gene mutations.

In recent studies, researchers discovered 25 different regions in the human genome possibly related to the development of this skin disease.

However, medical experts don’t fully understand the connection between these particular sections of the human genetic material and the several forms of Psoriasis.

Symptoms

When Psoriasis affects the eyelids, scales will most likely cover the lashes.

The edge of the eyelids may redden and become crusty, and the affected area will likely swell, which could even turn the rim down and cause the lashes to rub against the eyeball producing irritation.

Most patients can experience eye dryness due to the scales pulling the eye outward,  while others may suffer some degree of vision impairment.

People with Psoriasis on their eyelids will possibly feel pain and discomfort just from moving the eyes.

Complications

When Psoriasis on the Eyelids progress, it can lead patients to develop Uveitis, an inflammatory disease that usually produces swelling and destroys the tissues of the uvea.

The Uvea is the layer of the eye located beneath the sclera and cornea. It consists of the iris, the ciliary body, and the choroid.

This rare condition can slightly reduce vision or result in a severe loss of vision.

Treatment

Some doctors use corticosteroids to deal with the scaling around the eyes. However, this particular method is something extremely delicate given the risk of patients developing Glaucoma or Cataracts.

Medical experts should carefully supervise the treatment to help in preventing any of those complications.

Doctors suggest having an Oftamologist checking the intraocular pressure of the patients on a regular basis.

Some drugs used to treat cases of Eczema are useful to deal with this form of Psoriasis as well.

For example, Pimecrolimus (sometimes sold under the brand name Elidel) an immunomodulating medication is effective in treating the affected eyelids.

Such pro-topic ointments and other similar drugs don’t have the downsides of steroids, but they could sting the first few days of use.