Zocdoc Answers

Medical questions & health advice by licensed doctors

"What causes rashes to form around one eye but not the other?"

ZocdocAnswersWhat causes rashes to form around one eye but not the other?


What causes rashes around the eye? I'm an older woman (in my 50s), and I've had a rash continually reappear around my left eye over the course of the last few years. It concerns me especially that it's just the one eye. How could I treat this? How dangerous is it to my eyesight?


There are many things that can cause a rash around the eye. It is important to know where the rash is (i.e. on the eyelid or in the corner of the eye) and what it looks like (i.e. is it red, yellow, white, skin colored, are there small bumps, is it raised or flat, is it scaly, is there discharge from the eye). For these reasons, it is important to have a new bothersome rash or one that has not been going away to be evaluated by a dermatologist for proper diagnosis and treatment. In addition, it is important to know whether the rash is itchy or painful and if the rash is present elsewhere on the body. Have you ever had skin rashes before? A common rash that can appear around one or both eyes is eczema or atopic dermatitis and it can sometimes be itchy and it can come and go. Dry, cold weather can sometimes precipitate eczema. Contact dermatitis (i.e. allergy to an external source like soap, cream, eye make-up), can also present around the eyes but typically it will present in both eyes especially if the same cream or eye make-up is often used on both eyes. Rashes of a more chronic nature on the eyelid are not typically harmful to eyesight however it is important to have it evaluated by a dermatologist. If the rash is in the eye, painful or if you experience blurry vision, it is important to be evaluated by an eye doctor (ophthalmologist) as soon as possible.

Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.