Dry skin under the eyes can be both annoying and unsightly, but it can be easily dealt with by regularly applying lotion, taking a hard look at your diet, and increasing your fluid intake. One of the major causes of dry skin anywhere on the body is dehydration, and the skin right around your eyes is particularly sensitive; it will often dry out more severely than skin in other places. It can take some time to correct this problem, but doing so will not only improve your appearance, but can also improve your health.
Applying lotion to the skin under the eyes will provide immediate relief. Dry skin can be itchy or scaly, and lotion can help skin seal in moisture. Look for thick, creamy lotions, preferably ones that are fragrance-free. If the skin around your eyes is already stressed, you do not want to compound the problem by layering on chemically created perfumes. A hypoallergenic, heavy-duty moisturizing cream is best.
If your eyes are particularly irritated, you may want to use a cold compress before and after moisturizing the skin. Warm water should be avoided, as it can cause blood vessels in the skin to contract, potentially leading to more drying. A washcloth or small towel damp with cool water, on the other hand, can help the pores in your skin to open, which will make them more receptive to receiving moisture. Try putting a damp washcloth in your refrigerator for an hour or so before resting it on your eyes to improve the effect.
Lotions and compresses can help dry skin under the eyes, but they are only temporary fixes. To cure the problem for good, you need to attack it from within. This usually means committing to drink more water, because dehydration is one of the leading causes of dry skin. Even if you do not feel dehydrated, if your skin is dry, your body may be telling you that you need more water. Medical professionals usually recommend between eight and ten 8-ounce (237 ml) glasses of water a day.
Another part of treating dry skin is looking out for dietary or environmental triggers. If you drink a lot of caffeinated or alcoholic drinks, cut back or at least match each with at least one glass of water. Smoking has been known to dehydrate skin, and lack of quality sleep may also be a factor, particularly if dry skin occurs in conjunction with bags and dark circles under the eyes.
More often than not, dealing with dry skin under the eyes is a process more than it is a simple fix. Change may not come overnight, but a few days of lotion, water, and rest should help your eyes return to normal. If the condition persists for more than a few weeks, however, it is usually a good idea to consult with a medical professional. Chronic dry skin, particularly around the eyes, can be a sign of more serious health concerns.