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Ectropion (eyelid turning out)

What Is Ectropion?

Ectropion is an eyelid dysfunction that occurs when the lower eyelid turns outward and does not touch the eye. Consequently, the conjunctiva can become exposed red and irritated. Ectropion can affect one or both of the lower eyelids.

Causes of Ectropion

  • Relaxation of eyelid tissues due to aging changes
  • Undetected skin cancers or skin disease
  • Trauma
  • Contraction of scar tissue of the surrounding skin
  • Eyelid or facial surgery

Symptoms of Ectropion Include:

  • Excessive tearing
  • Crusting of the eyelid
  • Infection
  • Corneal irritation
  • Sagging skin around the eye
  • Impaired vision
  • Redness and pain of the eye
  • Sensitivity to light and wind
  • Poor drainage of tears


Artificial tears and lubricating ointments can be used to moisten the cornea to prevent dryness of the cornea. When ectropion is caused by stretching of the eyelid’s supporting structures, surgery is the best treatment to repair the involved muscle and tendons of the eyelid. Depending on the cause of ectropion, surgery can be used to reposition the eyelid back to its normal position against the eye.

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