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An ectropion is where part or all of the lower eyelid turns outwards away from the eye. There are various causes but the most common cause is simply an ageing effect of the eyelid that occurs in some older people. An operation can usually cure the problem.

What is the cause of an ectropion?

  • Aging
  • Neurological ( 7th Nerve palsy)
  • Scarring due tumour, trauma or sunburn

What is the treatment for an ectropion?

The usual treatment is an operation to 'tighten' the skin and muscles around the eyelid. Treatment usually works well. The best results are obtained if the condition has not become too severe. More extensive plastic surgery may be needed in severe cases.

If you cannot shut your eye properly, whilst awaiting an operation you may be prescribed some lubricating eye ointment to help protect the cornea. You may also be advised to tape the lower and upper eyelids together overnight to protect your cornea when you are asleep.

If your ectropion causes watery eyes, when wiping your eyelids do it in a direction up and in (toward the nose). This prevents you from pulling the eyelid downward and making the ectropion worse

Patient with left lower eyelid ectropion

Patient 2 weeks after correction of ectropion with skin graft