What is an ectropion?
An ectropion is the term used to describe the lower eyelid turning outwards and away from its normal position in contact with the eye. It may affect the whole lid or just the inner third.
What are the symptoms?
Patients usually complain of watery eyes and irritation. As a result, the patient may wipe away the tears, further stretching the lower lid, and so making the ectropion worse. Tears spilling over onto the skin can also cause discomfort.
What causes ectropion?
The commonest cause of ectropion is an age-related laxity of the skin and muscles of the eyelid. It can also occur in patients with a facial paralysis, which leads to a loss of tone in the lower lid tissues. Other causes include skin problems such as severe eczema or following an injury/burn, which causes scarring of the lower lid skin.