eyelids turning browish

I normally where eyeshadow and one morning I was about to put it on and noticed that my eyelids already looked like I had eye shadow. I thought it was temporary due to a new eyeshadow I used, but it's lasted several months and doesn't seem to be going away. The eyelids also feel like they are irritated but there doesn't seem to be an irritation. I have APS and inactive lupus (as told to me by my rheumatologist who I don't see again until mid Sept). Has anyone else experienced this.

30 Replies

  • Hi there,

    Yes i have it..its a kind of brown shade....had it for ages and dont know the cause.

    I have hashimotos.

    Maybe someone on here can tell us more....


  • Early adrenal insufficiency? Just guessing. Darkening of creases is a sign of Addison's..

  • How strange. I don't have this but have just googled " brown eyelids & thyroid". There were several other forums with people asking this question but sadly no one seems to be able to provide an answer. I think I would agree with Aspmama with the possible adrenal deficiency.


  • Iv got an endo appointment tomorrow so will ask...do you think i will get an answer?

  • I'd love to know what he/she says. Thank you.

  • Yes an adrenal problem. I have low cortisol and above my eyes has looked brown for a long time. My sister thought it was brown eye shadow I was wearing until a few months ago. I don't have hashimotos but haven't had a thyroid for 51 years but the discolouring only emerged with adrenal situation. Along with other skin problems. I found the info online, certainly my endo wouldn't enter into discussion for the reason because I'd guess he wouldn't know anyway.

  • Do you have APS and Lupus. I'm wondering if adrenal problems result from either or both of these. Have a good day. The humidity has finally gone down here in New York City today so it should be a good day.

  • Not seen this one mentioned in 5 years+ here - yet everyone is different - however skin changes could be an adrenal thing - I think, I read of..

    (not sure as not investigated).

    As soon as I started Levo I developed a large brown patch on the left of my neck - not a raised mole - just a patch of dark skin - half a penny size. I also developed a yellowy deposit under my left eye - both still there, annoyingly... cholesterol maybe.... (in my case)

  • Sparerib

    I too have started experiencing dark patches (about the size of old 50p) on my back and chest area, and the yellow lump under my eye. I had my cholesterol checked as I too thought that was the cause, but I have a good range, so really unsure of the cause. I still have no diagnosis so can't blame meds for these strange appearances .

  • I have a couple of small brown marks on my eyelids, which I assume are age spots. I have been in the sun a lot (lived in Africa for many years) and my whole face has lots of age spots (and wrinkles)! I cover the marks with eye pencil.

  • I have orange eyelids, and have had them for years now - yes, it looks like I am wearing eyeshadow all the time! I did ask before on here, but nobody had a definitive answer, and a friend of mine - who does not have thyroid problems - said she also had orange eyelids. I also have CMT (peripheral neuropathy) and never know whether to blame the thyroid or the CMT!!!

  • That's weird, I have an orange / yellowish area on both eyelids - right in the crease. I always thought it must be pigment from years and years of eye shadow - mostly shades of brown.

    Maybe it's thyroid linked. Ill be interested to hear what Yorkshiregirl's endocrinologist has to say about it.

  • yes, I have had this for a long time - years. I have had Hashimoto's hypothyroidism for over 25 years.

    I have started using some moisturising BB foundation over the browny bits (above the eye socket, not in it), as I am fed up of looking so tired.

    I am also paying more attention to using an eye cream there (not the type that tightens the eye skin - but the moisturising kind - I am using Simple at the moment as it was half price).

    I was wondering if I have Lupus too, with it being another auto-immune disease. - I am going through various tests with a rheumatologist, coincidentally, to see if I have Rheumatoid Arthritis, as my dad developed it in his 50's.

    Then I read about Lupus the other night and some bits fit my symptoms.

    But it's probably undermedicated thyroid causing the muscle and joint aches.

    Interesting re. the adrenals - whether my G.P. will go for that I am not sure :(

  • I'm always worried about putting moisturizer on my eyelids because I've heard that if it's not specifically for the upper and lower eye area, it could damage it. What kind do you use?

  • A useful link to skin appearance and disease including lupus is:

    Thyroid Disease and the Skin - Thyroid Foundation of Canada


    Put this into Google and it should tell you something, especially to exclude other diseases.

  • I had this too and coincidentally noticed this morning it has disappeared. I think it may be due to adrenal insufficiency too and specifically to too much aldesterone production. I've been reading up on this recently at:


    I think I may have too high production of aldesterone at times. The brown eye lids may be due to the body secreting too many salts in urine. This leads to dehydration. For a few months my finger tips kept going wrinkly. I found having an electrolyte drink or two (such as Dioralyte after tummy upset) solved the problem. I was getting very thirsty too and a pharmacist told me drinking more water (which I was) doesn't help because you pass more salts through your urine making it worse. Some of these symptoms come and go and haven't been there all the time btw.

    I also came across this which I think is related:


    The nurse has been unable to take blood for last few months (just a trickle) and so I think I must have low blood volume. This is related to low salts too.

    Coffee was making my dehydration worse, even though I was only having one good quality cup of coffee made at home each morning. I've stopped it completely and am now caffeine free. Since stopping coffee recently and drinking water with Himalayan pink salt the brown eyelids have gone back to normal. The only other change is that I started Armour recently (3 weeks ago) but I think it's more likely the low salts issue.

    I've ordered a product on Amazon yesterday for re balancing salts in the body and can post a link if that would help.

    Blimey, we are like a bunch of detectives aren't we! LOL.

    Hope this makes sense and is relevant to you,

    Best wishes,


  • Helen

    Just wanted to chime in - not sure what product you've ordered, but I've tried quite a few (for POTS) and I found that Elete is the cheapest per litre. It doesn't have any sweeteners so can be added to any cold drink. I got the mini bottle as the cap is the way of measuring doses and then bought a refill bottle.

    Thought you might find this helpful if you haven't already looked at this product.


  • Hi there,

    It's Elite I have ordered! It took a while researching on Amazon but found it eventually. I've gone for the large size for value but fancied the smaller, cuter one :)

    Thanks for chiming in :)


  • How funny! That's great - I hope it works for you too. The small one is good for taking out with you, if you need portability - it's tiny!

  • How amazing! I never thought about my brown eyelids being related to anything else ... and haven't really thought enough about them at all I now realise! (Though I've recently started putting some eye make up on them to lighten them up.)

    I'm hypo and have adrenal issues, but nothing else so far as I'm aware: apart from an addiction to black coffee which the dentist tells me is repsonsible for making my teeth go brown, but it never occurred to me it could do that to my eyelids too! I stopped wearing eye make up several years ago so it's definitely not that. They have become brown since I've been on NDT.

    You're absolutely right Helen, my Acupuncturist told me years ago I had to be a detective. What he didn't tell me was that I'd find an amazing group of people who would share their clues with me and lighten my work load! If only Big Pharma and doctors would collaborate like we do, instead of competing, the world would be a much healthier place.

    Thanks for posting such an eye-opening question Loretta!

  • I don't try to lighten them and a friend told me it just looks like eye shadow.

  • You're welcome and I'm so happy that Im not alone with this.

  • I'm really surprised how sensitive to caffeine I am. It has changed quite a lot over the years and sometimes I've had a few cups in the morning and seemed fine. I think over time our poor bodies do there best to cope and if we eliminate or cut down a lot and then reintroduce something it is sensitive to, it's like 'whoa, not this again!' I've tried to deny my sensitivity for years because I love getting a little kick from it but I'm finding my energy is settling down and fine without it!

  • I had a brown patch about the size of a five pence piece come up on my right cheek when I started HRT about 20 years ago I stopped it after fortnight because of pains at the top of my legs, but the brown patch still remains. It is called Chloasma and is a hormonal thing. Sorry, but I don't have a link to it. Just remembered when I was at work many years ago I asked a colleague what eye-shadow she was wearing and she said she wasn't wearing any. Quite embarrassing.

  • My friend thought it was eyeshadow and I was not offended at all. I was happy that she said it looked very natural and so I'll save a fortune on eye shadow throughout my life because it's the same color as the eye shadow I wore! -:)

  • Well im back from endo.....confused or what...

    I took with me my report from Dr P who said i had adrenal exhaustion/insuffiency as it is not on my normal medical records. So i told him what id been diagnosed with and he said Yes i am going to test for addisons and he said in his expereince he felt it would come back borderline. I then asked him why did he susspect i may have addisons, was it by looking at me..he said NO its because of the above diagnosis. I then informed him that i had had no bloods taken by Dr P and was diagnosed the same way that ME is diagnosed....symptoms based and meeting the criteria. So then he said that clinically the tests would probably be normal and no explanation for my facial flushing would be given.

    So moving on i told him i had already been tested for addisons a couple of years ago and my results were normal. I asked him another question, if it was possible to have normal bloods and addisons, he said not in his expereince.

    So moving on..... he was brought a hot drink and three interuptions by the nurse bringing in files..... i continued.

    I dared to mention my thyroid, well i was seeing an endo....oh he said lets not get into that.....

    So what about my brown eye lids, brown spot on forehead, fluid retention ....he did not look, no reply..

    Then he went on to talk about carcinoid syndrome which my doctor had tested for..all normal...this was due to facial flushing.

    He said that carcinoid syndrome means a tumout has spread to the liver and that normal liver blood tests would indicate this......according to the carcinoid foundation this is not the case. Liver function tests would most probably be normal.

    So i have been sent to an endo who is only doing the exact same tests that my doctor did and could repeat if needed.

    Came away with that usual despair feeling, angry and low for a few hours and then will bounce back.

    Oh i forgot to mention i also left with two large containers for my pee, one filled with acid and a funnel must be used...funnel not included..must remember to pee straight.


  • Hi Christine, Your description of your conversation with the Endo has a very familiar flavour to it. Also, the feelings of disappointment and anger after - me too! They are next to useless!

  • More feedback on the brown eyelids. Mine are coming back and it appears that the Armour was helping it to go. My Endo is being very slow with increasing my very low starting dose and so I'm getting my symptoms back again - including brown eyelids. I've been drinking plenty of water with Elete electrolytes in it so I don't think that's it after all.

  • Join the club. It comes with age. Some people think it looks attractive. I don't mind and pay more attention to the lines around my eyes.

  • Thank you. Like they say, getting old is not for sissies.

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