Uses of eye drops in dermatology, literature review

J Dermatolog Treat. 2022 Sep;33(6):2758-2770. doi: 10.1080/09546634.2022.2079598. Epub 2022 Jun 2.


Background: Since medication absorption through the skin and eye tissue seems similar, commercially available eye-drops could be used to treat skin diseases when topical therapies are unavailable or unaffordable. The FDA-approved and off-label applications of various eye drops used as topical treatments in dermatological clinical practice were highlighted in this review.Methodology: A thorough PubMed and Google Scholar library search using various combinations of the keywords (Eye drop, ocular solution, conjunctival installation, and skin diseases, topical, local, beta-blockers, prostaglandin, cyclosporin, apraclonidine, atropine, oxymetazoline).Results and conclusions: Based on the findings of the studies reviewed, timolol is highly recommended for infantile hemangioma and other vascular skin conditions such as angiomas, Kaposi sarcoma, acne, rosacea, and wound healing. Bimatoprost is a drug that can be used to treat hypotrichosis of any kind, as well as mild localized alopecia areata and leukoderma. Oxymetazoline ispromising for treating facial erythema. We recommend apraclonidine for mild upper eyelid ptosis induced botulinum neurotoxin. We don't recommend atropine for hyperhidrosis, although it can help with hydrocystomas and pruritis produced by syringomas. Tobramycin will need to be tested in RCTs before it can be confirmed as a viable alternative to systemic treatments for treating green nail syndrome.

Keywords: Eye drops; alopecia; hemangioma; topical therapy; vitiligo.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Atropine Derivatives
  • Dermatology*
  • Humans
  • Ophthalmic Solutions / therapeutic use
  • Oxymetazoline*
  • Timolol / therapeutic use


  • Ophthalmic Solutions
  • Oxymetazoline
  • Timolol
  • Atropine Derivatives