A turning outwards of the eyelid so that the inner surface is exposed. It is most usually seen in elderly people, in whom it often affects the lower lid and is due to weakness of the muscle surrounding the eye. Ectropion can also be caused by the contraction of scar tissue in the skin near both lids. Ectropion usually follows facial palsy, which causes paralysis of the muscles around the eye.
Even a slight ectropion interferes with normal tear drainage by disturbing the opening of the tear duct. Chronic conjunctivitis can result, causing discomfort, redness and overflow of tears so that the skin becomes inflamed and damp. Consistent wiping tends to pull the lid further from the eye. Surgery to tighten the affected eyelid can be required.