Ectropion describes the turning out of the eyelid so that the inner surface (“conjunctiva”) of the eyelid is exposed to the air. This affects the lower eyelid much more commonly than the upper lid.
The most common group of people who get ectropion are the elderly with loosening of the eyelid. It can also happen in patients who have nerve damage to the muscles of the eyelid, or it can be caused by changes in the skin, either from skin cancers or inflammation and scarring. In Australia tightening of the skin caused by years of sun exposure is a very common cause of ectropion.