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Red, itchy, swollen eye lids HELP!!
ziggles09 posted:
Came back from family physician who believes it to be a cosmetic allergy. Did not prescribe anything but would have prescribed cortisone cream which might cause wrinkling if used more than 2 days. I declined, don't need more of those!

Did a dumb thing, went to dr. w/o makeup, went home put on foundation & a little shadow as if I didn't hear what she said. Noticed problem of itching & redness was worse after removing it that evening. Woke this morning to swollen lids, presently itching like crazy. Had to come to work so only put on foundation (been using same brand for about 4 years, not a new formula). Eyes look terrible, feel terrible. No shadow today. Will discard old shadows & makeup. I think maybe something in them could be the culprit.

Wondered if blueberries could be a problem. I started eating them with yogurt about 2 1/2 weeks ago, about the same as the onset of this eye problem. Stopped them about 4-5 days and decided to try them again last night. So... not sure if it's the blueberries OR a makeup problem. Plan to stop the blueberries AGAIN.

My eyes are itchy, red and burning somewhat today, the OUTSIDES not the eye itself. Miserable!

Any suggestions?!

Thanks much!!
Aqua14 responded:
Do you wear nail polish? If so, that is another possibility -- a contact allergy with the nail polish, which happens when you touch your eyes by putting on or taking off makeup. Think about other things you put on your hands -- lotion, for example, or the residue of dishwashing soap, or even the residue of hand soap -- which might come in contact with your eyes.

You might want to use the prescription cortisone cream for 2 days, and see if that helps reduce the reaction. (Ask if your doctor can give you 2 days' worth of samples.) And see if you can go a week without wearing makeup, to let the reaction completely subside. Putting a very thin layer of Vaseline on your eyelids might help and would provide a barrier between your eyelids and whatever is causing the reaction.

You may want to take an oral antihistamine like Claritin or Zyrtec for a few days and see if that would help.

You may find that putting an ice pack on your eyelids will help. Cold helps calm inflammation and reduce itching. I usually wrap a flexible ice pack or package of frozen peas in a couple of paper towels and hold it on my eyes for 10-15 minutes.

Baby shampoo eyelid washes may help, although you'd have to be very gentle about it given that your eyelids are so inflamed. Use a Q-tip and no-tears baby shampoo -- dip the Q tip in the baby shampoo and gently scrub your eyelids, rinse with cool or cold water. You can do this twice a day.

Hope these ideas help you out, or at least give you something to talk to your doctor about. Take care & good luck. Judy
ziggles09 responded:
Hi Judy,

Thank you for taking time to respond. I'm in the process of trying your suggestions. I'm noticing extreme dryness & tightness today. The puffiness seems to be going down. I'm trying hard to keep my hands away!

Another question if you don't mind, can you suggest a great eye cream, natural or otherwise maybe cosmetic & allergen free I can use for the dryness for now? I feel like my eyes need a cool, moisturing bath!

Thanks again! (me in sunglasses today even though it's overcast where I live!)
Aqua14 responded:
I would be extremely careful. Personally I have very good luck with the Clinique line of skin care products, as they are (for the most part) fragrance free and hypoallergenic (i.e., less likely to cause an allergic reaction). But your eyelids are probably so sensitive right now that just about anything might make them react. Plus, Clinique is kind of pricey and you wouldn't want to buy anything that you wouldn't be able to use.

Again, I think that maybe a little bit of plain old Vaseline might be your best bet right now. I can't recall what I used on my lids the last time this happened to me -- it was a couple of years ago. . . .

Hope this helps and that you are back to normal very soon! Judy
ziggles09 responded:
Hi Judy,

Today I pretty much left them alone except using baby oil to put on them lightly. They are so dry! The vaseline seems harmless but feels like it's trapping the irritation and not letting my skin breathe. They aren't swollen like they were this morning but they're still itchy, red, dry & ugly! Looks like a lot of wrinkles that will hopefully work themselves back out because they're in places they never were before and i think the irritation has much to do with it. Hopefully they'll 'plump' back up!

What a pain going through this is! I think I'll start with a little Almay shadow when I do begin to use it again along with new applicators and cleaned brushes that I washed in baby shampoo tonight so they'll be ready to go when I am.

Thanks again!
ziggles09 responded:
Just an update:

After periods of intense itching last night, of which I really tried to restrain myself from doing, I applied a cool washcloth to the clean eye area prior to going to bed. I lightly patted them giving some relief from the itching. Overnight the lids still swelled but they were not so red.

I have left any makeup off this a.m. except foundation though it is not on my eyes. I lightly wiped the eyelids & lower lids with a qtip & baby oil. There is still some itching but overall I feel there is a slight improvement from yesterday. We'll see what the day brings. No eye makeup and I don't intend to until my eyes are back to pretty much normal. When I do it will be new eye shadow (I'm trying Almay).

It does appear I've had a reaction to eye makeup.

Question though, think the baby oil is okay to use since I don't plan to be in the sun and I'm using sparingly just to moisturize a little? Vaseline seems to trap in the heat!

Have a good day!
Aqua14 responded:
If you seem to be tolerating the baby oil well, then use that. I thought about suggesting baby oil, but usually it contains fragrance which you might want to avoid. But if you're doing ok, go with it.

Glad to know that there's been an improvement from yesterday. Itchy eyes can be almost unbearable, not to mention unsightly (pun not intended).

Just a heads' up -- if your reaction was like the one I had a couple of years ago, you can expect your eyelids to get very flaky and shed dead skin in the healing process. I know, that won't look too beautiful, but thankfully it only lasts a few days. I would imagine that baby oil would help with that, too, as would the baby shampoo eyelid wash I mentioned.

Hope this helps and that you are fully recovered very soon. Take care. Judy
ziggles09 responded:
Thanks again Judy. I'm at work and they are dry and itching and I do have the dry skin you mentioned. Is the itching healing I hope?! They are dry & tight so I'm supposing so. I'll do the baby shampoo thing when I get home in a little while & reapply some of the baby oil, so far it seems to work well and not irritate it worse. I do think the air getting to them, although they feel really dry seems to help.

Wow, what we go through in the name of cosmetics! Ugh! I have always been one to use them, can't imagine going bare but hey, maybe it's time for a change![g> I doubt it though. It is nice when a person can go au natural yet I feel so bare doing so!

BTW, would you know any great eye cream that has natural ingredients or something safe for the delicate eye area? I could use something that feels as good as a wet, cool washcloth! Ha! Guess I'll do that too when I get home!

Thanks again for sharing!
ziggles09 responded:
Day....? 14 I think! The most serious reaction was this week when I finally went to my family dr. We decided to let it go since I refused the cortisone (didn't need MORE wrinkles).

Sorry to say, yesterday was the worse! The itching was unbearable and I was downright depressed! My eyes were so red and I just looked terrible! Later in the evening I decided to try a more thourough use of the baby shampoo wash using Q-Tips for each eye and putting a drop of the shampoo in my palm, mixing a few drops of water with it and lightly washing my eye(s). Then I splashed cool water over them several times and patted them with a cool, wet washcloth, it was the most relief I felt ALL day! It was still tight feeling but at least the crazy itching was relieved and I went to bed and slept! But, got up this morning and they're puffy again. Maybe it's because they're going through so much?

I did another eye wash after I showered and splashed clear water over them & patted w/the wet washcloth. They feel 'ok' right now but like each previous day, I worry that the puffiness will go down and I will be left with redness & itchiness again and it will start all over! Ugh!

I think today I will call a dermatologist. It's funny, I feel one moment they're improving and the next like, 'why didn't I call a different doctor?!' or that they're going to heal and they haven't! But I do have to say, the eye wash has felt the best so far.

No more baby oil for now, nothing. At least I know there's nothing that can irritate them because there's nothing on them! Unless of course it's in the air!

Just wanted to post a little journal so I could maybe help others. Go and get it looked at by the proper kind of doctor! Maybe I would have had some relief if I went sooner!

Funny, I kind of feel like I want to wait it out today to see if just the soap wash & water will fix it yet even so, I'm so exhausted with this problem so I"m not sure just what I'll do at this point.

Judy, thanks for 'hearing' me!
ziggles09 responded:
Me again! It might just be me but no itching this a.m.!! In fact, since my eye wash last night I've felt relief! May be this thing has just run its course but I know the eye wash w/baby shampoo & cool water has given me great relief! My eyes were swollen this a.m. but hey, I can take that so long as the itching is gone!! So far, so good! Maybe the wash got something off them that has been hiding! ha! Anyway, I hope this is the beginning of getting over this mess!

Have a good one!
Aqua14 responded:
Hi there,

Glad to hear that you're better. Yeah, that baby shampoo eyelid wash feels sooooo good! And it's so cheap, and you can do it whenever and as often as you want. It probably did remove the last bits of eye makeup that may have been stuck to your eyelashes and continuing to cause the reaction.

Here's another crazy thought -- think about changing your pillowcase and/or washing it with "free & clear" laundry detergent and drying it without a fabric softener or dryer sheet. I'm just thinking of other factors that could cause overnight swelling of the eyes.

Hope your day goes well & that you continue to improve. Judy
RunningRobin responded:

I have the exact same thing happen to me every once in a while. It's weird, all of the sudden, out of the blue it hits me. Red, swelling, and extremely itchy eyelids! I have gone back and thought why it happened.... 1. STRESS and a lot of it!! (Stress causes a weak immune system) 2. NOT ENOUGH SLEEP ( which compounds the weakened immune system) 3. WINE (The sulfates in the wine can be very bad for your body) DARN!!!!

I never change my makeup, shampoo etc. so it couldn't be that. I work outdoors all day, so I don't think it's pollen etc.

Those are the only combined factors that I think cause my flare-ups! These are the steps that I do to help myself: 1. Drink lots of water 2. Catch up on my sleep 3. Take a run or take a spin class ( exercise is two-fold , it boosts your immune system and also releases endorphins) 4. I eat really well!! I have a juicer so I make fresh carrot apple orange juice. I eat whole grains and moderate protein. No preservatives, additives etc. 5. Aloe vera topically is awesome! 6. I finally, I remember something my Grandma told me, "This too shall pass." My eyes usually clear up within a week and completely back to normal in two. Hope this helps.
Cooky45 responded:
I too have the itchy, red, swollen around the eyes syndrome. Went to couple of doctors - paid my co-pay, they said try not using this, not eating that, etc. and I thought to myself - I could have done that on my own. Just wanted someone to say - this is what it's from, this is what to do to get rid of it. I am a MaryKay Beauty Consultant and have used the products forever. All of a sudden, it seems anything with sunscreen makes this flare up. Definitely you do not want to itch if at all possible - that really makes the swelling pop out. I hadn't had a big flare up for a while until last night- I'm sitting there and it starts to feel like pin pricks on my eyelid-that's the sign that it's getting ready to swell. Very strange. I am going to try the baby shampoo idea and see if that helps. I haven't eaten anything different in the last day or two so that can't be it. Just wish someone could say-this is what it's from.. very frustrating!!
cowendy10 replied to Cooky45's response:
wow, I feel like I'm reading my own journal. I have been battling this for many years but like another reader it would come and go for maybe a week at a time. However, this current episode has been going on for nearly 6 months. ugh. Like the first writer my eyes are red, wrinkled and puffy! I feel I've aged 20 years in the last 6 months. I've tried the cortisone, vaseline, and babywash. It has subsided a bit, but comes back. I think it could be a number of things - allergies to detergents (frangrance), red wine, other foods? Today I've worm my glasses all day, thinking it may be my contacts. It's not the contacts - my eyes are itching as I type. Keep the comments and suggestions coming!
Aqua14 replied to RunningRobin's response:
I think you're absolutely right about the stress, lack of sleep and wine. My allergies/asthma are definitely worse when I'm stressed and/or short on sleep and/or have drunk a bit too much wine the night before.

Re: the wine, it's not just the sulfites that are to blame -- red wine and darker beers contain histamine (which we all know as a chemical causing allergy symptoms), which is a natural result of the brewing process. Drinking red wine or dark beer may thus cause some degree of allergic-like symptoms, especially in people who already have allergies.

Hopefully this helps. Judy

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