Eyelid eczema??

Well, after months of being gone, my eyelid eczema seems to be making a comeback. I need to start back on my plan and try to avoid irritating it. If I can avoid wearing eye makeup, all the better, because it seems that I develop an allergy to any brand of makeup I wear when I have a flare of this.

At least it's only on ONE eye so far, and I spotted it early this time. I so hate the crusty, scaly appearance when it goes into a full blown flare on both!

Anyone else suffer from this? What tricks do you have to address a flare?


Comments 38

  • LK

    Oh, Cynthia, that does sound uncomfortable!  Since it is so close to your eye are you able to put any medicine on it at all?

  • Jen

    My oldest gets that.  She uses protopic instead of her usual steroid ointment bc it’s so close to the eye.  

  • K8sMom2002

    I've been "babying" it, and it seems better. The other eye seems like it may be about ready to flare as well, so I'll start on the plan for that as well. 

    It's not necessarily painful, just mighty ugly in full flare. And like Jen said, on no steroids. My doc usually wants me to try lotion/gel over the lids right after the shower. If I catch it early enough, that works. 

    The first time it ever happened was when I tried Maybelline mascara that was on sale, the classic pink and green container. I'd worn it before a million years before with no problems, but had moved onto Loreal or Revlon because I liked the way they wore better. 

    But it was on sale, and my sis used it, so I bought it. Ugh! Talk about a bad allergic reaction. After that, I had to start using Almay … and then I had another flare, and my eye doc recommended I move to Clinique. Now I can't wear drug store makeup at all. I don't want to lose my last brand of makeup!

  • K8sMom2002

    Ugh … it came back! My DD did my makeup for me to go to the graduation ceremony (nothing like a 16 year-old fashion diva making her mom look presentable!) … I'm wondering if she used a lotion or cream that I was sensitive to.

    I'm not saying a THING to her because I don't want her to feel bad. But it hurts way worse now and it looks super ugly. Even my crow's feet feel stiff!

  • Brenda Silvia-Torma

    @K8sMom2002, I can completely relate!  Although I don't have eyelid eczema, I do have ocular rosacea and it is what it sounds like (rosacea on your eyelids). Unfortunately it's on both eyelids, and what my opthamologist tells me to do is to wash my lids using a q-tip with gentle baby soap, place a warm compress over the eyes for about 20 minutes at a time, and use special eye ointment at night.

    My flares seem to come from stress.  I'm still trying to figure out if there is a food component to it (perhaps citrus). The flare I have now has been going on for about 5 weeks…so I can totally emphasize with you! 

    I'm so excited now to look into the mirror because it's the best my eye has looked since early April. Hoping you get some relief soon!



  • K8sMom2002

    Wow, Brenda! I'm glad that they are looking better and hoping you can figure out if there's a diet component.

    Update on my eyelids … Since I have glaucoma and I have to be super careful about steroid and other creams around the eyes, my doc suggested I first try a sort of soak and seal approach to my eyelids.

    It's working! My eyelids are loads better! 

  • Brenda Silvia-Torma

    Hey guys, My eye lid is soooo much better (knock on wood!)…it's the best it's been since April 2017. It's hard to believe I've had a painful lump on my eye lid for over a year (sigh), but I'm hopeful that I can finally taper off my antibiotic…My dermatologist wants me to get off of it, since she doesn't like for her patients to be on a high dose for more than a year. Hopefully when I see my opthamologist next, he'll agree. 

    Still doing the eye drops, ointment each night, and trying to incorporate the warm compresses into my daily life. I'm lucky if I get them in 3 x a week…when I should really be doing them 3x a day.  

    I think it's like all maintainence medication…you start to think, "Oh, this is okay, maybe I don't have this problem anymore…" when in reality, I should be saying to myself, "Good job on staying on top of it–don't want to slip up and think I don't need to do it anymore"…that's when it will rear it's ugly head! 

    Thanks for checking in on me!! 


  • Brenda Silvia-Torma

    Hi Melissa, I just saw your note!  It's better–the steroids from my asthma attack earlier this month really helped!  I'm making lemonade out of lemons! 

    I have my appt with the opthamologist in early August, and hopefully he'll agree. The bump is still there, but I've been able to keep it from getting worse…and I've managed to lower my dose of doxycycline (for the ocular rosacea) to 1 pill a day (as my derm wanted). 

    So, overall, I'm doing much better with it–thank you for asking!!  

  • K8sMom2002

    So … I may have figured out a trigger that I don't like very much.

    This stuff waxes and wanes like nobody's business. I've noticed that on days when I have to get fixed up and go out all day, that's when I have the worst flares. So automatically I thought, "eye makeup," right?

    Recently it flared up really badly because I put on makeup to take DD to camp and then pick her up – both long full-day trips in my warpaint. Afterwards, I'd stepped up the regimen as advised by my doc and had sort of got it somewhat better …

    So then this Wednesday AM, I had to go with DD to talk with her college's new disability services folks for her dual enrollment classes. Since she's a minor, I still have to sign things. The meeting ran late, and I got back just in time to log onto my computer for work.

    I noticed right away that my contacts were messing up my reading vision — yep, overnight, it seems, I'm at that age where I'm going to need reading glasses. It's better with my glasses, because they're a few prescriptions old. I don't drive in my glasses, but around the house they're fine. 

    So I took out my contacts, but was in a hurry and didn't wash off my eye makeup. I was so busy that I didn't even do my careful makeup removal routine that night before bed. I was SURE that I'd have an awful mess … but no. In fact it's better. 

    Now I'm wondering … could it be my contacts? My actual EYES are okay — they don't itch. But now I realize that when I "go out into the real world," I have both eye makeup on AND my contacts. And sometimes my eyes flare up, and sometimes they don't. I'm wondering if the times they don't flare up is because I come home, get aggravated because I can't read with my contacts in, and I take them out.

    I did develop an allergy to a contact lens solution, and my eye doc switched me over to the peroxide based solution. But in that situation, my actual EYES hurt. 

    So confusing! I'm going to talk to my doc and see if it's okay for me to try my contacts without makeup (it will drive me crazy not being able to read!) to see if this is a reproducible thing.

  • Melissa G

    Cynthia, were you waiting the 6 hours before you put your contacts back in your eyes with the peroxide based solution? I just started using the peroxide based solution and I still rinse them off before I put them in. 

    There are "progressive" contacts. I think I have finally found a pair for me. I go back for my recheck next week. Could you be getting make up in your eyes? I do that…

  • K8sMom2002

    Yep … very careful to wait the six hours. And frequently, it was even longer. 

    Funny thing is, this weekend, I wore both my eye makeup AND my contacts, and no flare. I will continue to log symptoms and see if I can track down the culprit. It really has me puzzled. 

  • Melissa G

    Gotta love the mysteries Cynthia, although when it comes to the eyes, it's very annoying…there is nothing worse than eyes that are sore and weeping. 

  • K8sMom2002

    And the mystery continues. Wore my make up and contacts again, and no issues. It's just weird.

    It's not a weeping kind of deal … and it's not near the lash line. It looks like a contact dermatitis reaction to my eye shadow, but why wouldn't it happen every time?

    It can get really sore as the flare goes on. Right now, knock on wood, it's great and you'd never know I had a problem unless you looked really, really close.

  • LK

    Cynthia,  Aren't there just days when you want to throw up your hands?    Trying to figure out our health is so baffling at times!    

    Glad you are doing fine for now at least!!  

  • K8sMom2002

    I know — and after this weekend, I'm about ready to throw my hands up and wave the white flag. I wore my contacts and eye makeup for a very long day on Saturday — no issues whatsoever.

    Then on Sunday, I put my contacts in and eye make up on as usual for church … and voila, by mid afternoon, I looked as though I had scalded eyelids. They didn't really hurt, but they were REALLY red. 

    They're no worse for the wear today, but still red. It's such a mystery … I just keep thinking that eventually something will pop up if I keep tracking my reactions to whatever this is.

  • LK

    A thought for you Cynthia.  Is there any connection between how long you wear your contacts and makeup the previous day before the outbreak?  Maybe something in how long you wear them and then the next day is just the tipping point for how long you can tolerate it?  Just musings.

  • K8sMom2002

    Lisa, that IS a good thought. I've been trying to keep a journal of when I wear them. Another thing … maybe it's something ELSE I may do that that day that's part of my "going out routine." So I really need to dive down into this.

    I especially need to after yesterday. I woke up yesterday with severe eye pain and problems seeing in one eye. It was as though something were in my eye that I couldn't wash out. 

    I'd had a similar experience many years before in high school — three days of agony! My dad had first taken me to an eye doc — who declared nothing was in my eye and it was just "scratched." So my dad took me to our family doc, who flipped up the lid of my eye and discovered a tiny piece of debris stuck to the underside of my lid. 

    My sister did the honors for me this time, and voila! She found a tiny piece of dry flaked skin that had gotten into my eye overnight and stuck to the underside of my lid. It was INSTANT relief when she got it out, and my eye quickly went back to normal. I'll wait to wear contacts for a few days. 

    But it just underscores that my doc and I really need to get a handle on this. The trouble is? We're sort of both at a loss. So I really like your idea of combo triggers!

  • K8sMom2002

    I've been faithful about the soak and seal, and it IS helping.

    Both my doc and my eye doc think it's no big deal. Still, it's really irritating to have to deal with this. I'm going to try it their way for a while longer, see if it improves. But if not, then I'll ask for a referral to a dermatologist. Part of my problem is that I can't use the meds that both my eye doc and my regular doc would prescribe.

  • K8sMom2002

    Mysteriously it has been doing VERY well … and I've even slacked up on the soak and seal. I do think eye makeup aggravates it to some degree, but it's kind of a tipping point thing. It's been really nice the past few days without the peeling and the flaking!

  • K8sMom2002

    Annnd just when I think it is all better, I wind up with issues. This AM I woke up with a flake of dried skin stuck on the underside of my eyelid again. It was agony. I flushed it several times with saline solution, but all it would do is dislodge the piece and move it to another spot. It finally washed out after a long while and is feeling much better. But aaack — who would have thought that eczema could lead to that kind of issue?

    The funny thing is, my eyelids have been doing better, with minimal flaking. I DID skip my nightly routine last night for the first time in a long time, so maybe the sealing part of it has helped keep those flakes from getting in my eyes?

  • Melissa G

    Oh my, that is not good at all. I wonder if you had issues because of skipping your nightly routine and maybe weather changes?