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red itchy swollen eyelid (ONE eye only)
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red itchy swollen eyelid (ONE eye only)

Hi,
for the last year or so I have had a strange problem with my left eyelid - the part of the upper lid right above the crease swells up (I can see a "pocket" swollen with fluid - that's the only way I can describe it) so that it reaches (falls) all the way to my upper lashes (normally the whole part of the upper eyelid that touches the eyeball is visible). In a day the part that was swollen becomes reddish right above the crease and itches, in the next two-three days it becomes scaley and dry. The whole thing happens ONLY on the left eyelid, never on the right one. I saw an ophtalmologist a year ago, he said I was allergic to an eye cream, should use Cetaphil instead, put cortisone ointment and prescribed Patanol drops. I followed the directions, the problem subsided, and after several weeks came back, again on the left only. In the meantime, I stayed away from any eye creams and only used Cetaphil or nothing at all. And it's been like this, off an on all the time. I did not use any eye make up at the time. Several months ago I started using make up again, had no problems, and then out of the blue, again, my left eyelid got swollen, then red, then itchy and then scaley. The skin on my eyelid is so stretched now that even when it's not swollen, it droops over my eyelashes. I went to see an ophtalmologist again recently, but he said he it was probalbly from sleeping on my side (which I did not really buy).

I started looking for solutions online, came across this board and started following the advice I found - wash my eyelids with SteriLid by TheraTears and put Aquaphor ointment. It seemed to help at first, I was thrilled for a week, and then again, after five days of my therapy, last Saturday I woke up with the left eyelid swollen, the part right above the crease reddish and itchy, same on Sunday, and it's been like this until today, itchy, reddish and scaley. I am also feeling pressure on my left eyeball from the top, like coming right from the part where the eyelid becomes red. Please, someone help!!!! I am going crazy with this. It seems putting eye creams away does nothing at all - I get this thing with no cream at all. HELP!!!
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16 Comments Post a Comment
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233488_tn?1310696703
Suggestions:

1. See a Eye MD that specializes in cornea/external diseases
2. Consider seeing a allergist or dermatologist.

JCH MD
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Avatar_n_tn
I have the same problem with the skin above my eyelids swelling up - mostly my right eye, but sometimes both. Have you found out what is causing this? Did you get a remedy? My allergist said it looked sinus-related. My ENT smirked and huffed at that idea.
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233488_tn?1310696703
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Avatar_f_tn
I have this same exact problem! At least it seems like it, except it's my right eyelid only. Mine started a month or so ago right after I began using Burt's Bees eye cream and the red, itchy, dryness & slight swelling comes and goes (I have no idea what triggers it now because I completely stopped using eye cream after a few days). But when this first started, I developed a large wrinkle in the crease where my eyelid meets above my eye and it's pretty unsightly. I'm wondering if it will ever go away and what I can do to stop this cycle from continuing. Please help!
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233488_tn?1310696703
Try stopping Burt's Bees eye cream.

JCH MD
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi
Has your condition gone now?
After reading your problem it is exactly what I have and have had for nearly 3 months now, I have had 2 lots of antibiotics in my eyes and am now using drops for allergy though I feel 100% sure I dont have an allergy!
I would love to hear.
many thanks
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Avatar_f_tn

My eyelids are back to normal now.  I don't know for sure what it was but I know that I was literally going crazy trying to figure it out.  I saw several doctors, cursed out some of them as not only did they not offer a solution, they told me I was getting old and this was the reason for my eyelid troubles.

The funniest (although very frustrating ) thing happened when I travelled to Poland for Christmas and New Year.  When I was leaving here,  I took pictures of my eyes - my left eyelid was red, itchy and swollen and the right one was normal.  After I arrived in Poland, my eyelid slowly started to heal.  I did not use any medication, just the hypoalergenic eye cream.  A week later my eyelid was back to normal, I wore my regular eye makeup and once was even too tired to wash it off so I had it on for 24 hours.  I had NO REACTION whatsoever.  One can only imagine how thrilled I was to have my eyes back.  I ate everything I normaly eat, had alcohol with dinner, was out in extreme cold - nothing seemed to bother my eyes.  Three weeks later I came back home to the US and the very next day IT was back.  My left eyelid started to itch, then got red, swollen and then scaly.  I was devastated.  I thought it was the shampoo and other hair care products I used here but did not use it in Poland.  I started writing a journal and note which products I used and how my eyelids were reacting.  I went through at least 10 different shampoos/conditioners and noted every little change.  There seemed to be no correlation and the inflammation seemed to now move to my right eyelid as well.  In the meantime I researched contact allergy (ACD or allergic contact dermatitis), couldn't find a solution but decided to see an allergist to get tested for contact allergy.  This doctor was the FIRST one who acknowledged my problem.  She looked at my eyes and said she thought it was eczema.  We discussed contact allergy and at my request she applied the patch test to my back.  The test came back negative, I also showed no sensitivity to the ***** test (on the forearms).  She pointed me to a different doctor if I ever wanted to get tested further.  She was very supportive and understanding and gave me two different ointments to treat the eczema.  To tell you the truth, I did not expect them to help but still religiously applied both as prescribed and hoped they would help as I really didn't feel like going for further testing.  The ACD tests are not painful but you can't shower for a few days and you have to go back to have them read every other day.  The whole process takes about 5-6 days.  Fortunately, after two or three weeks of using the medication my eyelids went back to normal.  That was back in late January-early February and so far, the eczema hasn't returned.  I do have occasional itching or redness on either of my eyelids but it never amounts to what it used to be.  One application of one of the medications takes care of it.  I went back to using makeup again (same type I used before) and feeling like an attractive woman that I used to be before.  I feel happy again but dread the return of the beast everyday.  I was so miserable and hopeless six months ago...

I don't think think it is food allergy in my case as I eat everything that I used to eat before but I am really grateful for your suggestions. There also seems to be no correlation between any cosmetics or skin care that I have been using since I am now using what I used when my eyelids were not good.  I have no idea what it was, or is, but maybe the last doctor was right and it was indeed an eczema.  All I know is I feel like I went through hell - not only did I look and feel terrible, but I was treated terribly by some doctors who claimed I was making up stories and there was nothing wrong with me or my eyes.  I cried out of frustration on several occasions while on my way back from those doctors' offices.  One of those doctors suggested I have plastic surgery to remove the excess skin from my eyelid - the very excess that resulted from the inflammation.  Even though she claimed she could not help me as there was nothing wrong with me according to her, she still put me through several test and charged my insurance company plenty, and still wanted to make more off me as she scheduled me for a follow-up.  Needless to say, I never went back to her office.  I was going to report her to the board of health but then decided not to bother.

Update:  Recently I started having the same problem but on a much smaller scale on my lower eyelids, I use a tiny bit of cortisone cream for a couple of days and it goes away.  I now think it is psychosomatic though.
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962492_tn?1247458219
It's a seasonal allergy, to some sort of pollen, where you live. You should have an allergist test you, thoroughly, for the various grasses, trees and pollens, that are indigenous, to your area (with specific focus, on ones that commonly pollenate, during the months, in which you are having your urticaria).
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Avatar_f_tn
i too had itchy, red eyelids for about a month when i finally started searching for an answer.  i think the thing that probably everyone on this forum has in common is putting products on our skin (cosmetics, shampoos, face washes, EVERYTHING) that is filled with undisclosed dangerous chemicals.  even the fragrance-free varieties of most beauty products are full of phthalates, SLS, and parabens which make us sick, and the thing is THEY DON'T HAVE TO LIST THOSE INGREDIENTS.  everything under the sun can be put under "fragrance," for example.  the skin on the eyelids is so sensitive, it makes sense that they would be the first to react.

in the long run i think you'll need to cut out everything that has anything unpronounceable in it and start treating our skin like any other organ:  if we won't eat it, we shouldn't put it on our skin, because it's being absorbed in the same way.

what worked for me:  CASTOR OIL - food grade from vitamin cottage.  within three days my eyes were 50% better.  to bump it up i added a tiny bit of neem oil to the castor oil and one drop of high grade german chamomile essential oil (the blue kind - hard to find) and now, after 6 days, my eyes are completely back to normal:  no itching (the worst!), no puffiness/wrinkles which aged me by 20 years (no, maybe that was the worst!).  i also had red dots which showed up around  my eyes for at least six months and those are gone too.

hope this works for some of you!
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Avatar_m_tn
I have the same issue, my eye lid only on the left side is red, itchy, and swollen when i wake up. Then the swollen goes away after 20 minutes, then it swells up the next morning. What is the cause of this????
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Avatar_n_tn
I had a red, flaky, itchy eyelid for about a year.  It was driving me crazy.  It started with a steroid cream prescribed by my eye doctor which I had a reaction to.  I tried everything to no avail.  
While visiting my dermatologist for other reasons, I asked about this.  He said he thought I might be allergic to the Formaldehyde that is in newsprint and magazines.  I would touch the newspaper every morning, then I would scratch my itchy eyelid.  He recommended Aquaphor and keeping my hands off my eyelid.  Handwashing helps too.  It took awhile, but I am 99% cured.  Ladies, fake nails and polish have formaldehyde too.
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Avatar_m_tn
I have had this condition mainly in the fall to winter months for the past 6 years.  Both eyelids, red, dry, cracking skin on the eyelid as well as below the eye...and no matter what I used nothing worked.  I went on the internet this year ot see if anything changed and came accross more than a couple of people detailing how Mario Badescu Control Creme (sold at Norstrom's for $30,...Amazon...$17), took away the the dryness the redness and itching in anywhere from 2-4 days.  Needless to say I was sketical but it was one of the few positive comments I came accross.  I ordered from Amazon.  I recieved it on Saturday (afternoon) and to my amazement most of the symtoms (symptoms) were gone when I went to work on Monday (AM-2 days)and completely healed by Tuesday (3 days).  Needless to say I was very impressed and had to pass on the news of this remarkable creme knowing how frustrating this condition can be.
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Avatar_f_tn
Could this be a symptom of an allergy to Cetaphil? My sister has recently had the same problem (last week it was both eyes and this week just the left one) and has been using nothing but Cetaphil moisturizer. She said she feels like she looks like Sloth from The Goonies. She went to an urgent care facility and they told her it was an allergic reaction, but they suspected it was caused by a new skincare set for acne (w/ salicylic acid) she had recently started using. She has since then stopped using it and it has returned. I thought it might have been this the first time we went in, since I have heard that skin allergies may not always appear immediately and she has very sensitive skin along with Eczema. She does not have a nut allergy so that it not the cause of the reaction. I've been looking around for other people with the same problem online and have found a few similar cases, but no one seems to be sure of what is causing their pain.
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Avatar_f_tn
It looks very similar to this: http://0.tqn.com/w/experts/Dermatology-1011/2012/04/eyes_2.jpg
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Avatar_f_tn
I've read these threads going back several years. I think multiple things are going on. Some may be allergy. But in my case I'm pretty sure it is candida/ fungal and it's stress related. I've tried more things that made it worse (witchhazel, eye cleanz pads, yogurt, warm compresses, rubbing alcohol, hydrocortisone... A few things don't make it worse like coconut oil (premium), petroleum jelly (gross but it does keep it at bay), bee magic (also just coats it and keeps it at bay) -- nothing has worked like Mario Badescu cream. Now it's more or less unavailable as they are reformulating it. I found sellers capitalizing on having a stash of it and selling it for ridiculous prices $135!
So I'm trying tinactin. I just bought it today. I think it makes sense that it's candida related.
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Avatar_f_tn
If you go to makeup alley there is a comment that says Mario Badescu reformulated their cream early this year (My supply is over a year old) as one of their ingredients was no longer available. It says that the new formulation caused problems for lots of people!! Be careful buying this product, it may not be the same. I don't know if they have batch dates on them, I would ask.
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