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Avatar universal

dry red sore itchy bumpy under eye skin

Last year I suddenly developed dry skin on the left eyelid and was prescibed hydrocortisone.  Unfortunately it spreaded to the right eyelid the to the bottom of both eyes.  The hydrocrtisone did not work, instead peeled away a little skin.  I continued wearing make up (mac) as my dark circles are very bad.
I went to see an optician who thought it was bletharitis, but I don't think it was.  And I had an allergy test (machine tested me on 3000 products).  I was told that I was allergic to lanolin (sheep wool fat),dust, basil and squid.  I was also told that my boots sensitive mascara did not agree with me.  I am not aware of ever having used lanolin.  I stopped wearing eye make up and only used vaseline around the eyes.
Approx. 2 months later it suddenly vanished, not sure how?  I had put up with the problem for 11 months, gradually becoming worse.
And now after 2 months of it having gone away, it has returned again. This time it happened much quicker, starting on the right lower eye, then moved to the left.  The right under eye is very red, sore and dry.  It feels so rough to touch.  I have not worn make up today and have only applied vaseline and aqeous cream.

I haven't changed any toileteries or make up in the last 2 months.  I am not sure what it could be?  I don't think it is eczema, but believe it could be an allergic reaction to something.  I can't seem to work out what it could be?  Could it be an allergic reaction to something i am using around the eye or a food product?  Please help me.

251 Responses
563773 tn?1374246539

It can be due to eczema. It is a form of chronic dermatitis (rash).Allergic reaction is one of the important causes of eczema. Allergic reaction can occur to strong soaps, Solvents, chemicals, certain foods, food additives, plants, metals, cosmetics, even urine and faeces of some animals (dust mites). Treatment includes avoidance of the allergen, oral antihistaminics; topical application of corticosteroids and oral steroids in severe cases.You may try application of calamine on the affected site. It may work by soothing the skin.

Other possibility is of erythroderma.It is a generalized skin disorder characterized by reddening and scaling of the skin and produced by several skin diseases, such as psoriasis, contact dermatitis, drug reactions, and mycosis fungoides (a cutaneous lymphoma).

I feel that an examination by a dermatologist will be the best.Other conditions like liver and kidney disorders,diabetes, iron deficiency anemia and thyroid disorders also have to be ruled out.
Hope it helps.Take care and pls do keep me posted on how you are doing or if you have any additional queries.

Avatar universal
Thanks for your comment.  My eyes have become worse this morning,even though I only applied aqeous cream and vaseline to the eye area and face yesterday.  The right under eye is especially swollen. Will have to take the day off work again to see the doctor.
It still feels very dry.
Thanks againfor tour kind help.
Avatar universal

Over the last two weeks my eyes have been the same - At first they are very red and lumpy just on the delicate under eye area then they seem to get worse as the day goes on becoming ithcy and very dry and i dont look very attractive!! I applied several creams including sudo cream but nothing seems to get rid and even the most gentle creams sting like mad - the only thing that doesnt is Vaseline!! eventually they got better until last week i went out with some friends and had quite a few Vodka and diet coke!! The next day my eyes seem to get worse and worse as the day went on taking all week to get any better.
I  have noticed a pattern - it seems to flare up every time after a night out drinking alcohol - i went out for a meal last night and had a few drinks and this mornin it is back again!!

I have not been to the docs yet- but i am going to as i dont think its some thing im usin around my eyes - may be we are allergic to alcohol!!

I hope not!

Any way just thought i would share this with you as it sounds as though we have very simalar symptons


Avatar universal

I have exactly the same thing

red, itchy, burns when i apply any creams

went and got allergy tests done and nothing came back

comes up bad after a night out, beginning to think its spirits - its only happened in the last 6 months

skin red, tight, and itchy

if you have any look let me know
Avatar universal
I have similar sounding problem. Very itchy and dry looking skin round the eye area, including the bridge of my nose. One eye is worse than the other. I have tried vaseline, aloe vera gel, even steroid cream which the doc prescribed after diagnosing blepharitis.

I don't think it's blepharitis as a lot of the symptoms don't match, eg I don't have crusty or sticky eyes in the morning any more than is normal.

Have trawled the net and can't find anything other than an allergic problem. The only thing I can think of is my cats, but I have the itchiness even when away from cats on hols. ??

Nothing seems to work. Although wiping them with cotton ball and hot water seems to keep the itching at bay for a while.
Avatar universal
I have had the same symptoms for over a year.  I've been to many doctors and had my hormones tested-they're normal.  My dermatologist said I was allergic to cocamide something or other which is virtually in every soap and shampoo, so I threw out all make up, soaps, shampoos, etc...no change.
Finally went to an allergist.  I have an allergy to Candida (yeast) in my body and certain foods cause the flare up...mainly EVERYTHING!  I'm pretty depressed about it because I either can't eat anything I enjoy or the trade off is looking like a freak of nature because my eyes swell up and itch like crazy...
Foods I have to avoid: sugar including sugar substitutes, dairy, wheat, alcohol, all cheese, all canned vegetables and fruits, all tomato sauces or tomato products in jars or cans, any corn related product,peanuts or peanut butter, jams or jellies, potatoes, all vinegars, condiments, hot sauces, soy related products, all breads, pastas, etc...most fruits except for berries.
The one thing I've continued to do is drink coffee daily although many Candida free diets tell you to avoid caffeine.  It does not seem to affect me-thank god!
What CAN  I eat?  fresh vegetables, extra virgin olive oil, fresh lemon juice and lime juice, almonds, probioitic yogurt, long cooking oatmeal, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, brown rice, fish, chicken and meat that has not been marinated, mmmm, that's about it.  
I have continued to eat walnuts even though I'm not supposed to...
typical daily diet - yogurt with walnuts, cinnamon, rasberries or blueberries
lunch-fresh spinach or arugala with almonds, evo oil, lemon juice salt and pepper and green apple peeled.
dinner-fish or chicken and salad (same as lunch) or brown rice

My question is this - has anyone gotten past this allergy and been able to go back to eating a normal diet???  or has anyone found an easy solution?

no longer a beer drinker  
Avatar universal
I have the same problem but can't seem to find any help sites anywhere they all seem to refer to eyeballs! Im going to try to avoid alchol!! See if it makes a difference.
They seem worse when they get dry and are better when moisturised but the hydrocortisone cream is making my eye skin thin and I' more wrinkly now.
Avatar universal
I just started getting these same symptoms two weeks ago and I dont know what to do. I have this patch right under my right eye that is red, swollen, dry and itchy. I try putting vaseline on it but that seems to just temporarily solve the issue. It is embarassing to go out without my glasses on (which hide the patch) so I never wear my contacts anymore...just hide behind my glasses. I have tried benedryl, neosporin, etc. and nothing seems to help. It hasn't spread yet to my other eye but I am thining it might start. HELP PLEASE!?!?!
Avatar universal
I've had the same problem for about 7 months now. It started under my right eye, at the time I thought it was stress related as I was doing my Final Year Project for college. However I am finished college now and it has spread to my left eye. I also am getting occasional dry skin on the bridge of my nose, and on top of everything my lips are getting dry and itchy too. I am allergic to lipsticks and lipgloss so I haven't worn them in over 6 years. However this time my lips started acting up for no reason. Does anyone else have this problem with their lips? I went to my dermatologist and he said there is nothing I can do about it. Steroid creams are too risky around the eye, and they also create wrinkles. He said to keep the areas moisturised with vaseline, especially during the cold winter months. He said it could go away...or not. It's just the type of skin I have. I could be allergic to anything, make-up, food, etc. I think we just have to deal with it and learn to love our red and itchy eyes.

If anyone finds a cure let me know!!!!!
Avatar universal
i think you right, we'l shall have to learn to deal with it!!!

after being off spirits, its now happened if i drink anything, and wont be giving it up anytime soon!!!  its just a right pain in the a*e!  i originally thought it was stress aswell, makeup, food etc.  my lips also do the same, tho the redness disappears quicker than the eyes.  I find my eyes come up really bad after a shower, (even thought it was the water).  I know someone that gets it around her eyes, it just seems to be getting more common, b4 i found this forum i thought i was going mad.  thank god im not the only one.  have found that my skin under my eyes to be more wrinkly since, will be avoiding those creams so....

again, if anyone finds out anything....
Avatar universal
Just visited a dermatologist and she gave me an antifungul cream saying she thought it could be yeast or an allergic reaction to yeast. I have been using it for 3 days and it has helped with the swollen, red and ithcy symptoms but now it is extremely dry under my eyes. I also think that the cream has caused a deeper wrinkle. Just cant seem to win!!!
Avatar universal
For me I started noticing it on my honeymoon. I had bought new mascara (body shop) for the wedding. It does get worse after I wear that so I have stopped. The itchy dry red under my eay doesn't get better. Some days it looks better than others but over all it is still there. I have been noticing that some other areas have red itchy spots too, like arround my elbow and behind my ears. I went to the Doctor about it and he did give me some cream but warned me to only use it for a week around my eye. It didn't really help :(

My sister has pretty bad allergies and sensitive skin (she can only use certain detergents and soaps) Maybe that's whats happening to me even though I haven't changed anything except my mascara.

Hmmm, it's nice to know I'm not alone
Avatar universal
i know what you're going through

right now though, i suggest
1.) cut down on alcohol
2.) use natural products like aloe vera gel or olive oil, even somthing like baby oil. Also, you can use homemade face masks like honey and oatmeal.
3.) relax and revive, e.g. exercise like yoga, also, meditate.
4.) drink lots of water
5.) wear clothes that are kind to the skin, avoid anything itchy or scratchy.
6.) avoid sunlight that can dry out the skin
7.) never scrub the eye area.
8.) ask your doctor for creams and bath addictives that are natural moisterisers and are kind to the skin. for example diprobase cream which is good for raw red skin, light liquid parafin which is good for irritant and dry skin. also ask for oilatum bath addictive which can be used for the face and body which locks in moisture.
9.) most important, dont touch the skin or itch it, try and aviod changing temperature or humidity rapidly.
10.) use natural moisturisers that can be brought over the counter
the best one is Aveeno cream.

hope this helps (:
Avatar universal
I have had this same problem it's not fun!!! It started after I got my eyebrows waxed. My eyelids were so dry and they wouldn't stop peeling! I tried so many different creams. Finally I found one that works! It's the Bare Escentuals RareMinerals purely nourishing facial moisturizer. It works great on my eyelids! No more peeling! So happy!

Just when I was thinking it was over. Now I have red dry dark circles under my eyes! :( What do you think I should do? My lotion doesn't work on these. I have never had something like this happen before. Please help!!!!

Do you think tea bags may work on the under eyes?
Avatar universal
I had the same problem - red swollen itchy eye which started on the skin just under my left eye as the weeks went on it spread to the eye lid, the bridge on my nose, between my eye brows and to to skin round my other eye. it drove me in sane it was so imbarassing going into work. On the days it wasn't as red it was very dry bumpy and scaly horrible. The attack lasted months and the skin was starting to look wrinkly!  I tried what seemed to be everthing I found vaseline the best to soothe and try to protect the skin. The pharmist told me to try aveeno cream which soothed it but it was still there. I paid for a Herbalist and she gave me a cream,and some horrible medicine to try which I took because I was fed up and would do anything . I took this for a while but didn't seem to get the results i was hoping for. I had a few ideas what may be causing it I am a eczema suffer but only on my hands which is triggered by critic acid which is found in loads of foods drinks(diet coke, sweeties. and citrus friuts such as grapes, oranges, lemons, kiwi, tomatoes ,pineapple  strawberries, wine and food that contain these such as sweet andsour and tomato sauces etc so I took these out of my diet just in case I had become more intolerant. also wondered if it was hormonal as it seemed to get worse half way through my cycle and also at that time of the month. So I went on the pill to help even out my hormones.  All of which helped and it has been a way for a few months with just a few niggly bits a the side of my nose. However my 4 1/2 year old has it now !!! So i'm doing the same with her diet and shes been refered to the hospital for allery testing.  I'm not sure now as it seems odd it may even been a weird virus !!!? Hope any of this helps someone. from Pauline
Avatar universal
I just started getting this about 6 months ago.  I have no idea what it is and was wondering if going to a doctor would help.  thank you for this forum because I know they would just give me cortisone and charge me a lot.  I have been using kiehl's imperiale repairateur moisturizing eye balm.  It soothes at least and it hasn't spread to the other eye, but this is the worst outbreak yet, goes pretty far down, my friend said I look like someone hit me in the eye.   I have found like vaseline or products with mineral oil to be great short term but more drying in the long run.

I was thinking I was allergic to my hair die or something like that, but reading this forum I realize it is yet another symptom of yeast that I have been fighting for years.  I changed my diet with minimal results, but lately have been letting sugar back in, maybe causing the eye thing.

Thank you everyone.
Avatar universal
I was reading your post about the dry, red, itchy under the eyes and I have the SAME problem!  What stuck out to me is that you said u wear MAC makeup.  So do i!  I just started using it in Dec 08, and I have to admit that is one thing I started using and then I seemed to notice this break out...altho I dont use any mac eyemakeup UNDER my eye I wonder if the eyeshadows OR powder foundation is the cause?  I have went a week w/o wearing makeup and it seemed to clear up but then occassionally it will still breakout even when Im not wearing make up so I wasnt completely sure if its the MAC makeup or not but that was a thought since that was the only real thing NEW i started wearing prior to the breakout.  It will seem to get better but still breakout so its not completely cured.  I think I need to try to just NOT wear the MAC makeup and see if that is it that Im allergic too?  I LOVE that makeup too, BUT if i am allergic I'll just have to find something else to wear!
Avatar universal
I periodically have this same problem, not sure if it is related to makeup, as I have a ton of makeup but the last two weeks really haven't been wearing any.  I seem to have more of a problem on the upper eyelids than the lower, they itch like crazy and are puffy and red.  I notice it seems to be worse when there is windy weather I am outside walking around in.  I use L'Occitane 100% Pure Shea on my eyelids, it is similar to Vaseline.  I am tempted to get some cortisone cream but have heard as stated above that it thins the skin out so is bad in the long run.  I do not have health insurance at the moment but had gone to a doctor about this last year and there really wasn't a lot they had to offer as a solution.  I have been cutting way down on alcohol consumption lately but am eating probably way too much sugar, which may be contributing to the problem.  Also, does anyone notice that this problem gets worse when they are under a lot of stress?  And too, with season allergies, perhaps this is related?
Avatar universal
OMG!  I think this is a virus of some sort.  I'm the type of person who has basically no allergies.  About 3 weeks ago, my right eyelid started swelling, but at the same time, I had just caught a cold.  I thought it was all related.  Well, the cold went away and I still have a swollen right eyelid and under both eyes they are sore, red, itchy, and scaly.  It looks worse and worse, like I've been punched in both eyes.  The swelling on the right lid has subsided with use of hot water and neosporin, but every morning, it would come back, and after a hot shower, it would go back to normal.  The skin on the lid is dry, but somewhat close to normal.  I have problems under my eyes and the skin is getting worse, dry and causing deep wrinkles.  Concealer to cover the redness only makes me look 10 years older!  If anyone can recommend anything, please let me know.  I'm pretty desperate and can't handle this anymore.  I know it's only been 3 weeks, but it's horrible!!
Avatar universal
Wow! I was so surprised to read everyone's comments. I too have been experiencing very dry, scaly skin underneath my eyes and also on other parts of my body. Now recently my 1 year old daughter has began to develop the same thing. What concerns me is that Lupus is common with the women on my mom's side of the family including my sister and her syptoms began with this rash. It might not be the same for all of you but one characteristic sypmtom of lupus is a malar rash which can be red or scaly dry skin on the upper part of your face and over the bridge of your nose. Of course it can be on other parts of your body too but this type of rash is common with lupus. I have been procrastinating on going in for a while but now that my daughter is experiencing symptoms I am going to have to make it a priority.
Avatar universal
I am in the same boat. My eyes started having these symptoms in conjunction with a cold. However the eye problem has continued for the last three weeks. First it was my left eye now it is both. It started as a little irritation, like a bite and it was raw and it cracked and it was sore. Then the whole area got really scaly, dry, red, wrinkled and sore. Then other eye joined in. It looks horrid. Makeup makes it looks worse as it settles in the wrinkles, redness. I have not gone to the Dr. as I am sure she won't have any idea. Will go to my naturopath first. Any more info from anyone would be greatly appreciated. This is really really bad.
Avatar universal
I have also had this problem although it usually only effects one eye.  I get dry, red, and itchy under my left eye with some swelling on the eyelid.  A couple of days ago I woke up with a "welt" looking thing under my eye which was a new treat.  I managed to figure out one thing that I know was causing the problem when it first started which was found in the indoor tanning cream I was using and is called "dihydroxyacetone".  This never failed to cause a big reaction in my eyes with such swollen eyelids, red itchy under my eyes and prominate wrinkles that I would not ordinarilly have.  I quit using anything with that ingredient in it but have started having a reaction again.  I'm guessing it might be a new liquid eye liner I'm using so, I'm eliminating that for a while to see if that helps.  I also notice this is more severe when I first wake up and somewhat diminishes throughout the day.  I appreaciate all of the posts here as I have also been looking for a definate cure but haven't been successful at finding one.  I thought since I knew that the dihydroxyacetone was a sure culprit for me, I would post to help someon else.  If anyone finds a sure cure, please post it.  Thanks.
Avatar universal
Does all this scare anyone?  I mean there seems to be a whole lot of us with this same symptom and no one knows what is causing it or how to ease it...

I think I agree with an earlier blogger that it seems to behavior more like a virus.

It is so odd how it appears under the eyes, dry, itchy.  I have been going through a divorce and I thought I was crying too much, then rubbing too hard, then maybe it was my makeup or my soap or my shampoo, I have been trying everything, cold compresses, aloe, vaseline, ice packs...

thi morning I woke up to the worst of it...my under eyes are puffy and swollen....what do we all have in common?

Maybe we should start listing our diets, our habits, perhaps we can narrow down the source in order to find a solution.

Thank you for everyone's honesty and this forum.  I was about to go to the doctors but I don't want to throw more good money at this problem...I want to find a real solution
Avatar universal
Hi,  I cured myself.  I found out that I was allergic to the mac foundation.  I put up with this problem for over a year.  Docs thought it was bletharitis, and eczema.  I rang sick from work on thurs, removed all from my face and only used vaseline.  You have to be patient as it will take at least 5 days to begin to clear up.  Believe me you should take my advice.  I do not want anyone to go through what I had to.  I went back to work on the Monday.  The eyes were still dry and red... but a lot better than what they looked like on Thurs.  Please feel free to contact me, ***@****.  My eyes have been fine ever since.  The problem is you all could be using something which you are allergic to and not know it.  Also you can develop an allergy anytime, even after using the a product for years, suddenly you could be allergic.  Good luck.
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