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Allergy- Swollen Eyelids

I've used the same type of make-up and face-wash for three years. I went on a vacation to south america, and while i was there, I got sick. I continued wearing make-up and face-wash while I was sick, and ever since, my eyelids get swollen a lot. They swell whenever I use face-wash, make-up, shampoo, conditioners, or any lotions, even if not on the affected area! Even the "for sensitive skin" and hypoallergic products make my face swell. Even surrounding pollen and animals make them swell! They swell near the lashes, mostly on the upper eyelids. That is the only symptom. They are not red, itchy, scaly, flakey, or dry. Just swollen.

I went to a derm, who said that my body probably associated the virus I had with the chemicals in all the products above, so when I use them my body reacts. Same with the animals and pollen. She told me to avoid all for 6 weeks, and then my immune system would "forget" to react to all of the above. However, it has been impossible to avoid animals and pollen (as it's spring and I have a dog and a cat) so my eyes have been swollen for a majority of the last 6 weeks.

Antihistimanes don't really work all that effectively, only solving the problem for an hour or two, and ive tried zyrtec, benadryl, XYZAL (oral solution), and cloderm (1% cream).

Could my derm be right? Could that cause this? Is there a name for that? What else could be the problem and what could fix it? This has been going on for over 3 months and Im desperate for an answer!
5 Responses
Avatar universal
They are not terribly swollen, hardly noticable but very uncomfortable!
233488 tn?1310693103
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
Forgeting to react doesn't sound very scientific to me. Suggest you see an ophthalmologist or at least a second dermatologist.
JCH MD
Avatar universal
I have very dry, itchy, uncomfortable, puffy red circles all around my eyes.  This condition has ebbed and flowed over the past 3 weeks, getting better or worse every few days.  It all started with a case of itchy, cracked, severely chapped lips during my son's wedding back in early Jan.  That has been very difficult to clear up  ...   but is now much better.  Just as it was clearing up, the eye reaction started up.  All oils, salve, even Vit E oil from capsules irritates them even more.  I have begun eliminating all dairy, eggs, and wheat flour from my diet, which seems to be helping somewhat.
Avatar universal
Dani, that first derm doesn't really sound like a thoughtful doc.  You say you got sick in South America?  There are some tropical diseases that are associated with swollen eyelids.  I hope whatever doc you see next asks you a lot of questions about the symptoms of your illness and maybe even does some blood tests.  This may or may not be related to your eye problem, but should be checked out.

Laura, vitamin E is pretty well known as an allergen when applied to the skin.  It doesn't bother the majority of people, but it happens often enough.  There was a famous episode some years ago in which Mennen tried to introduce a deodorant that used vitamin E as a major ingredient, but so many people got red, itchy underarms from it that they had to pull the product off the market very soon afterward! Anyhow, there are quite a few scientific papers on this kind of problem with vitamin E.  Here's one:

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/579340_2
Avatar universal
Today was the day that the 6 weeks was up. During the 6 weeks of no make-up, face-wash, shampoo, and washing my sheets daily and etc, I also got accupuncture and went to an "energy" person who I guess fixed some stuff.

Anyways, I've used make-up, face-wash, and a new shampoo and havent reacted to anything yet. Yay :) Since I tried so many things we don't really know what fixed it, but whatever works!
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