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Baby with chronic red under-eye circles

For the past 5 mornings, my 9 month old daughter has woken up with alarming red circles under her eyes.  In the same place as a typical dark under eye circle, but pinkish red in color.  She's had them before, but they usually go away after a day or so, and then we don't see them again for a while.  But we are going on 5 days here, and I am stumped as to what is causing them, but they look terrible, and I often see her rubbing them as if they bother her. She has a history of mild eczema, which I haven't seen for quite some time.  But today, in addition to the red circles, she also had some eczema patches on her cheeks and nose, but nowhere else.  
So, she ONLY has them when she wakes up in the morning (she is getting a good 12 hours of sleep)-  they are gone by the afternoon. She has not eaten anything new, or been exposed to ANYTHING new-  same detergent, cleaners, etc..  since birth.  We have a dog, but she has always played with him- nothing new there.  Hardwood floors in her nursery, which I vacuum every day, and wipe down surfaces each day, too- and she has a really good air purifier in her nursery.  And my thoughts are this: if the circles are "allergic shiners," and they are caused by environmental allergies, wouldn't they be bad throughout the day, when she is around dust, pollen, dog dander, etc..., and then get better overnight, after being in her clean nursery for 12 hours?
Any ideas or suggestions would be appreciated.  We are taking her to the doctor in 2 days, but they usually blow this kind of thing off, anyway.  Thanks for any advice!!
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377493 tn?1356502149
It does sound like allergies doesn't it.  My son has mild allergies and I can tell you that they are worse at night for sure.  Not sure why that is, but it's what happens.  We too have hardwood and I wash it down at least every second day.  

I took him for allergy testing at 2.  In addition to the things I was doing (the air purifier is great!), they told me to remove what they called "dust collectors" from his room such as stuffed animals.  They also told me to keep his closet closed and not allow our cat in his room.  It's helped a bit.  Nothing had really changed for him either since birth, but I guess his body did, and I am told it's not uncommon for these things to develop.  Curious...when she sleeps does she mouth breathe?  He does and that is a sure sign it's allergies, and something in his room.

It could also be something as simple as her blanket...perhaps she has developed an allergy to cotton.  There are so many things, and it may wind up being a process of elimination.

The other thing that comes to mind is a chronic sinus infection, or even a problem with her nasal cavaties in general?  I know such things happen and are not always accompanied by other symptoms.  If there is an issue there, then when she is lying down it may become worse if that makes sense.  (I'm just guessing here based on some things I have heard of).

One bit of advice I can give you.  Do not allow a Dr. to pat you on the head and send you away like some neurotic parent.  I had one do that to me and it's infuriating. You are her mother, and you know her best.  If you are concerned and know this is not normal for her, then get a second opinion.  Obviously we don't want to put our children through unnecessary testing, but sometimes it seems we have to fight back when a Dr. dismiss' our concerns.  All the best to you!
Helpful - 0
535822 tn?1443976780
Has she any wheezing or asthma symptoms..and I would ask the doctor about allergies
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Avatar universal
She doesn't seem to have any breathing issues-  she starts breathing heavy at times when drinking a bottle, but it seems more like she's playing around.  I have asked the doctor about allergies- several times, actually- because she has had these red circles in the past.  Every time I've mentioned it, the doctor has just blown it off-  he just says "oh, probably allergies, whatever."  They never seemed concerned-  but now that this is not going away, and it seems to be bothering her (she rubs her eyes constantly), I feel like it needs to be taken more seriously.  
Helpful - 0
535822 tn?1443976780
I agree with you , it may be time to ask another Doctor what he thinks , allergies can be very uncomfortable ..I should know, eyes can really sting and itch ...is it hot where you are living as I have found it makes it worse.Ask if you can give an anti histimine at her age ...
Helpful - 0
973741 tn?1342342773
Ugh, my youngest son is an allergy sufferer as well.  I can always tell when his eyes are itchy and bothering him because they are a little watery.  

Does your daughter drink forumula or nurse?  I ask that as milk allergies do some strange things to skin.  

Hope you will find an answer.  You're your child's advocate and your warning bells say this is not right.  So, continue to follow up with this doctor or another if you decide to switch.  Make an appointment with a pediatric allergist if necessary.  But continue to persist.  Squeaky wheel gets the grease, right?  Good luck dear
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Thanks for all the comments and suggestions.  To answer the last post, my daughter has been on Nutramigen (hypoallergenic formula) since 3 months old.  We never actually determined if she had a milk allergy, but we went on Nutramigen b/c she had HORRIBLE acid reflux, and we felt it was the easiest thing to digest.  Our dr. wants her on it until she's a year old, and then we can try some milk products-  but as of yet, she hasn't had any dairy at all.  So there really aren't too many things that could be causing the red circles, other than dust or other environmental allergens.  After doing some reading this morning, it sounds like there isn't too much they can do in terms of testing for this type of allergy-  which is why doctors don't pay too much attention to them.  My only goal is to identify the main cause, so I can keep her away from it as much as possible- but sounds like that might be pretty tricky!!
Helpful - 0
535822 tn?1443976780
How long has she had this , is she outdoors a lot could it be from any sunscreen you put on her face because of the sun ..rubbing may rub it into her eyes?
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
She has had them before- they normally last a day or 2, then go away.  But his time we are going on 6 days.  I thought about sunscreen, but when it started, I hadn't had any on her in over a week.  And if it was from the sunscreen, I'm thinking the circles would appear at the time of irritation, which hasn't been the case.  They get better throughout the day, and then reappear in the morning, after being in the nursery for about 12 hours.  And I truly can't think of one thing that's in the nursery that could be bothering her- certainly nothing new that she's being exposed to.  I just can't figure it out- but now she has been waking up hourly for the past 2 nights, and last night I felt like she was up ALL night.  So maybe there is something bothering her while she's sleeping, and now it's keeping her up.
Helpful - 0
535822 tn?1443976780
Would the school put sunbloc on children if they take them out to play ?you say she is in nursery 12 hours ,that s a long time for a little one , what kind of routine do they have at the nursery, ask if they take the children out and do they put sunscreen on them ...
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Oh, no-  I meant the nursery as in her bedroom-  she is in there for 12 hours at night when sleeping!  She doesn't go to daycare, she's home with me.  In case anyone is having this same issue, I just got back from the doctor, and the visit went really well.  The dr. was very nice, and told me that in no way should these circles be dismissed-  she said they are definitely allergies, and was very sympathetic, saying that they can definitely make little ones very uncomfortable.  She said that many doctors blow off the allergy thing when they suspect environmental allergies (i.e. dust, pollen, etc.), b/c they are just so unpredictable, with no rhyme or reason to them.  She doubts that there's anything in her bedroom that's causing the reaction, but rather during the night is the time when her body is choosing to react to the allergens that she had been exposed to throughout the day.  This obviously doesn't make sense, which is why this type of allergy is so hard to diagnose or figure out-  its just the way some people react to them, and everyone is different.  She recommended a thin layer of 1% hydrocortisone cream under the eye/on cheeks in the am, and she said I could try a small dose of children's benedryl right before bedtime, to see if it helps.  Other than that, she said regular vacuuming & dusting is fine, but to keep playing on the floor, going outside, etc...  She was very helpful-  it makes all the difference getting a doctor who doesn't make you feel like you are crazy!!!
Helpful - 0
535822 tn?1443976780
Yes you did say earlier she was at home and I did think 12 hours a lot for a little one .....The hydrocortisone  cream sounds okay I have seen babies have a thin layer put on their skin ..I know what you mean about Doctors you either get a good one who will listen or not ..its a matter of their own personality I feel .They do sound like allergies , let us know what is happening its always good to solve a mystery ...good luck.
Helpful - 0
377493 tn?1356502149
I'm so glad you got a Dr. who is going to work with you.  What a difference that makes.  And knowing that it is in fact an allergy at least gives you a starting point, which again is so much better then the complete unknown.  I'm curious if they said anything about doing some allergy tests?  My Pedi wouldn't do them until my son was 2, but I wonder if your Dr. has a different opinion?  I'm also glad to hear no breathing issues, so no asthma.  I hope you figure it out soon, and I hope she is doing better soon as well.  Hopefully it's seasonal and clears up fairly quickly for her.  All the best!
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I'm having the same problem exactly with my daughter. Allergy testing is scheduled for July but im just wondering how things are going now? Did they hydrocortisone cream work and were you worried about it getting into the eye itself at all? I'm ready to try about anything! We live in a northern Manitoba community and we have to drive 6 hours just to get to the allergist! You can only imagine how infuriating it is to have pretty much no other option for a second opinion here in town. I had to push to get her in with a specialist! It's not a good thing that your daughter had the same problem but I do find some comfort in your story knowing someone else has been in my shoes. My doctor is starting to make me feel crazy and like a hypochondriac!
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Just my feeling, but try a little coconut oil(extra virgin) or even olive in place of the hydrocortisone. Also, avoid giving medication to your children for a symptom that your not sure of the cause. The reason allergies are so unpredictable is because there are a million different things that could be causing the reactions. But, when it comes down to it, most of peoples issues can be fixed through diet and physical activity. Meat(grassfed and pasture raised), veggies & fruits(as local and organic as you can get), some nuts and legumes(raw and soaked), and dairy(raw and from a well researched source). Truly follow this diet(that means no sugar and preservatives and chemicals) and watch the allergies disappear.
Oh, and get outside alot to walk and move.

If you simply cant follow this, try vitamin C every day.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Just my feeling, but try a little coconut oil(extra virgin) or even olive in place of the hydrocortisone. Also, avoid giving medication to your children for a symptom that your not sure of the cause. The reason allergies are so unpredictable is because there are a million different things that could be causing the reactions. But, when it comes down to it, most of peoples issues can be fixed through diet and physical activity. Meat(grassfed and pasture raised), veggies & fruits(as local and organic as you can get), some nuts and legumes(raw and soaked), and dairy(raw and from a well researched source). Truly follow this diet(that means no sugar and preservatives and chemicals) and watch the allergies disappear.
Oh, and get outside alot to walk and move.

If you simply cant follow this, try vitamin C every day.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Did you ever find out if this was indeed allergies?? How did you figure out the trigger if so? We have been dealing with a similar issue for over a year and we're going crazy trying to figure it out!!!
Helpful - 0
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