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Sore, puffy, dry, red eyelids... Help needed, as my pharmascist is the definition of useless!

Apologiies in advance for this crazily long post- perhaps if I had forced my pharmacist to read all of this, he might have actually been helpful.....


For the last few weeks I have been suffering from incredibly sensitive eyes/eyelids which are red, dry and sore, similar to sunburn. I initially thought it was because of some cheap make-up remover wipes that I used to take off my mascara. Although I had been using them for a while, they soon started to sting and burn the area around my eyes whenever I used them. The use of any eye make-up other than mascara would result in a stinging sensation, which varied in terms of severity. Moisturiser and even baby-lotion would burn my skin. Since then however, I have been using some Garnier make-up wipes, made for sensitive skin and the problem seemed to get a bit better, although eyeshadow was still strictly off-limits. But then, last Sunday, my eyes had gone back to their previous state, of being very red and sore. I hadn't worn any make-up or used any products on or near my eyes at all on Sunday, so I'm confused as to what caused it to return.

On Monday and Tuesday, several people commented on the state of my eyes, especially the right one, which seemed to be in a worse condition. My eyelids were dry and painful to touch, especially in the corner and it was continuously weeping, until yesterday afternoon when it seemed to heal up to the point where it looked sore, but no longer felt it.

And then today- my awful eyes are worse than ever. While my actual eyes are fine, my eyelids are large,  puffy and as per usual- RED. My left one was expectionally bad, where it was almost hard to keep open. Since the day has gone on, they've somewhat improved, although they remain puffy and red.

One more thing- it may or may not be related but yesterday morning I woke up with a dry, red, sore patch of skin around the left corner of my mouth. When covered up with makeup, it's not so bad, but still notciable and sometimes itchy. I put on some E45 cream today, as I thought this would help, but I think it made it worse as it started stinging and burning almost immediatley. I never had this before, only since the problem has returned to my eyelids. Related, perhaps?

What is going on with my evil, crazy eyes?! I look awful, as I'm very pale and the contrast between my pale face with the random red patch near my mouth and my dry, puffy eyelids makes me resemble something out of a horror film... :( Any ideas of what the problem could be or how to fix it? Or has anyone else suffered similar symptoms? All help would be greatly appreciated. :)

Alex.
272 Responses
233488 tn?1310693103
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
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Avatar universal
I don't wear makeup at all and use only Eucerin skin care products and still have this same problem (ie - I don't think it has anything to do with makeup).  It seems to come on every year when the weather changes.  It seems a bit allergy related for me as I notice I also have a bit of nasal drainage.  But I don't know of any kind of antihistamine eye cream.  I goop on the moisturizer at night but it doesn't seem to really help with the redness.  I've had this problem for years.  My last attempt to get help the guy at the front desk at my eye doc told me to see a dermatologist.  So the search continues.  
586266 tn?1223817191
Why blame the pharmacist? He or she is not an MD.
Avatar universal
I'm having the same problem and wonder if it has something to do with age and weather.  I'm 31, hve had the problem come and go for about a year now and it seemed to have started from nowhere.  I've always worn make-up but I've tried switching make-up, cleansers, brushes etc and every couple of months it still comes back in my right eye.  Products designed for sensitive eyes don't help.

My doctor told me to start washing my eyes with baby shampoo instead of eye make-up remover and that has helped reduce the puffiness and itchiness.  My dermatologist also prescribed a steroid cream but I'm reluctant to use a steroid cream on my eye.

ONyx 600- What is the name of the eye drops that helped the blepharitis?  I'm want to try that next.
Avatar universal
Hi everyone,

I am 28 years old and developed the sympoms you all described around September 2008.  The only thing is that I never had a drye patch next to my mouth.  I wore any brand/type makeup all my life and I used cosmetics, parfumes and detergent all these years without any issues.

I saw an eye doctor first back in September 2008 who prescribed Alrex (steroid eye drops) and Optiva (moisturizer).  Alrex worked like a charm, in two days I was back to normal.  After my prescription was done in about 6 weeks I decided not to refill it and in about 2 days all symptoms came back.  I refilled my prescription and in 2 days I felt relived again.  In November 2008 I saw my primary care physician for full physical who asked whether I use any medication and I said Alrex.  After primary care physician learned that I have been using Alrex for 3 months, she advised that I see an allergist or go back to an eye doctor since steroid medication like Alrex is not recommended for prolonged use and can lead to complications.

December 2008 I saw an allergist and was tested for sesonal stuff, dust and cat dog stuff- all the usual.  None come up - none.  The allergist confirmed that I am not allergic.  I was given eye drops to relieve itchy red eyes and was advised by the allergist to avoid using Alrex, which allergist suggested is not a cure for the problem.
  
For 2 weeks I was fighting the symptoms, with and without the eye drops, Allegra, Claritin and other Allergy and Dry eye relieve drops - none of it worked - none.  Lubricants didn't do anything either- my eyes are dry and puffy, red and bumpy.  Regardless of whether I use or don't use makeup some days I wakeup and can't even open my eyes.

January 2009 I went back to see the allergist and begged him to prescribe Alrex to me.  I was reminded that Alrex is not a solution to my problem, but rather a temporary relief.  I was told that I will not be prescribed Alrex.  I was offered a test to see whether I am allergic to common chemicals in products, and in the meanwhile I was told to make an appointment to see dermatologist.  So, here I am sitting scrathing my eyes and wondering whether the patches on my back will bring any results - follow-up is in 2 days.  At this point I want to be allergic to something, anything, so I can get a medication that works.

The plan is: if test comes out positive than I will know which chemicals to aviod.  If test comes out negative I would have to see a dermatologist and the eye doctor again.

I hope that all of you got some kind of relief and bring my sympothy to all of you, since I know exactly how it feels....:(
If any of you found a solution please post it here so we can hopefully find a relief.
Thank you.
777604 tn?1236265184
We are all a member of this awful red swollen eyelid club I guess with no real answers to our problem.  Except for maybe one thing that I found in almost all body, face and hand creams, and makeup and even hair conditioner that maybe our problem.  It is called methylparaben, and it is and additive that is prevalent in most of our external products we all use daily.  It has been banned in Europe and Canada but not in our own beloved USA!  Shockig to say the least.  I went to a web site called www.cosmeticsdatabase.com
and typed in my favorite hand cream.  Low and behold there was the ingredient Methylparaben with all the hazards it causes and it causes skin irritation $  to eyes  as well as other horrors.  Check it out for yourself and be ready for some shocking information.
I read all ingredients now and buy carcenagen free ingredients in all my makeup and creams and my eyes are way better!.  I am not a doctor but no doctor I have been to knows what this eye problem I had was, and I have been to four doctors even an eye doctor.  SO, what I am saying is, this ingredient may or may not be YOUR partticular problem, but I know my skin around my eyes are not itchy or burn and red anymore after eliminating products with Methylparaben in them! Hope this helps any of you.  My heart goes out to you all, for I have suffered for a year and a half with this too.  All my thoughts and prayers to you all.  .
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