Avatar universal

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. :)

272 Responses
Avatar universal
I feel so relieved to have stumble across this forum!  I can't believe how many have these exact same symptoms!  Mine developed around Feb/Mar 09.  I am in my 50's, redhead fair complexion and I have always worn make-up (lightly). I thought the problem first started when I tried a new brand of make-up BUT ...my story is the same, I stopped all make-up, used nothing harsh on my skin and no improvements.  Neosporin was my first relieve along with a gentle skin toner.  Two days ago it flared up again and that is why I'm back in search of an answer!  I'm going to try the steaming and fungus creme... I too want this gone and to be able to use eye shadow again!  I'll keep watching your posts and I'll let you know if I have "great" results!  Thanks ALL
Avatar universal
I can't believe I just found this board.  When I was reading all of your posts, I felt like I was writing it all myself.  I actually have tried everything also to figure out what is going on.  

My problem is I get an itchy, swollen, red, eyelid on my right side when I wake up.  This occurs about every 2-3 weeks.  Then I also get almost like an acne rash on the right side of my mouth, lower jaw.  I also get a nose sore, again on my right side.  

I went on-line to see if this has anything to do with allerigies, that is what I was thinking about.  Cremes sting like crazy when I put on my eyelid when it's inflamed. What is going on?  I am 33 and this all started about a year ago.  Very frusterating.
Avatar universal
I've suffered from some of these symptoms.My GP advise to use 1% Hydrocortisone ointment with caution as it actually ages your skin.However I have found Aloevera soothin and efective relief. if applied at overnight.
Give it a go it works for me.
Avatar universal
Hi everyone,

I've went through this entire thread and there seems to be a lot of conflicting causes and varying symptoms. I don't wear make-up and have been using Lubriderm on my whole face since I was 15 (I'm 32 now). I suddenly developed "the eyelid problem" about two months ago.

It started with dry, stiff upper eyelids and then progressed to redness, lines and puffiness. Putting lotion on would offer some relief in the first month, but now this problem has moved to my lower lids and the skin is looking kind of like "aligator" consistency (ie- wrinkling that's in squares, instead of just lines across the lids). Putting lotion on now actually stings mildly and the skin still feels stiff, despite the lotion. Plus now it's itchy.

I made an appointment with my doctor for tomorrow, as I can't take this anymore. Has anyone who's not a make-up wearer experienced what I'm describing? This is absolute misery and looks terrible!!

Thanks and I hope we are all able to find some resolution to this problem soon. I'll report what I find out from the doctor's tomorrow when I get back.
Avatar universal
Hey everyone,

I too am currently suffering from a flare-up of very red, itchy, dry and sometimes swollen eyelids. I get this every once and awhile, and for me i know is caused by allergies. Sometimes when i start getting those irritated itchy eyes from allergies i end up rubbing (and sometimes even  scratching - BAD, i know!) my eyes like crazy which later turns into inflammed bright red, itchy and puffy eyelids. This eventually turns into dry, scaling and then peeling skin on my lids. Then once the redness subsides i am left with a brown colouring around my eyelids (like what your skin looks like after sunburn). Anyway, i have searched the internet looking for an answer to what this condition acually is, and believe that (for me personally) it is due to (allergic) contact dermatitis of the eyelid. Here are just a couple of sites that may be helpfull to some of you:



**Please note that in no way am i suggesting that this is the answer to any of your problems, and if you are really concerned then you should definately consult a GP, Dermatologist etc. to get a definate diagnosis.

Anyway, the only way for me to treat my problem is to follow these steps:

1.) Itchy eyes: First and foremost do not rub, scratch eyes as this will only lead to more irritation, redness and swelling (possibly even an infection). For really itchy eyes i find that for me personally the best thing is to refrain from touching my eyes as much as possible (no matter how itchy - even if it drives me crazy) and to apply a cool compress which seems to help eleviate some of the itching.

2.) Swollen puffy eyelids:  For this i usually use a cool compress which i apply to my eyes several times a day. You could also use cold tea bags which are great also.

In the past i have also suffered from bacterial conjuntivitis which i experienced similar symptoms, one of which being massive swelling of my eyelid which would last for days (usually it only occured in one eye, though sometimes it would spread to both.) as well as severe redness and burning in my eye, for which i consulted my doctor. For this i was prescribed some Clorsig ointment for my eye and sometimes also antibiotic tablets if the case was severe. Therefore if you are experiencing some massive swelling and soreness of your eyelids it could be a sign of an infection, so you should consult your doctor so that they can prescribe some antibiotics or meds to help soothe the problem.

3.) Dry, Red eyelids: Ok, there really isn't much you can do to stop the redness other than not rub your eyes or apply anything which will irritate your lids even more. The only thing i feel safe applying to my already irritated lids to help with the dryness is 100% pure Vitamin E oil. It can be a little sticky and feel a little strange but it doesn't burn or irritate my eyelids and it's great for burns, rashes and abrasions, aswell as dry, cracked skin. Anyway, it seems to work for me.

Well thats pretty much it. it's not a miracle cure, and it does take a few day for results to settle in. I know it won't be the solution to everyones problem, but i hope some of this information will be of use to some of you.  

Avatar universal
Hi.  I had exactly the same symptoms as you.  Red, itchy, burning eyelids.  I felt like someone was holding a match to my eyelids and burning them.  The only relief I would get would be from a cool compress (or ice cubes) which would stop the burning.  After a few days my eyelids would then dry up and the skin would peel off my eyelids.  Just like a sunburn and peel.  I didn't know what was causing it. It was happening every month.  I would just get done peeling and it would happen again.  Very frustrating.  I went to my doctor who sent me to a dermatologist.  Nobody knew what was causing it but they both agreed it was an allergic reaction to something.

I have RLS (restless leg syndrome) and at night I would take Advil if needed.  We were in Hawaii on vacation and my legs were bothering me, so I went to take some Advil.  I forgot to bring the Advil but I did bring Aleve and so I took that instead.  After about 1 hour my eyes started burning and itching like crazy.   Looking back I realized that all the times before when I had this problem I had taken Aleve.  When I got back home I went to the doctor and he said that I was allergic to naproxen which is in Aleve.  If you look up naproxen on the web you will see that it causes rashes, swelling, itching, etc.  I am now very careful not to take any medicine that has naproxen in it.  This was 3 years ago and I have not had a reaction in 3 years.  

I  have read through everyone's comments on this thread.  A lot of people have been talking about make up that may be causing the problem.  Many have talked about using different lotions to help alleviate the pain and discomfort.  They really need to keep track daily of medicines, foods, lotions, etc. to see what is triggering their attacks.  It is definately an allergic reaction and the only way they are going to stop this is to find out what the root cause is.  The cause of my allergic reaction was naproxen which was taken internally - not from anything external.  

I don't know if anyone else has takien Aleve and have had these same symptoms.  I hope this information helps others.
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