The Mysterious Eye Rash Allergy Update 2020

Hello everyone! Happy 2020! Thank you for the many comments on my May 2018 post about this under-eye rash that came out of nowhere and for no apparent reason (see original post here). 

I wanted to give you a little update on my experience with the rash.  I never found out the cause, but it responds to cortisone and/or tacrolimus (see photo).  I usually go for cortisone because tacrolimus has a vaseline-like consistency — so I only like to use it at night. 


eye rash medication

These two have been a lifesaver when the rashes under my eyes return.

How often is that? Approx. three or four times a month, though I’ve noticed it happening more often in the winter months in LA. Could have to do with cold/dryness, but not sure. 

If I notice it coming back (and it came back on Jan 16th with another red patch under my left eye below the rash–see pic), I put a little cortisone on before bed. After waiting 10 mins or so, I put tacrolimus .1% on it as well.  See below pics for how it looked when I woke up on the 17th, and also how it looked after I showered/worked out and put cortisone on it. 

eye rash Jan 16 to 18 2020

Not exactly 100%, but you can see that it is considerably better within 48 hours of recurrence. 

Hope this helps anyone else still dealing with this issue! Feel free to leave comments below! And don’t forget to subscribe to our posts — enter your email below!  Happy Feb!

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This Post Has 25 Comments

  1. Michele

    Thanks for the update! Glad you found something that works! I commented on the original post about my daughter having a rash that appeared identical to yours. She hasn’t had any recurrence to date, praise God! The hydrocortisone cream you suggested helped hers heal within 3 days ????

  2. Manda

    I tried many things, including antibiotics and different creams .. even had a biopsy! It turned out to just be “atopic dermatitis” It kind of comes and goes, though doesn’t ever seem to disappear completely, just get slightly better at times and flares up really bad other times. It’s peri-orbital, so it could be around the mouth, but luckily since it’s around me eyes I can hide it a bit with my glasses..

  3. Evie

    Any thoughts if it is dermatomyocitis? Any doctors consider this yet? Seems that a chronic heliotrope rash is a symptom.

  4. Aimee

    My 1 year old son has this exact rash under his eyes. It started under one eye (a little dot or so) and gradually showed up under both eyes, very heavily. People are starting to think he has black or bruised eyes. I’m going to try the hydrocortisone cream in hopes that he will be relieved from the dry patches under his eyes. This is literally the only article I found helpful on the internet. I’m glad I found it. I would normally take him to the doctor, but with all the sick people and virus cases… right now is not the time. Thank you for showing how much the cream helped you out.

    1. admin

      Thank you for your comment! I hope the hydrocortisone clears it up.

  5. Gurdeep

    I’m a 35 year old male and suffering from the same symptoms as I pictures. Applying hydrocortisone 1% now. Athletic, no allergies, always outdoors; completely clueless how this came about.

  6. Celina Solis

    THANK YOU SO MUCH. I was freaking out and felt so alone 🙁 bit your last article that I read really helped me. And this update ensured me that there are creams that may actually work. I’ve been going crazy trying too look for a cream that may help. I’m going to buy to cream from CVS tomorrow. Wish me luck. Thank you again. God bless. I hope someone can find out what causes this. Especially because this mainly happens with toddlers.

  7. Jamie

    I had something similar when I moved across the country and was allergic to all the new plants. One eye developed a weird rash and the other was constantly watery. I got a steroid shot and it fixed me right up. That was 8 years ago and I’m now getting the rash again! It’s starting to go to the other eye, too! Ugghh what is this?! I’m glad to know I’m not the only one with a weird eye thing. Thank you for the original post and update!

  8. Barb

    Same issue to the letter. Does the rash itch at all? Mine starts out that way. I use telescopic mascara by L’Oréal and Voluminous superstar xfiber and nitrogen’s oil free makeup remover. It’s seems once it clears up and I use a little make up it comes back. The only other thing I can think of is that it’s caused by wearing a mask. Are any of these products something you have used?

    1. admin

      Hey! Mine didn’t itch at all. I didn’t use those products…anyone else?

    2. Jamie

      I don’t use any products at all and mine was never itchy. Maybe you’re having an allergic reaction to your make up or mask?

    3. Grace

      I also realized I would have this very rash multiple times a month after wearing makeup. I was also using L’Oréal mascara and eyeliner!!

    4. Decklyn

      I use telescopic mascara and also have this rash!

  9. Natalie

    I have had the same red, itchy, rash under my right eye (and right upper eye close to the nose), on and off, for a year. Just when I think I know what I am allergic to and avoid it, it comes back and I am investigating again. It is so frustrating.

  10. KH

    Suffering from the same thing. Doctor to told me it was allergies, but it comes and goes with no explanation or change in environment, diet or use of – or lack of use of cosmetics. Struggling to find some relief and not look like I have two black eyes.

  11. Laura

    I have the same issue. I’ve had it, on and off, for years. I’ve never been able to pinpoint the cause. I also use hydrocortisone cream for flareups. I started using Curel on my face in the morning and before bed. This has significantly helped to reduce the flareups. I’d say I get it about twice a year now.

  12. Theresa

    I have been suffering from the same itchy rash under my eyes. I do use Loreal’s telescoping mascara, but I have switched to all almay or hypoallergenic makeup, creams, and makeup removers. I’ve been to the dermatologist (did not know what it was), the eye doctor – thought it was an allergy to something, and the allergist – I went through the chemical patch test and turns out I am allergic to gold and nickel. I thought I found my answer: my readers must have nickel in them…I bought titanium readers and also a solution to test for nickel in the many items we touch every day (readers, glasses, scissors, zippers) ALL came up neg for nickel! I am so frustrated it comes and goes on a daily basis. Cortisone cream provides some relief. I also had covid in November 2021 and the rash started to show up in early Jan 2022. Has anyone else had this scenario?

    1. Crystal

      After covid I too got this under both my eyes

  13. Abby

    I also have these symptoms! Rash began under one eye in February 2022 and started developing on the eyelid of the other a few weeks later. It gets worse with makeup, and then clears up after a few days without wearing it. I went to the dermatologist and she told me it was a contact allergy. I have no known allergies, but. I had Covid in December 2021. I stopped my skincare regimen all together (except a gentle moisturizer and cleanser), and have rotated products out of my makeup routine but it always seems to come back.

  14. Lauren

    Wow, am I relieved to have found this post! I live in South Africa & noticed this first on my flight home from Europe, initially I thought, wow you are an ugly traveller & after a good nights rest still looks as if I was in some sort of airport altercation ! It’s been coming and going since the 6th of March, I had covid end of Jan 2022. I have had weird eczema spots pop up whilst travelling and kind of assumed it was that, it certainly wasn’t ! I feel a bit of an itchiness every now and then but it mostly just looks absolutely awful! I had stir fry yesterday ( high sodium meal ) with extra soya sauce and googling “soya sauce eye allergy” is what lead me here! It seems as if no one has a clear cut cause & solution, really hoping that by having these creams on stand by will help & that we can move closer towards some answers, but it’s certainly glad to know I’m not alone. Will be sure to let you all know if I discover some miracle cure

  15. Leny

    This is crazy , I started dealing with this same issue and February we are in May and nothing improves. The moment I put any ointment such as Vaseline or A&D it just pops out more and gets puffy. I thought maybe it started from rubbing my eyes so hard from allergies but this has gone on for too long. Definitely going to try what you recommended because I can’t deal with it any longer.

    1. Michelld

      This is my exact experience! Seeing a dermatologist this week. Sounds like everyone has gotten a run around. Ugh :(.

  16. Cyn

    My daughter is 14 and has been dealing with this. Thank you! hoping the hydrocortisone helps

  17. Hannah

    I am so relieved (but also disheartened that others are going through this) to see I am not alone! I’m a 29 year old female and I’ve been struggling with these exact “under eye bumps” along with swelling etc – literally exact same as your photos – since early October 2023. At first my doctor assumed it was from getting dental work done – some people are allergic to novocaine and assumed maybe I had a delayed allergic reaction. However it would come and go, then my eyes nearly swelled shut! I went to urgent care and, confused, they prescribed me antibiotics (both oral and eye drops) for 10 days. I nearly cleared up and had only one small bump on my eye when the antibiotic was up. However about 5 days after the medication was done, the bumps slowly started reappearing on one eye, and now both. I just applied the hydrocortisone cream and scheduled an appointment with my doctor and am hoping for a quick referral to an allergist!

  18. Kory

    I had the exact same on my eyes for over a year, I saved this post months ago and I just found out what was causing mine and I would bet it is the same for you. Once I found out and looked it up it is everywhere so I don’t understand why I never came across it before and the patch test I did didn’t test for it. But look up allergies to methylisothiazolinone. It’s in all kinds of health and beauty skin care products shampoos etc. The two things that I think were affecting me the most were spray paint any type of wet wipes, but I found several other products I use that has it in it. Hope this helps someone out bc I know the pain and misery and embarrassment that this causes it’s no fun! Take care:)

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