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The Mysterious Eye Rash…Allergy?

Hello!

As some of you may know from my Snapchat, I have recently recovered from a strange under-eye rash that had been bothering me since the end of February.  It started out small, only under one eye, and then it spread to both eyes.  My vision/ eyes were not affected whatsoever–just the skin underneath them (lower eyelids).

While trying to figure out a cure, I went searching the internet and only found a couple of useful articles…and almost zero photos.  So…I’m writing this in the hopes that someone else may find use/benefit from my experience!  I was about to delete all the pics from my phone but decided that they would be useful for this article.   Also, if there’s anyone out there who has had a similar reaction before, let me know in the comments!

As a preface note: I’ve never had an allergic reaction like this before, no history of eczema or psoriasis, no food allergies that I know of, and no allergic reactions before except to Mary Kay makeup when I was young, and another time in Dubai I got hives from something I ate (to this day I wasn’t sure what it was).

Part 1: The Beginning

I woke up one morning near the end of February with a tiny rash on my lower eyelid.  It was small, and I figured I must have scratched myself in my sleep or something like that.  I didn’t take it too seriously.   I usually wear concealer, so it didn’t affect my daily routine…just something strange I saw in the mornings and then evenings after washing off my makeup.

A couple days later, it was still there.  And it hadn’t gotten any smaller.  In my ignorance, I got some Vaseline to put on it at night…which didn’t help.

About two weeks later, I decided to go see an optometrist–I figured I must have done something wrong in caring for my contact lenses or maybe my tear duct had gotten clogged.  I was instructed to use a warm compress for five minutes twice a day, then the eye scrub sheets, and then a prescription eye drop for good measure.

For reference, this was how my eye looked on the day after I saw the optometrist:

Which is better than it looked on the 13th!

I did what the doctor said — religiously, to the letter.  And my eye seemed to be getting better!

…I was a bit impatient because I was filming on the 17th…but it was almost gone by then!

As you can see — it wasn’t fully gone, but it seemed to be better.

So…I didn’t take pics on the 19th or 20th because I figured we were good to go…that it was gone. But turns out it wasn’t the case:

I had no idea why it wasn’t going away…but I decided to stop taking photos because my trip to Tokyo was coming up, and maybe focusing on the problem would make it bigger…

Well, the rash didn’t go away, and it ended up spreading to my other eye as well! See below on April 8th (taken while I was in Tokyo):

I thought maybe the change of scene/air would have cured it, but nothing changed! At this point I figured it must have been something in my makeup, or an infection/virus, or eczema? but I’d never had eczema…

Still not getting better!?

As you can see, not much progress…and covering it up with concealer didn’t help much-esp. when the skin was peeling!

At the time, I thought it just wasn’t hydrated enough…but even La Mer “the eye” concentrate couldn’t cure it.

Fast-forward to April 16th, when I returned to LA:

 As you can see — slightly better? But maybe it was just the lighting!

I made an appointment to see a dermatologist.  When I met with her on the 17th, she informed me that I am suffering from an allergy.  She reminded me that the skin under the eye is more sensitive than our skin anywhere else, and to be cognizant of the kinds of shampoos, creams, makeup, and fragrances I’m coming into contact with.

I was confused–I hadn’t changed any of my products recently! She understood my frustration, and added that they could prescribe an ointment that is used to treat eczema in children–it’s called “Tacrolimus” — and to be aware that insurance can be difficult with this one.  I nodded, confident that my insurance was great and I’d have no problem in getting the script filled.  Well, even Aetna requires pre-authorization for Tacrolimus (though if I didn’t want to wait, I could pay $220 for a tube).  I agreed to wait (I’d been dealing with this for about two months at this point, what’s a few days more?)

Well, the pre-authorization took nearly 2 weeks.  Here is how the rash fared (mind you, I learned the hard way that putting Vaseline on a rash like this makes it worse– putting it on at night will make your eyes puffy in the morning!).

April 27th was a Friday–it was the day I found out they had re-submitted the pre-authorization because my insurance had denied the original request (because the doctor had written “eyelid dermatitis” instead of “atopic dermatitis”!) The doctor told me to use hydrocortisone cream 1% (the one you can get from CVS for like 5 bucks)– twice a day until the medication is approved, then I should switch to the tacrolimus.

I started using it on April 28th in the evening:

How did I apply it? I first applied my own eye cream, then waited about 10 minutes for it to be absorbed before applying the cortisone.  As you can see, I woke up to a huge improvement on the 29th! I applied the cream on Sunday morning and evening, and then on the 30th in the morning.  During the day they informed me that my prescription was ready to be picked up! I wasn’t sure I needed it at that point, but picked it up anyway and used it that night and also on May 1st in the evening.  I had read reviews about Tacrolimus causing a burning sensation — it felt a little warm throughout the night–not burning, but warm.

By May 3rd I stopped taking photos because it looks almost 100% back-to-normal!

However, I still to this day have NO idea what the allergy is/was, so I am doing the allergy tests in the coming weeks! Wish me luck!

Love you guys!

P.S. I really hope I’m not allergic to gluten…or milk…because I love ice cream & cookies.

P.P.S. I can’t believe I suffered for almost 2 months when I could have gone to a pharmacy and used hydrocortisone from the beginning! *Lesson learned*

This Post Has 133 Comments

  1. Michele

    What was the outcome of your allergy testing? My daughter woke up with the same weird under the eyelid rash this morning – she’s 4. So thankful for your article! We will try hydrocortisone cream tomorrow!

    1. admin

      Inconclusive! I did two allergy tests and they said I wasn’t allergic to anything. The only remaining test was a dermatologist’s skin patch test which I opted not to do yet (as it takes longer to see results and apparently you can’t shower for 48 hours…)

      1. Michele

        Crazy! And you’ve had no recurrence to date?

        1. admin

          Not as bad as before — if I feel that it looks a bit red, I put on some tacrolimus or hydrocortisone before going to bed and it’s all cleared up by morning!
          Hope this helps! Hopefully daughter’s rash clears up quickly.

    2. Jamie

      I have the same thing. Eczema cream seems to just make it puffy. Anyone think the occurrence and worsening is stress related?

      1. Shellya

        Thank you for putting this article. I am also going through the same issue but found very little information about this situation. Your article and information is so crisp and correct, it make the picture very clear.

      2. vicki

        yeah, i am thinking stress

  2. Kasey

    I have the same thing…I’m going on about 2ish weeks and nothing I use seems to make any difference. I used a eye cream last night and it seemed to make things much worst. But I will be going out tomorrow to try that anti itch cream. I also do not have any previous known allergies. I also dont wear makeup (which I did yesterday so that could also be why my eyes are worst today). My experience is the same I thought I scratched under my eye WAY too hard until I noticed it on the other side too a couple days later. It’s a little itchy and a little stingy but nothing unbearable and nothing really noticable unless I’m focusing on it. I have a doctor’s appointment set up but I’ve had no luck with doctors lately and I have no faith in them at this point. What ever kind of rash makes me feel and look absolutely ridiculous.

    1. admin

      Oh wow! Hope the appointment went well and that you are doing better now…when I wrote this post I had no idea how many other people would relate!
      Hope that the cream helped!

  3. Emma

    OMG! The EXACT same thing has been happening to me on an off for almost a year now!! I haven’t been able to find anyone else who also experiences the rash ONLY under the eyes. Its so frustrating I literally just got back from the doctors where I was prescribed an antihistamine for my mystery allergy. Thanks for posting, makes me feel a little less crazy that this is happening to someone else!

    1. admin

      For sure! Hope it goes away soon!! Let me know what works for healing

    2. Kerry

      I started with this same under-eye rash, as did my son, in March of 2019. We continue to get it on and off. We were prescribed an antifungal and steroid. We use hydrocortisone when we flare up, but nothing has cured it. One thing I wonder is if our laundry detergent or crystals are causing it. We use Arm n Hammer detergent and crystals for scent boost. Does anyone else use that? We also have some mold growth in our bathroom that we are consistently scrubbing away and I wonder if we’re reacting to that. It’s such a frustrating ailment, especially for a teen who’s already sensitive about his skin.

      1. Sheila

        I just run across this post not even a few minutes ago reading through the reviews because my daughter who is 5 years old has this exact same issue. And absolutely yes I use the arm & Hammer scent crystals! I noticed I have been a little bit more itchy than usual as, well, since I’ve been using them. Coincidental that we are in the same post and we both use the same product and our LO’s have the same issue. I’m going to quit using them for about a week and see how things turn about.

        1. Caroline

          I also am suffering from this! On and off for about a year… I don’t believe it to be anything I’m allergic to (makeup/detergent) but I think it’s more of an internal thing. I notice also a small red patch on the corner of my mouth sometimes… I think it all coincides. I think it’s some sort of internal fungal infection.. I treat it with Clotirimazole cream and it seems to clear up. I don’t think we will ever get rid of it completely.

      2. K

        I use that same combination of laundry detergent and scent crystals and I’m having the same under eye rash. I’ve been using those for only a couple weeks so maybe that’s why. No rash anywhere else though

      3. Marcye

        Hi Kerry- I’ve been dealing with this for a few months and also thought about the ram and hammer crystals. It’s the only thing I can think of that I’ve started using! I’m stopping using them now. Have you stopped? Results?

  4. Jemma

    Exact same thing has happened to me, first it was in one eye and I’d gone to the mall a few days before and one of those 24k gold mask places put some cream under my eye, then a week later it had a rash, it’s been there for 3 weeks and now moved to other eye too. I also have not other issues/ allergies

  5. D

    I will be trying the hydrocortisone cream 1%. This has been going on with for almost a week and it is driving me crazy.

    I did recently use A Mary Kay mascara as well, BUT, it could be allergies. In the past my eyes have puffed up not itched this bad because of allergies and pollen in the air. But honestly, that has last for less than a day and then dissappeared.

    I probably will take benedryl later as well.

    Thank you for sharing your unfortunate experience.

    1. admin

      Good luck! Let me know what happens!!

  6. melissa

    Hi,
    I had the same situation as yours!
    Although in my case, I have a previous history of eczema/ dermatitis and this kind of rash around the eyes was totally different from what I had in the past. I’m still trying to figure out the cause behind these since I haven’t change any of my skin care products. One of my suspicion, in my experience, was probably due to lack of sleep for 2 (or more) consecutive days— wherein I wake up with a mild redness and puffiness around the eyes which worsen throughout the day.
    I did self-medicate and it just made the rash horrible, so I decided to see the dermatologist. The doctor prescribed a mild cortisone for a week and a cream (Dexapanthenol- a cream used to cure nappy rash) to use twice a day for a month.
    This medications helped a lot… on a short-term basis. Unfortunately, I’m experiencing it again after I finished using the prescription for a month .
    I’m going to see the dermatologist again and I’m hoping for a specific diagnosis for this kind of condition.

    1. admin

      Thanks for sharing your story! I hope that you get some answers from the dermatologist soon!

    2. Tarren

      Has there been any resolution for you? This just started happening to me. I also get recurrent sores in my mouth at the same time. This is all new to me. I use arm and hammer detergent and people are mentioning that, and also was suspicious of a milk allergy. Did your issue ever go away completely or get an answer? Thank you for posting this.

  7. felicia

    Thie exact thing has been happening to me for months and it’s been hell. Concealer burns it, vaseline makes it puffy, and it’s so confusing because it’s only one my one eye and I’ve had the same skincare routine for years. I’m going to go pick up hydrocortisone asap thank u so much for this its literally the only thing ive found online about this.

    1. admin

      Hey, thanks for your comment! Hope it clears up soon!

    2. Sarah

      Concealer burns mine too! Its super dry under my eye and has bumps. My makeup routine hasn’t changed and its all products I’ve used for ever and never had a problem with.

  8. Amanda

    Oh wow, these are the only images I have seen that even compare to my eye! I think mine started with allergies, specifically to a cat, but after my eyeball itself felt better, the skin under it remained swollen, red, and had skin flaking off. Tried coconut oil, my own eye cream I normally use, and cortisone, all separately, to no avail. Finally went to the Dr. she prescribed me elidel, which is supposed to treat eczema, but it ends up getting into my eyeball and stinging so I only use it at night, and it doesn’t seem to help anyway. I’m calling tomorrow to get in to see a dermatologist.. wish me luck, or let me know if you have any advice, I am grateful for your post!

    1. admin

      Thanks for your comment! I wish I had more advice…mine still comes back once in a while — moisturizer and cortisone cream seem to do the trick. Let us know what the dermatologist says!

  9. Kelsey

    Same! I’ve been dealing with this for almost 5 months now! I’m trying to cut out gluten and have been drinking celery juice for 2 weeks. ????

    1. admin

      Wow! I had read something about salt intake affecting water retention / causing puffy eyes…interesting! Let us know how it goes!

  10. Teresa

    Hi! I’m an optometry student doing research for a patient I saw with this same thing, similar timeline, and similar appearance! Her allergy tests came back inconclusive as well. Hopefully someone finds something soon!

  11. Amanda Weller

    Hi, I had commented that I had the same skin problem under my eyes awhile ago and thought I’d update yall.. I ended up having a punch biopsy and it was determined to just be atopic dermatitis, so am trying almond oil, as was suggested by someone else..

    1. vicki

      did that work Amanda ?

  12. Sarah

    I have the same thing on my eye and its starting to spread to my other! Im not allergic to anything that I know of and Im not using any new products. I have no idea what is causing it but its be going on for about a month. Im going to try the cream and see if it helps!

  13. Megan

    This is currently happening to me! I don’t know what to do 🙁 hydrocortisone and Vaseline both don’t work. What seems to work for me so far is face wash with salicylic acid and my mostirizer.

  14. Angel

    Thank you so much for documenting this! The same thing is happening to me. Even the pictures look the same, except on my right eye the puffiness moved down my cheek. I thought I had scratched the skin under my eye as well, until it showed up on the other eye. My under eyes have become wrinkly with flaky skin (like I haven’t slept in days lol). I’m going to try hydrocortisone and see if it helps! Thanks again!

    1. admin

      oh sorry to hear that you are going through the same thing! Do you live in a dry climate too? (LA’s humidity is 39% where I am)

      1. Angel

        Hello, I live in MN and it is very dry in the winter. I tried the hydrocortisone and it worked! It burned pretty badly at first but now my under eyes no longer itch and are almost completely healed! Thanks again!

  15. Angelica

    Thank you for posting with pictures! This is the second time I have had this and still not sure why. Just like yours under one eye and won’t go away. Trying the cream today. I do have several food allergies however but usually they cause migraines, the rash is a new one.

    1. BGV

      I am also facing it for the second time in 2 months. Do you have any update?

  16. Nakita

    Hello and thank you so much for posting this ! I’ve been battling the same issue for about 4 months now off and on. Every time it heals it comes back a week or so later. It gets super red sometimes blue and red , itchy and burns like heck! When it starts healing it flakes and peels. I can’t win! I hadn’t changed any products before this happened either. Thought I was allergic to the latex in my eye lash glue so I switched that. Switched my face wipes to Sensitive hypoallergenic . I’ve tried Vaseline(which helps me) the dryness is unbearable , neosporin, Zyrtec, the .01% hydrocortisone, prescription allergy pills (hydroxyzine), and erythromycin ointment prescribed by a doc. I have dry eye so I also use Thera tears. Nothing is working ! I’ve had the regular outdoor allergy test done. That was no help. I do have some food allergies so a food allergy test is my next try. This was the only thing I could find online that was even close to what my problem is.

    1. Heidi

      Your symptoms sound exactly like mine. I have had doctors tell me it’s eczema and put me on steroids. Then a dermatologist say it’s contact dermatitis and had me change everything from laundry soap to shampoos and pillows. Then they thought lupus and had me tested. Now with COVID it’s on a pause sending me anywhere else. I just want to be better. No history of eczema or psoriasis or allergies. I did have a basic allergy test but they didn’t think allergies were causing it.

    2. Samantha

      I second this!! Very helpful and was so little information available. I just started getting that tag and it’s very scary! Glad you’re better and thank you!

    3. Nada

      This sounds like Periocular Dermatitis – same symptoms you describing. The only cure is go on a ZERO THERAPY (no coffee, alcohol, gluten, no fluoride, SLS in cosmetics/detergents – which is a lot of products btw, no beeswax, sugar, and about 100 other things…) and determine what is causing it. Needless to say the steroid cream should go in the bin as that’s not a long-term solution and only masks the cause. I’ve had it for 6 years (managed with steroid creams) and then it got worse – now I’ve been 15 months without it because I know what is causing mine.

      1. Theresa

        what did you find is causing it? I also came across Periocular dermatitis and think that’s what I have. As I said in a previous post, I went through all of the allergy tests and found I am allergic to nickel and gold, but tested several everyday items that I use/touch for nickel and all negative. I did start the elimination diet and was feeling better but am back to my old ways and suffering again. Found it hard to pinpoint what was causing it. But I did find that when I ate high sodium meals such as japanese food/soy sauce the next morning I had a flare up.

        1. Neela

          Did you get a broad spectrum allergy test done? It covers more than the common allergens. My broad spectrum allergy test showed I am allergic to limonene and linalool. I had to avoid these for 2 whole weeks for assessment and realised they’re in cleaning products, laundry detergents, shower gels, shampoos, hand washes, creams, lotions, a lot of skin care products and toiletries. It might be worth checking if what you use contains either or both limonene and linalool and try eliminating these to see if that makes a difference.

          Good luck

    4. Adam

      Nakita – did you ever find out what was causing your issue? Your situation sounds identical to mine. Rash like symptoms around eye and would get better for a few days then get worse etc…similar to you, vaseline did help. If my eyes weren’t red and inflamed, they’d improve but would also have flaky eyes for a number of days after. Any insight would be appreciated! Thanks

    1. Hannah

      Hello!! I have answers that might help some of you. Okay so I went through this exact same thing for almost 6 months and saw a dermatologist, an allergy specialist for food testing, an ophthalmologist, and my primary care doctor —-none could give me any conclusive diagnosis. The dermatologist had me think about when it started and anything new I had used around the time (I had not started using anything new) and after months of asking my mom if she had used anything new in the laundry she finally remembered using the downy unstoppable scent beads for a few weeks around the month the rashes and swollen eyelids started. She had stopped though and the rashes continued for months. I was prescribed a steroid cream that helped a lot but I was taking Benadryl every night before this to help combat the swelling and irritation i would wake up with in the morning. The dermatologist suspected that even though we stopped using the scent beads my body was still having a strong response to any chemicals that were similar. After the rashes went away finally, I was still not confident that the laundry beads were the cause until a year and a half later I was nannying and my eyes swelled shut and got super red and itchy again and I asked what she used in the laundry and she pulled out none other than DOWNY UNSTOPPABLE scent beads. This confirmed the first round of allergic reactions being to this product. This stuff (and all other brands of scent booster beads/crystals) is rated highly toxic on ewg.org and has no business even being on the shelves.

  17. Amanda

    Thanks for posting! I haven’t been able to find anything else online that comes close to what I have until finally stumbling on this article! My first flare up was in September 2019 and I also thought I have scratched my eye. I reached out to my friend who is a dermatologist and she recommended hydrocortisone cream. It was the only thing that helped! Now it just flared up again today (March 2020) so I’m using the cream again. I came online trying to figure out WHY it’s flaring up. I wonder what we are all allergic to!

        1. admin

          Never heard of it! I wonder if some of the ingredients were close to something I have used…

        2. Hilda

          Yes, this cream cause the same reaction on my skin.

        3. Brianne

          I do use that cream as well!!! The banana cream from Olehenrikson. But I had been using it for months before my reaction happened.. Why would it cause a reaction out of the sudden? That is so strange. Maybe it would be a mix of when I started using mascara and castor oil on my lashes.. Sometimes I react to the cream, and some other times I don’t. Yesterday, my eyes reacted like crazy – but I don’t know if it’s because of the sun, my dog or the cream. Maybe a combination of all?
          Would anyone know why?

  18. Hilda

    Hi,
    Thanks so much for posting this. Wow! I did use the Olehenrikson Banana Bright Eye Cream also. There must be an ingredient in that cream that causes my skin to react.

  19. Edna

    I had the same issue under one eye and had been using vaseline at night, thinking it was just dry skin. I was waking up with redness and puffiness. As soon as I read your blog I ran to buy hydrocortisone and two days later, my eye is pretty much back to normal. Thank you!

    1. admin

      So so happy to read your comment!
      I also tried Vaseline one night (before trying hydrocortisone) and…let’s just say makeup could not cover my situation the next morning, ugh.

  20. Aditi

    omg, thank you. My daughter had something similar since few weeks now, it did not bother her much but it was getting very flaky and she even ended up scratching it one day while sleeping and bruised it . Swelling got definitely more after vaseline. I tried the 1% hydrocortisone and it cleared up completely in 2 days. I still can’t figure out how it started. She did try in some Claire’s makeup on her and we did recent start using in wash purex crystals for fragrance boost. I was going crazy trying all sort of fixes and moisturizing every day. You are a blessing and this mom is so thankful. I will keep following to see if anyone can figure out the reason for this allergy

    1. admin

      So glad that this helped! <3 & keep me posted!

      1. Aditi

        It helped and definitely cleared up. But a week later after stopping hydrocortisone, its back again 🙁 After reading comments, I knew it can come back but was not hoping so frequently 🙁
        My daughter only ate one new stuff yet, was that lunchables taco chips kit. Its definitely sunny and warm. She has always been bad at drinking water.
        I started hydrocortisone cream again today. Will try to keep food log this time

  21. Aditi

    It helped and definitely cleared up. But a week later after stopping hydrocortisone, its back again 🙁 After reading comments, I knew it can come back but was not hoping so frequently 🙁
    My daughter only ate one new stuff yet, was that lunchables taco chips kit. Its definitely sunny and warm. She has always been bad at drinking water.
    I started hydrocortisone cream again today. Will try to keep food log this time

    1. Aditi

      She had kiwis, corn, lunchables taco chips kit, walked around garden area. Also adding some out of regular stuff she did before allergy started, so if other people had similar stuff before allergy started we can narrow down.

      1. G

        I suffer from the same issues. Hydrocortisone helps reduce the flare ups bu it doesn’t stop them. I am thinking it might be a latex allergy, as my hands get eczema when I wear latex gloves, and I had a horrible reaction when vacuuming carpeting at the cottage that’s rubber backing had begun to deteriorate… lots of things made of rubber can cause reactions. I just found out a number of fruits (kiwis and Avocados for example) can cause latex type allergies too)…

  22. Pinu

    I’ve also had this since March. Woke up with a weird rash on my bottom left lid and then spread to my top lid and now swollen. Was put on steroid drops which did help but after stopping it’s come back. Really fed up not being able to wear make up as my skin feels like it’s burning and swollen. Haven’t found a cure 🙁 really affecting self esteem.

  23. Lauren

    I’ve had this problem for 2 YEARS maybe slightly more than that, but it’s on and off when it appears…then goes and then appears again!
    Docs prescribed moisturiser and hydrocortisone 1%, been using hydrocortisone since January and that did clear it, stopped using it I think for abit and it’s now back again!
    Seems to be worse in the winter months than summer, but can flare up all year round. I’ve never had allergies or been allergic to anything. Thought it might be diet as I’m vegetarian but I’m leaning towards probably not.
    Docs first said it was stress related, now dust related…
    still no answers!

  24. MC

    what percentage of you guys are vegetarian? Just a shot. I became vegetarian about a year before this all started for me. Maybe related to Gluten?

    1. admin

      Good question!
      Just speaking for myself — I’m pescatarian, so I eat fish and everything vegetarian, I eat dairy & gluten too…been this way since I got back from India in 2008 🙂 before that I ate everything (when you have 14 siblings, you can’t be as picky about food, lol…if there’s food on the table, you eat before it’s gone)

      -Shannon

      1. Laura

        I am a pescatarian as well! I am so grateful for this eye rash post because I’ve been looking for answers for so long and nothing has spoken as true as this! Things that have helped me the most are ingesting apple cider vinegar daily as well as diluting and using it at a toner topically. Years ago when I first had this happen, a dermatologist friend told me to go to cvs and get diaper rash cream ( the one I got literally says butt paste haha) but the zinc helps create a barrier for the skin to start healing. I am really thinking a gluten sensitivity or something with my gut health is the true culprit. The gut usually speaks through your skin, so they say. Like many others, my skin care routine had been the same and I’m left frustrated with what the root cause could be. Sad this is an issue for all of us, but I am glad to not feel so alone with this annoying rash!

  25. Michele

    We don’t eat food dyes but otherwise we eat a normal diet not restricted to vegetarian. My daughter has not ever had a reoccurrence of this issue.

  26. Srikala chowdary Tulluri

    I do have the same problme since 15days and didn’t change any of my products . And i don’t the what kind of allergy it is

  27. Claudia

    Hi! I have the exact same problem. It started in March and I thought it was a side effect from a sleep medication that I was prescribed a month earlier (Zopiclone). I stopped taking it and a couple weeks later the rash went away.
    Now it came back around a month ago and it is getting worse.
    I do eat meat but my diet is completely gluten free, dairy free, soy free, and sugar free. So I really doubt it would be a reaction to any of those. I also do not use make up at all, nor any creams or face products.
    As someone else already said, in the winter months we get mold in the walls as well that we spray with clorine. Maybe it has something to do with that?
    I will try the hydrocortinsone. Hope it helps. Thank you for your article!

    1. admin

      Hi Claudia,
      Thanks for your comment! I hope the hydrocortisone helps. Keep us posted!

  28. Cassandra

    Thank you!!!! I literally have had the same issue since October!!!!!!!! My optometrist is uncertain to and just suggested that i see a dermatologist and use hydrocortisone as well. Ill try this for a few days before scheduling an appointment. This is so frustrating. No make up and I occasionally have s burning feeling. I wonder if the Vaseline is what caused it, because that’s what I was using to take my make up off 🤔 thank you for sharing love

  29. Emily

    I had the same thing a few years ago, accompanied by eye dryness (which I still have and did not have prior to the rash.) I thought I had blepharitis at the time, but am not sure if that’s actually what it was or not as I never got it checked out. It lasted 4 months and vaseline helped the dryness, but made the actual rash worse. I had gone vegan a few months prior and so I thought maybe my omega 3 was low, and then I read that omega 3 can help blepharitis. Well, I added flaxseed to my diet and idk if that’s what did it, but after the increase in omega 3, the rash gradually started to go away. I also stopped using vaseline and just used hydrocortisone before bed. I had been using hydrocortisone before and it wasn’t working, but I think maybe the vaseline was counteracting it.

  30. CaliGirl

    I had relatively the same thing happen to me and after a year of trial & error FINALLY figured out the problem.

    I moved to CA from the Midwest and instantly developed this rash. I thought I wasn’t used to the pollution or something in my new place was effecting me. I went to the doctor and they said it was contact dermatitis and gave me similar rash cream as the OP has.
    I replaced every skin product, pillow case, even laundry detergents and used the rash cream as directed… With absolutely no luck. I was running out of ideas and more than frustrated until…
    2021 hit and I made a new year’s resolution to quit eating pot edibles. Yep, that’s right, the rash was instantly gone and I was allergic to pot this whole time (fml). I didn’t even know people could be allergic to Marijuana to begin with until all this. Pretty silly stuff, but I’m glad it’s over and I hope my comment helps others with this struggle. Godspeed!

    1. admin

      Interesting! So you only started having edibles when you moved to Cali?

      1. CaliGirl

        Yes, only started when I moved to Cali.

  31. Sara

    I’ve been dealing with this for almost a year. Your pictures are exactly what mine looks like. I just started thinking it could be my mascara/concealer. It doesn’t flare up next day after make up but has a delayed reaction of 2-3 days so I didn’t put 2 and 2 together until now. I’m hoping to test it out and see if that’s it!!! Also hoping it’s not gluten/dairy.

    1. Elena

      Were you able to figure it out Sara? I’ve been suffering big time and I also finally noticed that it is a delayed reaction, and it is to mascara. Even the non toxic ones I tried! The common ingredients I found in all are: iron oxides, synthetic beeswax, carnauba wax, panthenol, and glyceryl stearate.

  32. E

    Hi there. I’m actually an MD and I have had this exact reaction off and on for about 6 months (I’m considering it may be related to a lavender essential oil or a makeup I’ve used); I sent a picture to my allergist friend. She wasn’t sure what it was either, we both considered contact dermatitis, and she recommended antihistamines. I tried benadryl at night without much improvement nor loratidine. Frankly nothing really worked until I went to the pharmacy and bought 1% hydrocortisone cream. I also prescribed myself oral steroids since more of my face wound up swelling as well (upper cheeks and lower eyelids), but nothing worked better than the 1% hydrocortisone cream.
    In my experience, this stupid thing doesn’t really go away until I apply topical steroids. It’s fascinating we’ve all had this odd reaction, with excellent and quick response to topical steroids. For anyone reading, don’t use steroids constantly unless prescribed by a doctor, as it thins the skin (and the undereye skin is already very thin); only use it as needed for as short a time as required.

  33. Molly

    This is exactly what I’ve been dealing with for about 6 months now. Tried Benadryl, hydrocortisone 1%, prescription topical steroids, I tried it all. Just last week decided to not put a single thing on my face. It went away. My face has been so dry, so I decided to use the eye cream I have been using for years…… and that did it. Rash came back full force. I’ve used La Mer eye concentrate for years…. how could this be? Doing some research and found that La mer recently changed the Concentrate’s formula to a stronger version. Thankfully I know what is happening now, but it took a while to figure out. Unfortunately I’m sure it’s too late to return it and get my money back 🙁. Do any of you use La Mer?

    1. admin

      I sometimes use La Mer also but it hasn’t appeared to be tied to a rash, at least not recently…glad to hear that yours went away!

    2. Valerie

      I have been using a La Mer eye cream sample … trying to sooth my eye lids …. but it makes the rash flare up even more, which leads me to suspect that the La Mer eye cream triggered the rash to begin with …
      I arrived on this thread, because I was curious if LaMer eye cream had caused an allergic reaction for anyone else !

  34. Demi

    I’ve been dealing with this flare, on and off over the last year, and hypothesize that it is either mold related or diet related. I normally stick to a very limited carnivore diet, yet every time I slip I break out in this, hives, or angioedema of the lips or eyes. This current flare I’d slipped with cashew milk, PB, coffee + oat creamer, and a mushroom supplement. I’m also noticing that whenever I eat something that my body does not like (usually plant based), my eyes start to itch immediately, even if there is no active flare visible. Does anyone else notice this?

  35. Demi

    I did find out that my reaction was dietary, and that it was related to ketosis and the excretion of ketones, specifically acetone through the lacrimal glands. My tears tested positive for acetone, which in turn were burning the sensitive skin around the eyes. So, if any of you are low to no carb, this could be why.

    1. Elizabeth

      Hi Demi, how did you change your diet? Did it help and make it go away? I also started a very strict keto diet and started drinking ketones. I’m going to stop the ketone drinks and see if that helps. I have it on both eyes now, but mine is on the top lids. I’ve tried diaper rash ointment, which seemed to help but then the rash spread. I tried MG 217 psoriasis and it has not helped. I am now trying hydrocortisone 1%,. I also have not used any new face or body products, I don’t use scented dryer sheets or pearls. I have never had a real allergy (that I know of) I stopped eating gluten & sugar before it started. I haven’t been stressed or sick.

      1. Demi

        Elizabeth, I think I was wrong about the acetone. I still think it’s related to excretion of an offending substance, but I think it’s related to a food allergy or leaky gut, because I’m still dealing with it now that I’m no longer in keto. Two other hypotheses are allergens in the home (pollution or mold), or the beginning of an autoimmune disorder. Things I have found that help are Visine Allergy drops 2-3x daily, the most basic 1-2 ingredient high fat moisturizers especially at night (this could be butters, tallow, even vaseline, anything occlusive), retinol used sparingly—not daily, and over moisturizer—when less inflamed to slough off any keratinized skin, and staying away from inflammatory foods (for me this is grains, nightshades, allium, dairy, nuts/seeds, herbs/spices, alcohol/coffee/tea/kombucha), and taking a double dose of antihistamine before eating inflammatory foods (dining out/special occasions). My eyes seem to do best when I eat meat and fruit. Take note when eating, if your eyes or nasolabial folds become itchy, or your face flushes during or after eating, whatever you ate is an offending substance. Are you still using pepper, onions, or garlic? Those are major offenders for me. I’m sorry that you’re also dealing with this; it’s tough to feel strong and confident when your eyes are red and burning. What definitely didn’t work for me were all of the expensive creams dermatologists gave me, (Hydrocortisone, Tacrolimus, Ivermectin, Metronidazole, Azelaic Acid). I wish you success in your journey.

  36. Emily H

    Thank you for this post. I saw the images on my google search and jumped! I’ve been going through this since 2017. It started just my left eye and has spread since. I’ve seen dozens of dermatologists, allergists, rheumatologists and I am still trying to figure it out. Thought it was skin lupus for awhile and have been on plaquenil for that, but now it’s back. Seems to react worse after prednisone calms it down. What a process! I’m thinking it might be an allergy again. My skin patch test showed nickel but low nickel diet did not do the trick. Hope you’re feeling better!

  37. Brooke

    I read everything and my thoughts are: it seems this is affecting women? Are there any men? Not saying this doesn’t affect men but it seems this allergy reaction is highly affecting women? (Could be due to several factors – do men care? Would they find this page? Would they care to participate? Are their symptoms the same?). I am very curious to know anyone with these symptoms: what laundry detergent they use. What products similar to ‘Downy Unstoppable’ scent products were involved? It seems these products are almost undeniably involved but also the ingredients that may also be in other irritating products. These foreign substances seem to interrupt our female autoimmune system? Open for discussion! Let me know your thoughts!!!

    1. admin

      Hi Brooke, thanks for your comment!
      Re: detergent, I used Kirkland signature detergent pods (the Costco ones). I switched to All Free & Clear for a few months but it didn’t seem to make an impact. Re: ingredients, that does make sense.

      1. Neela

        Oh wow! I came across this thread today. Didn’t realise this rash thing was so widespread. My first occurance was back in 2016 and it was spontaneous and completely out of the blue. It affected me on and off for over two years At first I thought maybe my make up was causing it so I chucked it all and stopped wearing make up all together. I tried many over the counter creams, even ones recommended by the pharmacy but the effects were temporary. After an hour or two, the prickly itching would reoccur. I changed my entire skincare routine and began using chemical free products. I saw a dermatologist who did a patch test of known allergens (on my back even though that part of my body was unaffected). That was a pointless excercise as it was inconclusive. I seemed to suffer mostly of the flare ups whilst at work. My GP suggested an airborne allergen such as cardboard dust or the cleaning products.
        A year later I started looking into the cbd oils that were starting to appear in most of the high Street health shops. I started mixing my zeoderm cream with aloe vera gel and a couple of drops of cbd oil and using it every morning and night. I used this continuously for 4 months and found that it really helped…I still had the odd itchy spell now and then but no flare ups. Even through covid and mask wearing, I did not suffer. I didn’t suffer any hayfever symptoms during the lockdown period and was doing pretty well. Now after 4 years, a flare up has hit me with a vengeance. I’m using ice cubes to cool the skin and alleviate the itching. I’m trying a new approach by taking antihistamines and probiotics in the hope of bringing it back under control.

  38. Jennavive

    I just wanted to thank you for sharing this! You rock! My wife has the same thing going on and unfortunately, we had to learn the hard way about the Vaseline too. It made it look worse and made her freak out more. The only thing we could think of was she recently changed brands of the epoxy and resin she was using. But if it was that then why would it have taken a month to show up? She’s been using it that long and to be honest, we just don’t know. Anyway, thanks so much again for sharing this. Hope all is well with you and your eyes. Stay safe!!!

    1. admin

      thank you for your comment! <3

  39. Alicia

    Hello!
    I have just recently been doing through this as well. At first I thought I was getting allergies which I’ve never had. To Lemon in particular. Harsh household chemicals..
    Up and down flare ups for over a month and a half. Finally found this thread and read all of the comments and they’re all pretty much from since the “C” started. Here is my conclusion:
    I’ve discovered it’s from mask wearing. (Did a lengthy grocery shop wearing mask, had a flare up.) First I had it for a month and a half and now my 4 year old son has it under his bottom lip. Our humidity in our house was also pretty high. (Perfect breeding grounds for bacteria) Anyhow. I think it’s heat rash, also known as prickly rash. I put calamine lotion for relief @ night to seal the openness of the sore burning cracks. It helped. Ive got the humidity under control in the house and avoided having to go anywhere for us to have to wear a mask. I purchased a witch hazel coconut Thrives facial spray as witch hazel has great antibacterial properties to it as well as helps with heat rash. Also a humidity monitor to make sure I have it in check in the household. I think we’re beating this and kicking it in the butt! If you google high humidity symptoms they’re pretty intense. (Our bodies have been working very hard this past little while) I really knew I was right when red spots showed up in my sons arm pits.
    Have a look into bacteria from mask wearing and symptoms. Since mask wearing my mother has had increased amounts of eye styes. And study’s show since mask wearing, they have increased in people. Worth some research if you were in as much pain as I was for over a month. I felt like I was losing my sanity. I hope this helps others with some relief and piece of mind.
    It’s sure nice to have a dry eyelid for once that’s not burning like it’s on fire!
    Good luck to all

  40. Sara

    Hello! As a lifelong eczema/rash sufferer who has been prescribed steroid after steroid, PLEASE be careful with hydrocortisone and using it for extended periods of times. Steroids thin the skin and can be damaging long term. I know we all want to find relief and keep coming back to the steroids but please consult your doctor. Tacrolimus isn’t a steroid cream and is a much safer option!

  41. Rad

    thank you for the post! I am relieved to see the post and responses. I suddenly got same exact rash around my eyes and i am still struggling to find what is causing it. I took steroids first time as it never completely went away with Benadryl . My doctor did Autoimmune test on my blood and found nothing. I thought of makeup and other stuff but nothing seem to point to exact cause. I also realized i got suddenly sensitive around eyes so much that i cannot wear sunglasses or reading glasses any more. After few weeks of all this it went away and just this morning i got up again with swollen skin around eyes. I started using A&H laundry few months back, now i am wondering if it is the detergent? It is so hard to tell what is triggering it but 1% hydrocortisone helps a bit but still takes time once it shows up.

  42. Shannon

    Just stumbling across this after searching Google for answers regarding my own under-eye rash! I think mine is also from allergies, but I don’t know for sure. I do have a carrot sensitivity, and a few years ago I noticed the rash when I was taking a gummy vitamin for months without realizing there were carrots in it. I stopped taking it, and the rash went away. The rash is back now after several years, and I can only attribute it to the new gummy D vitamin I’m taking. I contacted the company and they said there are no carrots actively listed in the ingredients, but that they can’t guarantee there are absolutely zero carrots in the product. I’m going to stop taking it and see if that helps, but will definitely pick up some hydrocortisone in the meantime to speed up the healing process for the rash! Thanks for sharing!

  43. Tara

    Hello, I just went through this for the second time through the holidays. Had it in early winter 2018 it got bad but start to finish was about a month. Got it again mid November 2021 and it got worse and worse top and bottom eyelid both eyes. Looks like yours but more irritated and massive swelling over night. I researched ENDLESSLY… was not willing to try prescription creams after the horror stories was now interested in finding the root cause especially since this was the second time having it and the discomfort for me was unbearable, itchy, sore, burning, peeling etc. I felt disfigured and started getting depressed and defeated. After changing all my shampoos, creams, wearing no makeup for 5 weeks, removing my earrings for fear of a nickel allergy, getting my ducts cleaned, I came across an article about a woman with a severe allergy to poinsettas, and I had two large ones in my house. When digging a little more discovered that this specific plant make the list of “irritants” causing eyelid dermatitis. I threw them out of my house immediately on Dec 26 and it took about 10 days but my eyes are back to normal. It’s insane what it did to my eyes and I still plan to see an allergist in March to confirm it as I never want to go through this again!!! I feel so much for anyone who goes through this, only people experience this know how painful it is on so many levels!! I hope every last one of you figures out your cause! Xo

    1. Des

      Hello ladies! I am so glad I am not alone in this mine has been happening on and off for almost a year now. Reading through all the comments do any of you think it can be a side affect from birth control? I see this is only happening to us women and I have been on mine for years now I just can’t seem to understand what it is . I have also changed makeup, stopped makeup, did allergy test, saw dermatologist, Vaseline makes it worse, I use hydrocortisone ointment but try to limit it cuz it’s a steroid and really does harm to eyelids since that’s the thinnest layer of skin and mine are starting to look real wrinkly looking now from I believe the use of the steroid. I’m only 28 and this has started last year June 2021 and got real bad In October 2021… I saw maybe Downey as I don’t use that but my roommate does and I just moved houses so going to try and see if any improvement….. along side with birth control being a possibility… any of u ladies been taking in more sodium then usual ? I think maybe also that could be it as I have been taking in more lately .. idk this is so frustrating and I hope we all find a cure ASAP!

  44. Neela

    Hi everyone.

    So, since my last update back in Oct last year, I have had 5 flare ups. 3 gp appointments later with 3 very different ‘suspected’ diagnoses from atopic dermatitis to bletheritis to bacterial infection….I finally have a dermatology referral. Appointment is on Tuesday.

    I’ve stopped using the hydrocortisone cream as it does nothing but dry out my skin and make it flaky. Antihistamines have been useless, even the prescribed high dose ones.

    My current flare up has calmed down in 2 days by using the Ato Control cream by Eucerin which I discovered in a pharmacy.

    I’ll update you all after the appointment on Tuesday.

  45. Janelle

    Thank you so much for this post! I’m suffering so bad with something similar. I’ve had it before and it took several weeks to clear. Now it’s back again. I didn’t know I could use topical steroids on the eye! My under eye is so puffy and I have hives on my eyelids. I also have been using Vaseline 😭 I thought it was the best thing for it but my eyes have been terrible in the mornings. Thanks for this info while I wait on my dermatologist referral!

  46. Karen

    I am recently suffering from the same thing. I woke up one day with a rash that has continuously gone form good to bad then good again then bad again. I thought it was an eye infection and did 3 rounds of antibiotics. I then learned it was an allergy which is crazy becuase I haven’t changed any of my products and basically haven’t been using anything new for a month. Still nothing. The only thing that helps is antihistamines. I am not trying with my doctor prescription antibiotics. You want to be careful with hydrocortisone creams because the thin the skin and your eyes are already so sensitive. I’ve been dealing with this for a month and a half! Hoping this allergy medication helps and I’m so confused what I could be allergic to! Thanks for the article, glad to see you got better.

  47. Neela

    Hi all

    So I had my dermatology appointment and I received a diagnosis. The consultant called it constitutional eczema with allergic contact dermatitis. She said that anyone with a history of asthma or hay fever is predisposed to contracting this condition. I have been referred to another specialist for further investigation into the allergy aspect of the condition.

    In the meantime I have been given a non steroid cream called Elidel. This cream has been brilliant. Used twice daily only but has alleviated the severe itchiness that was driving me nuts. I’m still using the Eucerin Ato Control cream to keep the skin hydrated during the course of the day but it has made a huge difference.

    I hope this detail has been useful to any of you driven to distraction by the itchy rash around the eye area.

    The allergy investigation is in a couple of weeks so I will update you with the outcome.

    1. Neela

      Hi everyone
      So I had the allergy test – a broad spectrum test.

      The results are I am allergic to limonene and linalool. To clarify, these ingredients are in everything from skincare, toothpaste, detergents, food and cleaning products and much more. I have been asked to avoid them for 2 months to assess if this helps alleviate the flare ups.
      I am so relieved to have an answer that at least helps me manage the symptoms 🙂.
      It might be worth you all checking the ingredients of the stuff you use at home…might be worth investigating for yourselves.
      Just so you know, linalool is extracted from lavender and when exposed to air it oxidises and becomes an alleged. Limonene is a lemonseed extract which behaves the same way. From what I learned, the combination of the two is possibly the reason for my flare ups. I guess I’ll know for sure over the next 2 months.

  48. Rachael

    Keep us posted. I’ve been suffering with this for nearly a year now. Was on and off since February but since October 21(after my booster) it’s been nonstop. Given steroids. Chg of antihistamines. Steroid creams. Antibiotic drops and cream. Changed pillowcase/laundry detergent. Make up is the same..and happens without make up… very very fed up

  49. Samuel

    I’m a guy, no make up involved for me but have been struggling with the same rash for about a year and a half. I’ve tried antihistamines, steroid creams, antibiotic creams, other topical ointments like Eucrisa. The only thing that seemed to help was triamcinolone which is a steroid cream that I couldn’t continue using. I recently took a food sensitivity test from Everlywell and found I’m sensitive to eggs, dairy, bell peppers and coffee. I’ve cut those out and have been using no creams or anything else for the rash and it’s MUCH better than it was and seems to be slowly healing. I hope that helps some of the rest of you, maybe look into food sensitivities.

    1. Jessie

      Hi Samuel , my 3.5 year old son has this and we can’t figure it out. This post had helped shed light in ways with detergents and products. I’m nervous to go down the rabbit hole of allergies, especially because he’s so young, but my gut says it there might be something to it. What other symptoms do you have with foods you’re allergic to? (If any) Did you have any reactions to laundry detergents like some here?

      1. admin

        Sorry to hear that your son has the same thing! Honestly I’m not sure of any personal food allergies or laundry detergent reactions 🙁 Hopefully someone else here can provide some more insight?

      2. Samuel

        Hi Jessie, I do have sensitivity to detergents now. I use free and clear detergent and fabric softener. I’ve tested reintroducing each of these things and they all produce a reaction. Coffee is the worst for me, but if I eat food that has milk and eggs in it, my rash starts to come back. The only other reactions I get at times are itchy feet with very small bumps, almost unnoticeable.
        If I were you, I would start by ruling out any detergents and personal care products like shampoo, and also cut out eggs and dairy. You should be able to notice a difference within the first two days if one of those is causing it and then go from there. The only other thing that comes to mind is eczema. The heat makes it worse for a lot of people, my niece always gets it in summer time on her face and arms. Possibly just a case of eczema for your 3.5 year old too in which case cera ve is a good moisturizer.

      3. Demi

        Hi Jessie, watch for when your son scratches/rubs his eyes. It’s always the first postprandial sign that I have eaten something that I am allergic to, other signs are hives, itchy skin, upset stomach, loose stool, or a pimple.

        Everyone else, I have had great luck spraying my eyes with Hypochlorous Acid (E11ement or Tower 28) and moisturizing with a fat heavy moisturizer (I literally use whipped beef tallow, the only ingredient is fat). Using an eye cream with a retinoid also helps to slough off the keratinized skin. Good luck everyone, experiment with your diets, get your microbiomes tested (Viome), stress less, do more yoga and fitness, get fresh air and sunshine, sweat daily, and use as little product as possible.

  50. Kellie

    I’m reading all this in disbelief that everyone has the same thing I do! It started last summer on my right eye then jumped to the left one, then back to the right. I thought it was a reaction to a lantana plant, or that’s what my GP said. It cleared up after using some steroid cream he Rx’d. Flared up again a month later, saw a dermatologist, Rx’d another cream and diagnosed with eyelid dermatitis (but they weren’t exactly sure). Now it comes and goes about once every other month or so. Currently extremely inflamed with my whole orbital area swollen. Mine itches and oozes too. I’m just glad to see I’m not alone.
    I have never had anything like this, ever. It just started last summer. Has anyone thought about the possibility this is covid related? I had covid very early in 2020, never had this eye issue until Summer 21.

  51. Kendra

    I had exactly the same thing a couple of years ago. My left eyelid was red, burning, and flaking. It was driving me nuts and I couldn’t figure out the cause. Eventually I remembered I’d started drinking a lot of a soy-based protein drink just before the problem started. I cut out all soy and it finally cleared up about a month later.
    Now I can have a little bit of soy every so often without a problem, but if I eat it consistently the rash starts to come back. It’s not an allergy exactly, more like an intolerance. I’ve never had any food allergies before – I think the abundance of the soy in the protein drinks set off a reaction.

  52. Adam

    Nakita – did you ever find out what was causing your issue? Your situation sounds identical to mine. Rash like symptoms around eye and would get better for a few days then get worse etc…similar to you, vaseline did help. If my eyes weren’t red and inflamed, they’d improve but would also have flaky eyes for a number of days after. Any insight would be appreciated! Thanks

  53. Caitlin

    This is the only thing I’ve been able to find that even somewhat relates to my situation. I started getting these rashes in my eyes around the time I got Covid december 2020. It’s been on and off since. Triaminolone cream helped a little at first, but it never fully goes away. Over the summer, I had a ANA test done for lupus, which was a positive. So I started taking hydrochloroquine (plaquenil), and the rashes were pretty much at bay. However I stopped taking it after 2 months because the rest of my lupus tests came back inconclusive and the plaquenil made me very moody. Since then, I’ve tried aquaphor almost every night, only moisturizers no serums, triamcinoline, desonide, and eucrisa. None of which worked. I also tried oral steroids which helped by day 5, then the second I stopped taking them, it came back significantly worse. Derm said next step was an allergist. So I Then saw an allergist which I have allergies to linalool and limonene, which someone mentioned above. However, I got rid of all those products (pretty much all my hair products), and it did not help. Still getting rashes. Like other people mentioned, seems to come and go every few days, no real predictable pattern. Last night I felt like it was about to get worse, so put in vanicrean and aquaphor twice throughout the night, and this is probably the worst it’s been. Going to try just hydrocortisone and no aquaphor and see if that helps at all. I also don’t believe this to be a food allergy, because I also have SIBO and was tested for food allergies, and while I had some I eliminated them all prior to the rashes starting. Hope that helps anyone! Thank you for this post.

  54. Sharon

    Thank you for posting this!!! I’ve been dealing with this for two weeks and the doctor can’t find what’s wrong. Your photos are the first I’ve been able to find the looks like what is happening with my lower lid—and my eyeballs/vision is not affected. I’m going to try the cortisone.

    1. admin

      my pleasure!! Hope it helps!

  55. Kelsey

    Just like everyone else, I’m so happy to find this thread but also just shocked… been dealing with this rash under my eye … started on one, jumped to the other… swollen,itchy, bumpy, red…. derm has no idea, now thinks it’s rosacea (I’m not a dr but I don’t think so). All medications haven’t helped, I tried aquaphor overnight and it only made my eyelids feel soooo heavy in the morning. Trying the hydrocortisone cream tonight. Been dealing with this for months and I just want to look normal again!!! It’s so embarrassing. Haven’t worn makeup at all. Not putting ANYTHING on my face. Of course the day I went to the dermatologist it completely cleared up before the appointment and returned in full force the very next day. Ugh. I just want answers!

  56. Sam

    I had this rash for about two years and finally figured it out. It turned out it was a combination of things for me that made it as severe as it was. I took a food sensitivity test and I’m sensitive to cow milk, coffee, bell pepper, and egg white. I eliminated all of these foods at once and my rash healed! I tested introducing each of those to see if it was more one than the other; coffee definitely caused the worse reaction (and I’ve been drinking coffee for 15 years). As long as I stay away from those foods it’s fine, and overall the quality of my skin in general is much better. Through researching I’ve found that some of these foods match what’s on a mold elimination diet. A sensitivity to mold seems to cause it as well. I also switched to dye/scent free detergent after and I recommend doing that as well.

    1. Sam

      I did see a dermatologist and they diagnosed it as allergic contact dermatitis, if you’re trying to find it online look up “allergic contact dermatitis on eyes”

  57. Brittany Adams

    Yeah, my dermatitis herpetiformis (severe celiac rash) was diagnosed as “contact dermatitis”. I almost died. Contact dermatitis is what they slap on whatever they can’t figure out. It’s ridiculous. These eye rashes are inflammatory allergy responses to foods. I’m battling the eye rash now and I’m cutting out coffee right away as someone stated above. I’m already gluten free. I also am allergic to vape cartridges. I had two big coffees today and my eyes got so bad after. I know celiacs cross-react to coffee so that’s what I’m cutting out now. I should cut out dairy, corn and soy as well but I want to wait for my allergy test results first.

  58. Emily Mel

    This forum made me feel better but also confused because mine keeps clearing up and coming back despite not using any make up and only fragrance free, hypoallergenic face creams and face washes. I was diagnosed with “contact dermatitis” years ago when both my eyes had an allergic reaction but then it never happened again. As of about five of six months ago, it came back. The weird thing for me is that is only my right eye. Its gotten to the point that even when the rash and itching heals, I have to lines/wrinkles underneath that eye and it’s aged me so much in just a few months. Aquaphor, eye drops and an antibacterial eczema spray has helped somewhat. I’m just confused why it’s only one eye for me. Trying to schedule an appt with a dermatologist. Wishing everyone the best!

  59. Brittany Adams

    Just found out mine was from pollen. Hay fever.

  60. Kelsey

    Have any of you visited an opthamoligist? I went since the dermatologist and my primary dr couldn’t figure it out.. he took one look at me and had a gut feeling… did further testing and said I have allergic conjunctivitis. Gave me some medicated eye drops and it cleared up in one day!!! I’m so grateful I ended up going to him. I said “wow! No one could figure this out” and he said “duh… you were going to dr’s who specialize in skin, not eyes! This is my territory” I had it for 4 months every single day and it was sooo embarrassing. I avoided people and outings and sometimes even work!

  61. Rachael

    Atm opthamologist cleared most of mine up too. He gave me 3 different types of eye drops and 75% of the rash cleared within a day.

    1. Leslie

      Rachel—-What did your opthamologist recommend?

  62. Rachael

    I was given Carbonell eye drops during the day (which is for dry eyes) and to alternate between xailin ointment(lubricant for dry eyes) and maxitrol (which is antibacterial )…I think this is the one that cured it…and when it swells up it helps immediately. However, they are not keen on me to use it long term. Atm I am the best I’ve been but it’s still there at times just not as bad.

  63. AlexM

    The only place where some good information is shared, so thank you Lahjaty for starting it. I have had a couple of episodes in the last 3 years. Nothing horrible, but somewhat painful and disturbing. I am not allergic to anything, take no meds, eat everything but try to stay away from sugar and carbs. One thing that I’ve noticed makes it worse is hyaluronic gel and any gel type of cream. So during flares, which last 5-10 days, using the Walgreens hydrocortisone works well.

  64. Des

    Hey ladies! So i hope this kinda helps… after my Flare ups since last October I saw dermatologist who gave the tacrolimus ointment and treated it as contact dermatitis… Soo Ignored that and thought maybe eye problem saw ophthalmologist and they said my eyes were great that follow what the dermatologist said… so I figured stop wearing make up for a week, still happened so figured maybe something I eat or new chemicals I spray at my bar now since we opened back up from Covid shut down ( I’m a bartender) tried environmental poke test all came back negative, tried food test but allergist said not to do food test cuz it should pop up every time I ate that food, so we did chemical test and bunch showed up BUT some chemical are in my current make up and my eyes have been fine for 4 months of using it ALTHOUGH I live in Vegas and there are times my under eyes will tingle or get hot and I’ve noticed it’s when my body is hot from the sun so I’ll cool them down before they turn red, last night my body was not hot and I wasn’t in the heat and my eyes felt hot so I just fanned my face and no reaction… I’ve also just come to a conclusion that it’s ezcema and certain things just cause a flare up which sucks but at least the tacrolimus ointment helps don’t use steroids it’ll help for a sec but then make ur skin worse and spread the rash! Hope this helps take care ladies!

  65. Neela

    Hi Des
    Did you manage to figure out which of the chemicals in your make up you are allergic to?
    I was given a pimecrolimus cream which has kept major flare ups at bay. Although I still get the odd itchy spell and redness occurring, it’s nowhere as bad as it used to be.
    I was diagnosed with constitutional eczema aggravated by contact dermatitis.
    Just knowing which allergens cause my flare ups has made a huge difference in my ability to manage the symptoms.

  66. Des

    These are the names yet each one has like 5-10 names it goes by…. I feel if it was contact dermatitis then I would react every time I use a product that has these chemicals for instant my shampoo I have been using for 3 months now and no problems yet more then one of the chemicals are in my shampoo which is cocamidopropyl betaine which is identified by 13 other name smh but my shampoo is coconut…. other chemicals in make up so if I keep it only for more then 24 hours like fall asleep drunk I’ll have Reed itchy skin… propylene glycol also identified with anything with propy or methy in it…. 2-mercaptobenzothiazole also identified as benzothiazolethial, sulfadene ect. Also colophon identified as rosin gun rosin pine rosin ect. The main one is in my mascara which is beeswax I bought a mascara without it and my eyes don’t itch I went back and bought old mascara and instant itchy eyes if the mascara touches my skin. Basically all those chemicals are in all my things and I’ve been fine for months now soooo I think if it’s just exposed for too long of time and also heat doesn’t help anything then that’s when I feel it’s about to flare up. I hope this helps some what cuz I know my ego went down a tons when I was clueless and having flare ups. I dnt think it’ll ever go away but at least now I know how to control it and what to use when it comes back from time to time cuz I’m sure it’ll come back again since I’m almost 99.99 percent sure it’s ezcema with prolong chemicals that trigger it. Take care ladies !

  67. Kathleen

    Ahhh I feel so at home reading all of these responses and knowing that I’m not alone. I have a gut feeling that my undereye rash is covid related. I recovered from covid in November 2021, and the rash developed the month after. I felt like my immune system was really struggling – my hair was falling out, i had swollen lymph nodes, etc. My immune system is doing a lot better now but the rash has remained… it’s been 8 months now! Sometimes it’s worse on one eye, then it hops over to the other eye, but most of the time the rash is present under both eyes. So frustrating. I know that the issue is due to something internal so I’m working on healing my gut because if the gut isn’t working properly, then leaky gut can happen and then anything you eat can be an allergen because it seeps into your bloodstream. I have noticed for SURE that eggs are a trigger and make it much worse. I will implement an elimination diet with gluten, dairy, sugar, caffeine and see what happens. Intuitively, I’ve been guided to take liposomal glutathione, milk thistle, dandelion root, and supplements to support my liver since the liver and skin are so closely related. Will report back if I find relief. Much love to all <3

  68. Therese

    hey everyone– I, like the rest of the commenters and the OP started experiencing this same thing on upper and lower lids about 2 months ago. Initially thought it was due to a recent trip to NM which was over 100 degrees and 0 humidity, but it continued to worsen for a week after I returned, to the point my eyelids looked like I was 90 years old– not only was there itchyness and redness but the skin had actually begun to create extra folds above my eye that werent there before– I’m not talking little wrinkles, I’m talking like a full-on extra fold like I had triple hooded eyes. This also caused my eyelid to feel very heavy which in turn impaired my eyesight so off to the derm I went. And like many other commenters, I was diagnosed with contact dermatitis. The derm prescribed me a steroid ointment made specifically for use on the eyelids– it’s brand name is Lotamax and it’s medical name is loteprednol etabonate ophthalmic 0.5%– and it ain’t cheap. For the tiniest little tube smaller than my pinky finger it cost $150 with my PPO insurance…anyway, the stuff did the trick after about 2 days of use (I still completed the full 4 day regimen as prescribed). And I thought that was that…until about 3 weeks later I noticed a slight bit of redness on my upper eyelid and within a couple days it was back, full blown on both eyelids again. So I used the prescription ointment again, and again, it disappeared in a few days. Now a couple weeks have passed and a 3rd flare up is starting…so frustrating! I asked my pharmacist if it was ok to use this stuff again since its a steroid and he seemed to think there was no problem with doing so…which I do find questionable. So now I’m going to have to make another derm appt and see what he has to say now that it’s recurring every few weeks. If I learn anything groundbreaking I will be sure to share…I’m afraid I may get the same unhelpful recommendations as other commenters such as an allergy test and/ or diet restriction. As as FYI I havent changed to any new makeup/skincare/hair/laundry products, been using the same stuff for years. I also avoid fragrance whenever possible (which I did several years ago when my cat was diagnosed with all types of allergies, so I basically omitted scented detergents in favor of fragrance free, and got rid of diffusers and house sprays such as Febreze…so I havent had those types of products in my home for a very long time)

  69. Elena

    I’m sorry that this is happening to you… I had weekly flare ups like this for about a month and it was difficult to find the reason because it was a delayed allergic reaction to make up. And I had not added or changed any product that I wasn’t using before. I stopped using eye make up and my eyelids and under eye area healed…but then I noticed that even certain lip glosses and blushes were doing the same to me. Now I only wear colorescience tinted spf and I’m waiting for more time to pass, then I’ll try some make up that I am researching. I am not saying that you have suddenly become allergic to make up like I did, just sharing my experience in hope to help others. Good luck!

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