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The Mysterious Eye Rash…Allergy?


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 90 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

  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

    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. 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 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

    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)


      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.

  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.

  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

    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!

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