Eye eczema can be caused by underlying eczema or it can be triggered by external irritants including sun creams, fake tans, cosmetics and contact lense solution.
Here eye eczema sufferer, Stephanie Kaoss, 24, a mature student from Middlesex, explains how using some fake tan last summer triggered her eye eczema.
“My skin is very pale and I don’t tolerate the sun very well as my skin is so fair and sensitive that I simply burn instead of tanning.
But last year I was going on holiday and was fed up with always being the one looking so white when all my friends had nice golden tans that I decided to try some self-tanning lotion on my face.[quote]As I put the stuff on, my skin stung a bit but I just ignored it thinking it was normal. I went to sleep and the next morning I woke up and my face was tight and very dry. It felt like if I smiled my skin might have cracked. I had dry patches of skin all over my face and neck but the worse thing was my eyes, the left one was so badly swollen I could not open it or see anything from it.[/quote]
I went straight to the doctor and he diagnosed me a type of allergic dermatitis. He said I had had an allergic reaction to a chemical in the fake tan and he prescribed me steroids. I only learnt later that putting steroids around yours eyes is a really bad idea. But then I didn’t know so I just put the cream on.[quote]The redness and swelling went down a bit but then I noticed that the colour of the skin around my eyes had changed colour, it was darker. I looked like I had really bad black bags. At first I thought it was just tiredness as I’d had trouble sleeping because of my skin since the allergic reaction but when it didn’t go away I realised it was the steroid cream that was causing the change in colour because I had looked it up on the internet.[/quote]
I was really distraught because although my allergic reaction had got better, now I had stained skin around my eyes. Also my skin was much more sensitive and as the summer progressed I started getting minor allergic reactions to make up and sun creams too.
My summer turned from bad to worse as the skin around my eyes just got drier and redder and more and more reactive. It was as though the allergic reaction had triggered something and now the skin around my eyes could not tolerate any chemicals at all. I reacted so badly once to a Revlon foundation that my eyes closed up again.
I stopped using the steroid cream even though when I did my eyes became swollen, red and dry again. Instead I tried was E45 cream but the cream was so heavy and greasy that it blocked the pores on my eyelashes and I ended up with an eye infection that developed into a condition called Blepharitis, which is a condition where by the lash follicles are always inflamed. So by now I had red skin around my eyes and red swollen rims of my eyes too. I was looking older and older each week. It was like a never ending nightmare.[quote]Eventually after extensive research I came across Skin Shop’s Dry Eye Gel made with cardiospermum. I read about a model who had a similar problem to me but hers was caused by wearing an allergic reaction to make up because of her job. Unlike me she had refused to use steroids around her eyes as she was a model and her face was her fortune. Instead she had tried the Dry Eye Gel and found it had worked.[/quote]
I bought some straight away and almost from the first day of using it my eyes started to feel better. As the weeks passed the skin around my eyes became softer, less red and much less itchy. I was using the gel several times a day to begin with as I could not bare my eyes starting to get red and dry again.
I have been using the Dry Eye Gel daily ever since and my eyes have dramatically improved. My dry red skin around my eyes have improved hugely, I look much younger and more like I should at my age. Even friends have commented, people have even thought I have had botox because my eyes look so much younger.
It’s such a relief. I will never use fake tan again and I’m extremely careful what sun creams I use on my face now. I have decided to just be content with looking pale on my summer holiday this year rather than worrying about having a tan so much that I almost risked ruining my skin forever just so I could looked tanned for a few weeks on holiday. I am just lucky that there was no permanent damage to my skin from my allergic reaction to the fake tan.”