Odd eye 'ezcema' - any advice?

(36 Posts)
musicalmrs Sun 29-Mar-20 21:10:41

Hi! I'm going through my second bout of some odd eye 'ezcema'. Imagine big bags under your eyes (mine are huge!) - the whole of one side has turned red, rough textured, and is very sore - and half of the other eye. There's a tiny patch on my eyelid too.

The first occurance was 3/4 weeks ago. My usual creams (moisturiser, Lush Ultrabalm, aloe vera and some aqueous cream my DD uses for ezcema) didn't clear it up, and were burning when I put them on. After a week I visited my local pharmacist, who inspected (at a socially acceptable distance!) and she agreed it was probably ezcema and suggested Cetrabem (emollient), and suggested I make a GP appointment in a week if it didn't clear up for some very weak steroid cream suitable for the eye area.

The Cetrabem burned whenever it went on, but my eyes did clear up - hard to know whether that helped or not (I applied it several times a day; it seems to hurt less when moisturised). I therefore never made the GP appointment.

Over the past couple of days its come back! Our pharmacy now has regular 2+ hour queues (a community with a lot of people with health concerned - not their fault, but currently being worked off their feet), and I don't want to bother the GP unless I have to. I've considered phoning reception for a phone appointment and sending a photo of my dragon eyes over to them to send to the GP! However, I was wondering if anyone had any advice.

I think it may be ezcema that's caused by hayfever, as it has flared up whenever my hayfever has been at its worst so far this year. My questions are:
- Should it burn when you put cream such as Cetrabem on ezcema? I can't tell if that's a sign that I shouldn't be using it, or a sign that my skin desperately needs it.
- Can you think of anything else that might soothe rather than burn, and be beneficial (and safe to use near eyes?).
- Is there anything I can pick up over the counter/from a pharmacy without having to get the advice of a pharmacist that might help?

Thanks in advance!

OP’s posts: |
flashbac Sun 29-Mar-20 21:15:12

I found all creams made it worse. I found the culprit was the soap I was using. Perhaps try leaving out all your products for a while so you can find the culprit.

Justawaterformeplease Sun 29-Mar-20 21:17:20

Or make up, if you wear it.

Lordamighty Sun 29-Mar-20 21:18:33

I get this, 0.5% hydrocortisone prescription clears it up. You should be able to sort it with a telephone appointment.

TheReluctantCountess Sun 29-Mar-20 21:19:22

I get that around my eyes. My doctor prescribes me 0.5% hydrocortisone cream, which I use when it is bad. It has to be prescribed, as you cannot buy it over the counter in that strength, I believe.

TheLongDarkBreakfastTime Sun 29-Mar-20 21:21:06

I find Polytar shampoo helps - wash your hair with it and rub some on the sore bits of your eyes. Leave for a few minutes, repeat and rinse but not too much.

Idolikeanicepieceofcake Sun 29-Mar-20 21:21:34

You need a Dermatologist as the GP is not the best person to deal with this. Many people suffer from a type of seborrheic dermatitis around the eyes. You can unknowingly be suffering from it on your scalp too. It is made worse by all the OTC creams and lotions. Dermatology takes ages to be referred to so if you can go private (about £150 + prescription) then do. If not then suggest it to the GP who may prescribe the medication over the phone. It's hard to say without pics, but it is commonly this reason. It may be exacerbated by tree pollen syndrome. Look it up online and see whether your symptoms match. Good luck.


Veterinari Sun 29-Mar-20 21:22:15

It's quite likely a contact allergy to a detergent in your shampoo or face wash.
Switch to a sensitive formulation and it'll be fine

iCorona Sun 29-Mar-20 21:24:39

Wash you face 3 times a day and put Vaseline on it. Worked for me almost straight away when nothing else did. Apparently different people respond to different things so it’s worth trying a few different things.

TheReluctantCountess Sun 29-Mar-20 21:26:16

Vaseline didn’t work for me at all. It seemed to encourage it and made it worse.

TheEmojiFormerlyKnownAsPrince Sun 29-Mar-20 21:27:57

Protopic solved my eye eczema when other steroids didn’t work. Only on prescription though

WwfLeopard Sun 29-Mar-20 21:51:56

Lay of all products, pretty sure you can buy 0.1 strength steroid cream without a prescription

WwfLeopard Sun 29-Mar-20 21:52:58


Clarabellawilliamson Sun 29-Mar-20 21:56:29

I've had this before and I think it was an allergic reaction to nail varnish! So worth thinking of any new products, even if they're not for your face.

ACatCalledLola Sun 29-Mar-20 22:07:29

I used to get flare ups of this. Always the same patch under one eye. Hydrocortisone cream cleared it up each time but it would return. About a year ago I started to use a facial oil on my skin every night and it hasn’t come back. The area is completely smooth now. The one I use is from the Green People so all natural products and it’s for sensitive skin. I don’t know if it’s coincidence but I definitely think it helped.

underneaththeash Sun 29-Mar-20 22:11:51

Please do not put 1% steroid cream on your eyelids. it thins skin and that's why it's not advised.

Are you using your usual hay fever medication? Tablets/nasal spray?

goodthanks Sun 29-Mar-20 22:12:26

I get this. Mine is stress related. The only thing that helps is Eucerin Ato Control.

pleasestoprainingplease Sun 29-Mar-20 22:13:22

Oh wow my DS has this right now. We're on about week 4 and finally the dry skin is less but his eyes are raw. At first they were swollen
Now just really red. They had thick dry skin on them. He looks really dreadful at the moment. He cries every time I cream him sad watching this with interest. Was wondering if GP would prescribe steroids over the phone. He's had to have them before where his eczema has been so bad & got infected. His face has purple spots too now.

SubjectMatterExpert Sun 29-Mar-20 22:18:26

I get this. I was prescribed cortisone cream but it hasn’t helped at all and is worse than ever. Haven’t wanted to bother the GP again, but it is very sore and looks horrendous

You can get cortisone cream over the counter. But not if you tell them it’s for your face! So if you want to try it, pretend it’s on your bum or something when talking to the pharmacist

RedRed9 Sun 29-Mar-20 22:21:33

Wash you face 3 times a day
This would make mine so much worse.

You’re probably not supposed to put this near your eyes but the O’Keefe’s working hands cream helped me.

Also not wearing make up.

DariaMorgendorffer Sun 29-Mar-20 22:27:35

I have had similar, and chemist recommended I try La Roche-Posay Toleriane eye cream. I didn't hold out much hope, but it worked very well! It is a safe option that you can pick up over the counter.

musicalmrs Sun 29-Mar-20 22:28:38

Thank you for the many replies!

I have tried leaving all products/not wearing makeup, but it didn't help the first time round. I'm currently barely wearing makeup - first time round I only wore it for work (only a few days a week when people facing, so I didn't look like a dragon!) but now I'm barely wearing it. I'm not using anything new and I've deliberately been making sure no products in the shower come into contact with my face. I'm used to getting contact allergies with things, and am very careful with my face as a result, so suspecting that isn't it (though could easily be wrong!).

@TheLongDarkBreakfastTime - haven't heard of PolyTar. I'll keep an eye out for it -though that's easier said than done when I don't know when I'll next be at a supermarket..

@Lordamighty @TheReluctantCountess This is what the pharmacist was suggesting, and I might try phoning tomorrow. The problem is if they've still got 2 hour queues I won't be able to pick it up until at least Thursday.

@Idolikeanicepieceofcake Wouldn't normally mind a private appointment, and may consider it in the future if this continues to happen, but can't justify the expense at the minute sadly.

@iCorona Interesting re Vaseline (and the difference to @TheReluctantCountess 's experience). I'm not sure if we have some, but if so I might try it tonight to see if it helps the general pain. Thanks for the idea.

OP’s posts: |
Clevs Sun 29-Mar-20 22:45:02

I've had this on & off for the last 18 months but more so for the last few months. It switches from being red and irritated to dry and flaky. When it's red it looks like a I've been crying. I have it round both eyes but the left is worse.

I've not changed any products and I never wear makeup except when I go out. But having a (almost) two year old we've only been out three times since he's been born.

I had a facial a few weeks ago hoping that it would help and also to get advice. It was recommended to me to try coconut oil. I've been applying it every night and sometimes in the morning when my skin is really dry. It's the only thing that doesn't make it sting. Even when I was having my facial some of the products she was using were stinging even though she said they were the mildest and don't normally irritate.

I never had this problem before I had my son, and there is no history of eczema in my family. My son has it though and weirdly when his flares up mine flares up too.

musicalmrs Sun 29-Mar-20 23:32:32

@underneaththeash - I'm using tablets and eyedrops, as per usual. I didn't start the eyedrops until after this began though. I usually use them later in the season, but when I twigged it could be linked to hayfever I got hold of some.

@Clevs I have some coconut oil, and can't remember if I tried that last time, but I might give it a go - thanks! Mine looks like I've been crying too - when it first started people were asking me if I was sleeping properly as they made me look exhausted. How bizarre that it never happened before and was suddenly triggered by something. I hope you get to the bottom of it soon.

@goodthanks I was wondering about stress - or if it's a combination of hormones and stress, and maybe hayfever too. I'm pretty sure it's not related to a product.

Thanks for the recommendations for products going forward. I'll look into them all - and into what I can actually get hold of at the minute.

I'll only use hydrocortisone if I can get the right strength from the doctor themselves - I'm aware of the risks of using the higher strength stuff on delicate skin (and I have some in the house - for my daughter's ezcema). It's just the two hour delay at the pharmacy that's a problem for the minute. I'm also keen to find something more natural/gentle (if I can!) if this is going to be a problem that reoccurs.

OP’s posts: |
meluey Mon 30-Mar-20 00:18:30

I've been having the same exact thing for the last month. Aveeno moisturiser for very dry skin isn't stinging and is definitely helping once I remember to put it on twice a day minimum. Stick to no make up or any perfume products and hopefully the irritation will go down. I am allergic to tree pollen so I'm hoping mine is due to that as we got a dog recently and really don't want to be allergic to him obviously ;)

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