Thursday, March 8, 2012

Swelling and Itchy Face

I have suffered from Eczema on my hands for almost 15 years now but about 6 months ago, my face started getting itchy really bad and getting red and puffy. It has moved up to my eyes and all around them are very itchy and swollen. I also itch around my nose, mouth and neck so much that it drives me crazy. I have been on and off prendizone a few times. The first one or two times it helped but this time, it really didn't. I have resorted to changing my makeup from Bare Minerals to Clinique (using very, very little but need some as I work in an elementary school and do not want to look like a total freak) and washing my face with Johnson's Baby Shampoo and using Alveeno Eczema Therapy Lotion. None of it is helping and it is not only is it fustrating but embarrassing and painful. I feel like it even affects my vision. I have gone to an allergist and have been tested but I have no allergies except outside mold. I had allergies when I was younger but had allergy shots and now they are gone. I have also gone to an eye doctor and they have given me random medicines but can't be used long term. I have gone to a dermatologist but he hasn't given me anything to help.
Any ideas, please?????

I hear ya and feel for you. I also have had eczema on my hands/arms for over 15 years but only the the past 2-3 years did I start getting really bad rashes on my face. I'm not sure if it's the same thing you're experiencing, but my face would get red as if it was a sun burn, some days my eyes swelled almost shut, and then it would peel like a sunburn does for a week after. It went like this over and over for a couple years. Derms were no help.

I finally figured out that I had developed food allergies. At first it was nuts (peanuts, hazelnuts, and almonds) and my face was better for awhile, and then the rash came back and I figured out I also had a problem with a group of food called nightshades = tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, & white potatoes. About 2 days after quitting nightshades, the face rashes stopped. Now if a little bit of pepper or tomato gets snuck into something I'm eating (when I eat out) I get a small rash again but not nearly as bad as when I was eating those foods regularly.

Anyway, I am sharing this information so than at it might help someone else. Try quitting nightshades for a week and see if it makes a difference. They are inflammatory foods and obviously some of us just cannot tolerate them. By the way, I do not show up as being "allergic" to any of those foods on an allergy IgE or IgG test. I figured it out on my own with a food diary.

Besides food, I basically never touch soaps/cleansers of any kind (I shower with gloves on so I can shampoo my hair), and have gotten really good about going to the gym for yoga/pilates and cardio/weights to improve my overall health. I am FINALLY, after 3 years of suffering, getting to a good place. I barely miss the foods I've cut out because I was living in such HELL for so long! They're not worth being on fire 24/7.

Thank you so much for responding! I have tried eliminating tomatoes (I do not eat the other foods) and it didn't help. You had a blood test for those foods and it showed that you did not have an allergy? I have no food allergies at all according to the blood test that I took. Tomorrow I go to a different allergist in hopes that he will help me out! Have you tried tanning? I may try that. This condition is just so embarrassing! I have never had eye problems at all in my life, even when I had allergies as a child and now they are so swollen, red and wrinkly that I look 10 years older than I am. I even wore contacts and had no problems at all for almost 20 years before I had lasek surgery (11 years ago) and now they look so pathetic!

Thanks again!

The only allergies that showed up in tests were the hazelnut and almond. The allergist thought I was insane when I told her about the reaction I have to nightshades. She practically fought with me about it, saying that her tests do not show I have a problem with those foods. I quit nightshades and 2 days later my face rash problems STOPPED. I had the face rash for almost 3 years nonstop, but it has been 4 months now since I quit nightshades and they have not come back. There is obviously something to this. She seriously didn't believe me. Needless to say I'm not going back to her. This is the problem with doctors, they can't imagine anything other than what their tests show. Tests aren't everything. I wanted to tell her to shove her test up her you-know-what! You really need to take charge of your own health and figure things out on your own.

If you have a problem with nightshades, you need to cut them all out, not just one thing. I really think everyone with eczema should try it out, even if just for a week (from articles I've read they suggest 2 weeks) to see if it helps. If not, then go back to eating them. If so, then YAHOOOO!!!!

Regarding tanning: I have been going to narrow-band UV light therapy for about 5 weeks now at my dermatologist's office because my hands were still red and itchy even after all the other eczema had cleared up. It has definitely helped.

I did try cutting them out and it didn't help. The thing that is really odd is that this condition escalated just this past August. I have had problems with my hands since I turned about 30 and when I think hard about it, maybe I did have a dry patch and maybe some very slight redness once or twice on my face but nothing like this and nothing that ever affected my eyes. My eyes are so tight now as well as the sides of nose and around my lips. Is that how you felt? I really appreciate your conversation!