How to Treat Under Eye Cream Reactions
It’s happened to the best of us: under eye cream irritation or reactions, also known as contact dermatitis. Sometimes when trying a new (or very old) eye cream, the delicate skin around the eye area experiences redness, peeling, inflammation or worse. This occurrence is not only uncomfortable and unattractive, it can be dangerous. Here’s a quick look at the difference between irritation and reactions, and what to do if you experience either one
Irritation Contact Dermatitis
Irritation is more common than a true allergic reaction. Skin care eye cream, or other forms of skin care for that matter, can be irritating to the skin due to ingredient concentration, application frequency or poor skin health. Dry or injured skin is less able to protect against irritation, making it more susceptible to irritation contact dermatitis. Symptoms of this type of irritation are redness, burning, stinging or itching.
Allergic Contact Dermatitis
A true allergic reaction occurs when the eye cream user is allergic to a specific ingredient. Symptoms of a reaction are similar to those of irritation contact dermatitis, though the symptoms will often be more severe and last longer. Symptoms include swelling, fluid-filled blisters, itching and redness. The condition of the skin does not matter when it comes to allergic contact dermatitis; the skin will react no matter what if you are allergic to an ingredient.
Whether you are experiencing irritation or allergic contact dermatitis, the course of action is the same. First, discontinue use of the offending eye cream product and gently wash away any product residue from the eye area. To soothe discomfort and inflammation, apply a cold compress to the area. While some may suggest using a calming skin care product such as a witch hazel compress or chamomile lotion, it is best to leave the area alone until you are able to see your dermatologist. This includes makeup, which can make the redness, inflammation and discomfort even worse.
Your dermatologist or doctor may prescribe a steroid cream or oral medication if severe allergic contact dermatitis is diagnosed. Alternatively, he may suggest that you use an over-the-counter antihistamine until the reaction subsides. When you go in to see your dermatologist or doctor, be sure to bring the offending under eye cream with you in case she would like to inspect the ingredient list or application directions.