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Itchy and Red Neck and Eyelids Itchy and Red Neck and Eyelids

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Unread 06-24-2003, 04:32 PM
Itchy and Red Neck and Eyelids

I've just done a search on "allergies," and gotten a few tips, but still need advice. Thanks so much to all the sisters...I keep relying on you all.

I'm about 8 months post-op, doing fine, and using Vivelle Dot .05 and taking 1 mg testosterone orally. Also take synthroid, with that dosage being adjusted down--currently taking .125 mg.

About 3-4 weeks ago I felt some itchiness on neck...which for me usually indicates allergic reaction (one dose of Percoset post-op gave me immediate itchy neck, so I ditched it and turned to Advil). Since then this has progressed to red neck on both sides, some minor swelling of neck tissue on left, swollen eyelids and itchy, red eyes.

Thyroid doctor did CBC which came back negative. Palpated thyroid and said that was fine. First said rosacea, but on second exam, when symptoms were much worse, said no, felt I was having some kind of allergic rection.

Symptoms got worse on weekend (isn't that usually the case?), and went to Urgent Care. No fever, good blood pressure, no other symptoms. No rash elsewhere, just neck. Urgent Care doc said contact dermatitis, gave me Zyrtec...took one dose and saw no effect one way or the other, but felt sorta speedy and had dry mouth.

Follow up with thyroid doc who then said he didn't expect that Zyrtec would have worked. Thyroid doc recommended dermatologist.

Dermatologist said not rosacea but probably "Poikloderma Civatte," which is a post-menopausal reddening of skin on sides of neck. Online search shows photos that do look like my symptoms. This still doesn't explain itchy eyes, though. He prescribed Elidel cream, which does help, but hasn't eliminated.

Went to eye doc yesterday. He agrees prob an allergic reaction, and eyes are definitely allergic conjunctivitis. He gave me Lotemax drops for 10 days (cortisone) then I'm to use Zaditor. Eyelids are better today, but some swelling beneath eyes, and wrinkling from that. Cold compresses do help. At the point I saw thyroid doc a couple weeks ago this swelling was severe, and area under eyes actually purpling. Much better than that now, but just can't kick this thing.

For a few days last week I was symptom free. Had two drinks with friends at dinner, and woke up with renewed symptoms, although not as bad as before. Alcohol seems to be a trigger.

I've washed everything I own and sleep on with All Free and Clear, and am now cutting out ALL vitamins and suplements except for prescriptions, and avoiding alcohol. I don't look as hideous as I feel--face, eyes and neck feel hot and sometimes itchy.

This is making me crazy, mostly because I can't get a clear diagnosis, I'm uncomfortable, and then I move into anxiety state about what in the world this all means. I'm generally healthy and health conscious, vegetarian, and don't at all like not knowing what's going on!!

Please chime in with any suggestions. I'm wondering about immune system problems and Vivelle. Vivelle seemed just fine...would it take this long to develop as an allergy? Could switch to Climara, but would like your opinions....

Thanks again,

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Unread 06-24-2003, 08:57 PM
Itchy and Red Neck and Eyelids

It is my experience that allergies can develop any time, and the more you use something the more sensitive you can become. If it were me in your situation I would start eliminating medications (with doctor's cooperation) and see if it made any difference. You can always add them back if things seem to be OK. If it's a med that is the problem you can then try something else.

but that's just me. I have a reaction to lots of medications so that's why I would start there.
Unread 06-24-2003, 09:58 PM
Itchy and Red Neck and Eyelids

Thanks, Joselle...I totally agree with you. I've stopped everything I consider non-essential...leaving only the synthroid, Vivelle, and testosterone, thinking the trigger could be a supplement (I do usually take a lot of vitamins, glucosamine, flax oil, etc.).

If I don't see improvement in 2 weeks, I'll wean off the hormone therapy, can't drop the synthroid.

If you think of anything else, please drop a line. Fingers are crossed, but I think I've got some improvement tonight. This has been going on 3-4 weeks. I had a lot of allergies as a kid, took all the shots (we lived in L.A. then...), and haven't had a serious problem since. But over the last 5 years or so, I have developed minor cases of atopic dermatitis, allergic conjunctivitis, and rosacea, and all responded well to treatment. So I have a pattern, I guess. But this thing is more elusive.

Hope you are well these days,

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Unread 06-25-2003, 12:39 AM
Itchy and Red Neck and Eyelids

Hi Rose

Being an absolute 'expert' on allergies (much to my disgust) I do feel for you.

I've had identical eye allergies as you describe and mine turned out to be a cat allergy. Hope that's not your problem especially if you love cats as much as I do. I'm now catless needless to say.

I agree with Joselle about cutting out all supplements/medications. You say it's triggered by alcohol. What do you drink? Could also be the tonic part of say a gin and tonic. We won't get into the food possibilities yet as that can get really complicated. Start eliminating the easy things first. Have you looked at the obvious, like your clothes washing powder, skincare, makeup, shampoos etc. and anything that comes even remotely in contact with your face and neck. Wrack your brains as to whether you've changed anything in the last few weeks.
Have you got a new plant inside your house? Sounds crazy I know but you have to look outside the square when you're trying to solve this sort of problem.

I sure hope you can get on top of this as I know how frustrating and stressful it is. Naturally enough stress just adds to the problem.

You hang in there now.

Unread 06-25-2003, 06:41 AM
Itchy and Red Neck and Eyelids

Dear RM

I feel for you; I too have had a flare-up of my allergies since surgery. I don't think this is uncommon, and I just hope that it will settle down in time.

I too now occasionally wake up with swollen eyelids and am trying to figure out what is triggering it. I suspect pollen, dust, and mold, since I'm now outside much more than before. I took Allegra regularly for some time and it calmed things down; now I occasionally use it and also the Elidel cream. I just feel that I have become more sensitive to allergy triggers than before. I also wash my sheets frequently in perfume-free detergent and have covered the pillowcases against dust mites.

For a while, I was taking Advil because of some neck pain, and I believe it can cause facial swelling--perhaps you want to ask your doc/allergist about that? Another possibility are the supplements--particularly the glucosamine. Isn't that made from shark cartilage? I have an allergy to fish and am not supposed to use that.

good luck in figuring this out--it's a pain. Personally, I doubt it's due to hormones...
Unread 06-25-2003, 11:08 AM
Itchy and Red Neck and Eyelids

Thanks again, so much...the support itself makes me feel better. Not just emotionally, either, you know the power of that brain-body connection...

I think (hope) am feeling a little better, No supplements for two days. Eye doctor said if it is a supplement, it'll be out of my system pretty quickly, so here's to that idea.

Was in the sun Sunday for about an hour to an hour and a half, and just read today that sun should be avoided when using am sure some of the weird redness Monday was from that.

I'm staying off supplements for a while longer and later will introduce one at a time. Don't think it's the hormones, either, but agree that some allergic sensitivity must be elevated since I haven't added anything new. One of the toughest parts of figuring out an allergy is that we can be allergic to something today we were not allergic to yesterday. Nerve-wracking.

Hope it's not the glucosamine, as that's really fixed the bursitis in my left hip. Thyroid doc said it's made from shell fish, while the chondroiton, which I don't take, comes from shark cartilage. I was strict vegetarian for years, have added occasional fish of late, and don't seem to have that allergy, so we hope glucosamine stays on the list of good supplements.

Drinking more water, too.

Have cleaned everything I can think of, bought new pillows, adding those dust-mite cases, sprayed everything with the anti-allergy Febreze...if nothing else, I've got a clean house now!

Bless you all! I really appreciate the thoughtful opinions and suggestions...

Unread 06-25-2003, 02:46 PM
Itchy and Red Neck and Eyelids

Rose, do you wear nail polish?

I developed an allergy to nail polish. My neck and eyelids were swollen and itchy. I realized that I frequently touched my neck and eyelids with my hands. I stopped wearing nail polish, and my problem disappeared almost immediately.

I was able to stop taking antihistamines after I removed the nail polish.

It's just a suggestion, but possibly worth considering.

Best wishes,
Unread 06-25-2003, 03:41 PM
Itchy and Red Neck and Eyelids

Wow...great suggestion. I sometimes wear clear ploish or one-coat of something, but not at present. Have been way too busy, and not attending to myself.

Seems like the itchy neck and swollen eyelids must be a classic allergic reaction. My dermatologist thought it was weird without something appearing on belly or arms, etc.

But excellent sleuthing....thanks!

Unread 06-26-2003, 07:36 PM
Itchy and Red Neck and Eyelids

((((Rose))))) I'm so sorry you've been dealing with all of this I too suffer from numerous allergies (and mine are worse than ever this year ) and know just how bad this all can get.

I'm happy that you're feeling a little better One thing I would suggest, if you haven't already done it, is to consult an allergist: It's amazing the things you can be allergic to!! And the way we react can be soooo different from one person to another!!! I remember a nurse at work insisting that antihistamines would not relieve my heachaches. Thankfully, and much to my validation, they now have a whole gammut of products specifically geared to those of us who suffer from allergy-induced sinus headaches/migraines!!!!

One thing to note is that, in the case of suspected allergies, you need to either eliminate possible allergens systematically, one at a time and/or re-introduce them, very carefully, one at a time. The normal spread is to wait 3 to 7 days in-between possible allergens.

Hope you get answers, and relief, very soon. Please be sure to keep us posted.
Unread 07-02-2003, 07:49 PM
Itchy and Red Neck and Eyelids

Well, here's the update.

I stopped all vitamins and supplements, mostly because I noticed that even after my symptoms improved during the day, and were often almost gone by 10 p.m., by 3-4 a.m. I had them back in full force--so reasoned something must be happening at night.

I'm reintroducing one supplement each Monday, and will go in order of importance. This Monday I started up with the glucosamine, next Monday it's the calcium

Eyes are totally cleared up after using Lotemax drops 4 times a day. Used to be that when I missed a dose by an hour or so I really noticed burning eyes, now I don't seem to really need it any more. Which is good, as you can only take these 10-14 days, and I'm on day 10 now. Switching over to a milder anti-allergy drop tomorrow.

Skin is much better, too, although I'm still using the Elidel cream.

So thanks again, and hope somebody else finds some of this useful. Allergies are hard to dignose and hard to treat!

Love and peace and blessings of good health, open hearts to all,


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