Could I be having a reaction on my face to glues used in my work?

Dear Dr.Irwin, I have had a series of reactions to the glues that I use, while making jewelry. Three have been severe enough to cause my eyes to swell completely shut. While I was in Ireland, I had my first reaction. I was told by a Pharmacist to apply a small amount of Cortizone under my eyes. I believe that I over did it. The left eye seems to be a great deal more sensitive to the glue, than the right eye. Now, I have a visible difference between my left and right eyes. Both are very lax, with little elasticity. Would a form of laser be helpful or cause more damage? Thank you, Tia

I’m so glad you asked this because many people don’t realize that rashes – yes even on the face – can be caused by things that are on one’s hands. And also that tiny, airborne allergen particles (think your glue here), can cause a rash on your face. Only when you solve the underlying problem will your eyes start to look better.  Also, non prescription hydrocortisone can’t be used around the eye area safely for longer than a week or two. After that time, it will start to thin the skin, impair your skin’s natural immunity, and can even cause glaucoma in extreme cases. 

A laser, in this situation, is not a good option for you.  But solving this problem more permanently will be helpful. In most states and countries, at universities, there are dermatology departments with clinics that specialize in solving these types of problems. They go by several different names but ask for the contact dermatitis clinic, the allergic dermatitis clinic, or the patch testing clinic. You are looking for the clinic run by dermatologists where specialized "patch testing" is done by dermatologists.  The clinics run by allergists are different and involve skin testing with a needle.  

For a list of good doctors to check out, view our Guide to Finding A Dermatologist

 Hope this helps,  Dr. I

Dr. Brandith Irwin, MD

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