About 4.5 months ago I dyed my hair. I’ve dyed my hair countless times before, although I had taken a roughly 13 year hiatus from hair dye. I’m living in the Pacific NW now and my hair doesn’t have that beachy blond look from constant sun anymore, so I chose to dye it a golden blonde color from Feria. No problems–it looked great and I was happy.
About 6 weeks later, my dirty blonde roots started coming in, so I decided to dye it again. Having read up about using Wella ColorCharm to mix your own strawberry blonde color, I dyed my hair again. I washed it off in the shower per normal, and immediately had itching and burning on my face and backs of my legs. I figured it would get better over time and applied lotion. It didn’t. Over the next week, my eyes were bloodshot, irritated, and watering. The skin around my eyelids and under my eyes was also pink, swollen, and irritated. I coped as best as I could with lotions and makeup. Some days were better than others. After reading some information online, I purchased Eucerin Aquaphor and it greatly helped my skin, although it never fully healed.
I kept having good days where my eyes wouldn’t be swollen and bad days where everything was swollen, red, and inflamed. It was hot to the touch, but didn’t itch.
I honestly didn’t truely believe that the hair dye was the main trigger at first, but I hadn’t changed anything with my diet or my makeup routine.
I was also in the last month of school, so I toughed it out until the last day and then drove to urgent care. I was put on prednisone and antibiotics. My face almost completely cleared up. I was kicking myself for not doing it earlier!
But as soon as the steroids were finished, my face quickly went back to being hot pink and inflamed.
I went through 3 cycles of steroids as well as a steroid cream the last cycle. The cream didn’t help. By my last cycle, as the steroids tapered down again, my symptoms flared up.
I went to a dermatologist and was prescribed a steroid gel which didn’t do anything to help. I was on my own again. The dermatologist mentioned that perhaps I was allergic to the Eucerin, so I gave up on that and bought a slew of all natural products. I smeared Vitamin E on at night and a mix of Eczema cream and shea butter during the day. I started taking Benadryl daily to reduce the intensity of the swelling.
After a couple weeks of that routine with minimal results, I went back to using Eucerin and saw immediate improvement. I got zealous and started taking Flonase 2 pumps/day as an OTC steroid remedy. My face got better for a couple of days and then took a huge nosedive for the worse. The rash on my face spread over the bridge of my nose and down my cheeks. It ventured over my eyebrows. It turned devil red, so bright that no amount of concealer would possibly cover the raw, swollen, skin underneath. After 10 days on Flonase, I decided to quit steroids altogether and let myself heal naturally.
It’s been a little over a week and I still have a bright red face. To top that off, I noticed that the Jojoba oil I was using to gently remove makeup had grown mold in it, even though it was only 3 weeks old! I thought that it was possible I now had a fungal infection on my face from the oil and that was why my face was reacting so violently. I started applying Lotrimin Ultra 2x a day.
I also started a Candida Cleansing Diet this weekend as a way to jumpstart my immune system. At the end of the 1st day I can say that I feel more energetic and my face is maintaining it’s current state–not getting worse. Also, the swelling is coming down a little bit.
I’ll keep updating as the situation progresses and maybe it will help some of you out there who are suffering from the same thing.
Here are a could of links that I read when I initally found out about hair dye allergies: