Eyelids puffy, itchy, red
“No clue!" to the doc I said.
“I use good oils on my skin
Natural soaps from head to chin
I cannot figure out the cause,
My skin routine ? There are no flaws.”
Doc queried through a thoughtful pose
“Nail Polish maybe? Hands ? Toes?”
My puzzlement gave way to shock
“It’s my eyelids, not my nails, doc?”
I flashed my claws, gold and pink
"It’s my eyelids, Doc, that itch and blink."
“Connections happen.” A knowing smile
I, the uncomprehending child.
“Nail polish is for-mal-de-hyde.
A nasty bit they often hide
From the nails, through the skin
A journey hidden deep within.”
A journey from the hand to eye?
The When? The How? The question WHY?
Manicures are a $2 billion dollar industry. Clearly, many people are not willing to give up the polish. There is something about nail art that feels so good.However, nail polish with preservatives, solvents and colorants can be one of the most common causes of eyelid dermatitis. You may not be ready to give up your nail polish, but do be aware. You can purchase ‘5 free’ polish with no formaldehyde, dibutyl phthalate, toluene, camphor and formaldehyde resin. It is also best to stay clear of the metallic shades, as metals are common allergens. A reaction can occur immediately but can also take as long as 10 days to surface.
The longer the nail polish stays on the more risk of an allergic reaction. Best to use an acetone free polish remover. The toxins are not just transmitted through touch, but can also leach into the body. One main concern of leaching is TPP (triphenyl phosphate), added to the nail polish to make it less flammable and to make the polish stick more firmly to the nail bed. A desirable goal perhaps, but at what cost? The fact that we can absorb toxins through nail polish is the concern.
Be wary. If you are wearing nail polish and you do have dermatitis around the eyes, perhaps, if you come clean, your eyes will clear up.