Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Did You Know You Could Be Allergic to Vitamin E?

'cause you can, as I discovered the hard way.

I don't think it's possible to be allergic to consuming naturally-present vitamin E, fortunately, since it's a necessary nutrient and the effects of a vitamin E deficiency are pretty horrifying.

A vitamin E skin allergy, though? Oh yes.

See, sometimes I wake up with puffy eyes. This really only happens in spring, most likely because I have allergies. I can't sleep laying flat, so my puffiness isn't ever really that bad, but "none" is better than "a little" when it comes to stretching out your eye area. So, naturally, I did the first thing any self-respecting child of the internet would do when confronted with a medical problem.

I went to WebMD to make sure I wasn't developing some kind of eye cancer. Then, I hit up Google.

I came across this post on love your skin beautiful, and figured it was worth a shot. I've got vitamin E oil (it helps preserve the other oil blends I make), I've got eyes, why not? While Ashley Steinmann doesn't mention specifically using vitamin E for puffy eyes there, there are enough other sites suggesting vitamin E for the under-eye area that I figured I'd give it a go.

[caption id="attachment_3387" align="aligncenter" width="513"]Vitamin E capsule. It looks so harmless.[/caption]

There's only one problem -- while I may not have any issues taking in vitamin E in food, my body had zero interest in having it on my skin. Within a few minutes after applying it, my eyes began to feel a little itchy. It wasn't anything serious, so I chalked it up to my springtime allergies and went to bed. After all, it's just  vitamin E, what harm could it do?

Holy butts, don't ever let me utter those words again.

When I woke up the next day, my eyes were puffier than they've ever been in my life. The itching had subsided, but the pink, baggy puffiness was otherworldly. I would have taken a picture of it, but me looking like I crawled out of a sewer filled with TMNT-style mutagen ooze is not a situation I wanted to immortalize. How could a couple innocent drops of vitamin E do this to me?

I felt hurt. I felt betrayed. I felt like Kuato.

[caption id="attachment_3386" align="aligncenter" width="513"] "Quaaaaaid..."[/caption]

As it turns out? Allergic contact dermatitis from vitamin E is totally a thing. Not a common thing, not a thing I was aware I had, but a thing nonetheless. I didn't experience issues where I'd used it elsewhere on my body, but repeated exposure may make things worse (and the words "erythema multiforme–like lesions" don't really appeal to me). So... It looks like the vitamin E is back to being used as a preservative in my oil blends, and I'm back to using jojoba oil.

Do you have any tricks for preventing puffy eyes?

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