As though hitting the menopasue isn't problematic enough, now there's one more symptom that women often have to battle and that's eye eczema.

"The sudden drop in oestrogen at the onset of the menopause can cause menopasual skin to become drier, itchier and much more sensitive to skin reactions and the skin around the eye area is often the first place to be affected as ths skin is so fragil and thin in that area," says consultant dermatoligist Dr Eva Melegh.

General statistics report that about 1 in 10 people suffer from atopic skin and eczema, however a recent survey by the Skin Life Science Foundation found that in the UK, eczema has recently increased by almost 400%, with a shocking 44% of people surveyed experiencing atopic skin issues with eye eczema being most common in perimenopaual skin and menopausal skin.

Steroids should not be used around the eye area due to the thinness of the skin and the proximity to eye but effective alternatives are pretty thin on the ground when it comes to eye eczema.

Phytosteroids (which are plant-derived steroid-like components) can offer anti-inflammatory action on eye eczema without the undesirable side-effects of steroids. Many trials on these plant steroids prove their efficacy to reduce itching and inflammation in skin.

Serena, 55, a divorced property manager from Leeds, found herself with 'toad eyes' at the onset of her menopause and after months of suffering and when nothing from her GP had to offer her was suitable, she discovered Hydrosil Dry Dye Gel which cleared up her red, swollen and itchy eyes within a matter of days.

Serena says:

“Until the start of this year I’d never had any issues with my skin, which has been one of my best assets. But in January this year my eye lids started to swell and were very red. I felt and looked awful and had to wear sunglasses outside to mask it all even though it was the middle of winter. My eyelids became extremely sore and very itchy in a matter of weeks. I didn’t know what was happening to me.

I tried Vaseline, organic Aloe Vera gel and then after a visit to my GP because nothing was clearing it up I was prescribed hydrocortisone 1% cream.

I used the hydrocortisone for the whole month before contacting my GP to explain it was having no effect and in fact was actually making it slightly worse.  I also explained I was very concerned because the cream was actually not recommended for prolonged use especially on the eye area as it can permanently discolour and damage the skin as its so thin near the eyes. I was very upset and anxious when my GP just prescribed me another tube of the hydrocortisone cream and was told there were not really many other options.

After my consultation I decided I must start researching for myself to find something to help me as my GP was only offering the steroid option.

I had to attend a family funeral while all this was going on and I was very self-conscious about my awful red, swollen eyes. Everyone kept asking me if I was alright, it was really embarrassing.

After a while I just started apologising in advance to everyone I met for my ' demon eyes' which I told them has literally just appeared without warning.

I was on the brink of looking into allergy testing when during some google research I came across some stories on a few women who appeared to have had a very similar experience during the progression of their menopause and had found this eye gel, Hydrosil Dry Eye Gel, that had hugely helped their symptoms and was made with plant steroids which were more suitable for use around the eyes but had a similar effect.

There was also a dermatologist commenting about the link between eye eczema and menopause and that was when it dawned on me how common the link was between menopause and eye eczema was and so I went back to my GP with this theory who agreed this could in fact be the cause. 

I knew instantly I must try the eye gel they had sworn by as everything they described was exactly what had happened to me.  It was the best thing I ever did.

The eye gel was instantly soothing and practically eradicated the problem within a few days. Within a day the itching had stopped, by the end of the first week the redness and swelling was practically gone.

My awful red swollen 'toad' eyes were back to normal after months suffering, doctor visits and trying endless products that did nothing or made them even worse.

The relief was incredible. I really think this product should be available on NHS  and that doctors need to be more educated on the connection between eye eczema and menopause and offer more suitable treatments for it other than steroids, which specifically say not to use around the eye area.

If I had been informed about this eye gel earlier I would not have had to suffer months of pain and anguish. It was the only thing that worked on my eyes and I will always have this with me in my handbag.”