Itchy red swollen eyelids is a vexing and annoying problem that I see mostly in my female patients, and the most common cause of this problem, believe it or not, is nail polish. There are only two things that touch the skin of your eyes—your fingers and your make-up, and it’s usually not your make-up. Nail polish only causes this reaction if you’re allergic to it in the first 4-6 hours after it’s been applied while it’s still drying because the chemicals are much more irritating in the liquid nail polish than in the dry nail polish. They actually change when they’re on your nails, and those chemicals, after 6-8 hours, are no longer irritating. So the next time you wake up with red swollen itchy eyelids, think about whether or not you had new nail polish applied the day before and, if you remove your nail polish, re-apply it and keep your hands away from your eyelids for the first eight hours and I’ll bet that that rash doesn’t come back.