Is It Safe To Put Hemorrhoid Cream Under Your Eyes?

Most people these days aren't getting enough sleep. There rarely seems to be enough hours in the day for all the things we have to do, let alone the things we want to do. The results are sleepless nights. Our eyes bear the telltale signs the next morning, whether dark rings under our eyes, wrinkles at the corners, or swollen bags that announce just how tired we are no matter how much coffee we drink.

To combat these effects, we can turn to a multitude of products on the market designed to hide the bags under our eyes. Even when we get enough sleep, those same products promise to reduce signs of aging and stress, which can leave the same marks. Despite all these options, however, some people still turn to hemorrhoid cream when they want a little under-eye pick-me-up.

This is partly because it's a go-to practice among celebrities. Speaking to Today, celebrity groomer KC Fee said that it was one of the most common beauty secrets in Hollywood. But immediately afterward, she shared something most people don't know: there are some major downsides to using it. And medical experts agree.

It's not worth it

According to Healthline, people began using hemorrhoid cream as a treatment for under-eye issues because it contained live yeast-cell derivative (LCYD). This ingredient was never tested for use on wrinkles or fine lines, but it is known to promote healing from both wounds and burns. People ran with this knowledge and assumed LCYD had overall skin-rejuvenating properties, despite a lack of evidence.

Modern hemorrhoid cream no longer contains LCYD, at least not formulas sold in America. Preparation H and its generic variations are still touted as an under-eye treatment in spite of this. Now, however, it is the cream's phenylephrine content that people point to when asked why the product is effective. Phenylephrine reduces inflammation, which can reduce swelling and puffiness around the eyes.

But this same ingredient can lead to larger long-term issues. As Self explains, hemorrhoid creams can cause major irritation if they get into the eye. And it can cause problems for the skin as well. The Mayo Clinic states that prolonged use of hydrocortisone creams (and even one-time use for people with sensitive skin) can cause blistering, thinning of the skin, itching, swelling, soreness, drying, and a burning sensation among other side effects. Under eye bags and wrinkles can be a problem. But with side effects like this, it is much safer to stick to the products formulated for safe use around the eyes.