Weirdest Hangover Ever
January 18, 2009 11:22 AM   Subscribe

Has anyone ever gotten swollen purple eyelids or facial spots from being hungover before?

I had a birthday party last night and my husband drank quite a lot. This morning he woke up hungover, throwing up, you know, the usual. However, he also has, bizarrely, purple swollen eyelids and some rash-like spots on his face.

What could this be due to? Something unrelated to the alcohol consumption? Is this a frequent symptom of some common illness I've just never heard about? Is it a cause for concern or should I just let him sleep off his hangover in peace? Google has been useless, so I turn to the hivemind.
posted by aether516 to Health & Fitness (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Was he drinking wine? Some people are allergic to wine, red wine in particular. I know when I drink it, I get super blotchy and swollen. Usually not the day after, but everybody is different!

Make sure he drinks lots of water and watch him carefully to be sure he's ok, but it very well could be that.
posted by pazazygeek at 11:32 AM on January 18, 2009


Never happened to me but when my friend quit coffee cold-turkey (consuming up to two pots a day, common Starbucks employee habit), he developed open sores on his body.

As for the eyelids, it could just be the way his body reacts.

And for the rash, he's not the only one apparently.

I'd give it a day, keep him hydrated and if it doesn't seem to be getting better, go to a doctor.
posted by HolyWood at 11:33 AM on January 18, 2009

i have never had the purple eyelids, but i have noticed a sort of very light rashy-type stuff on my face before.

not positive at all, but...i feel like i notice this when the vomiting has been particularly violent. this is really vague, but i feel like its sorta related to what goes on in a hernia.

also, one time i had food poisoning, and i was vomiting, and then of course dry heaving. it was very bad. my eyes got *very* bloodshot (even got a tiny little bloody spot that went away after a few days), and i had the same slightly rashy look on my face.

i am guessing it comes from the pressures various parts of your head are subjected to when you vomit. i could be *totally* wrong, of course.

IMO, the "rash" i have noticed seems very similar to bloodshot eyes, only on the face.

hope this helpsjust throwing all that out there.
posted by gcat at 11:41 AM on January 18, 2009

oh yeah, i meant to say that perhaps you can burst capillaries in your face by vomiting violently. not sure at all, though, just sharing.
posted by gcat at 11:43 AM on January 18, 2009

I get tiny purple and red spots around my eyes when I throw up, alcohol related or not. It is, apparently, burst blood vessels from the force of throwing up. They usually fade within a couple of days. My eyelids also swell a little when I drink due to dehydration and if he's throwing up he's going to be even more dehydrated.

Have him drink some water or gatorade or coconut water to rehydrate. If he's self-conscious about his puffy eyes there are numerous cosmetic products and home remedies (cucumber, cold tea bags etc) that will minimize his puffery.
posted by tinamonster at 11:44 AM on January 18, 2009

Not to scare you, but a friend nearly died from ITP recently. He had to be rushed to the hospital and it was a near thing. Symptoms, including a picture.
posted by gudrun at 11:48 AM on January 18, 2009

Your husband most likely has petechiae which are more likely from the physical stress of vomiting than the amount or type of alcohol consumed.

If he has severe bleeding from elsewhere (bloody vomit, gums, bloody stool, other random bruising) then be more concerned. But I'd see if this gets better by the afternoon or tomorrow morning. Until then: lots of rest and lots of water.
posted by ruwan at 11:53 AM on January 18, 2009 [1 favorite]

I get petechiae nearly every time I cry. It looks like exactly what it is- tiny broken blood vessels, all around my eyes. I wouldn't describe it as looking like a rash, though, nor do my eyelids get anywhere near swollen.
posted by MadamM at 12:03 PM on January 18, 2009

Yes it's just blood vessels being broken. It's happened to me a few times from vomiting and once from an arm wrestling match.
posted by zephyr_words at 12:17 PM on January 18, 2009

This happened to me once. I drank three glasses of wine, which isn't so much, but a friend offered me a very "special," dark purple wine from France, and I had never had it before. I was much more severely hung over than ever (usually I wake up fine the next day even after heavy drinking) and I had purple blotches on my forehead that I'm pretty sure were hives. I was completely fine after 72 hours, but the first 48 were hell (especially since I had to work that day hungover and subjected to the teasing of my coworkers).

I think it was an allergic reaction. As delicious as the dark purple French wine was, I'll NEVER drink such a thing again!
posted by xenophile at 12:56 PM on January 18, 2009

I suspect it's broken blood vessels too. Every time I do hack squats, I get petechiae in the form of purple streaks my shoulders, like epaulets. I've heard some lifters who get it on their face refer to "bench press freckles." This might help:


Petechiae: Pinpoint flat round red spots under the skin surface caused by intradermal hemorrhage (bleeding into the skin). Petechiae are red because they contain red blood that has leaked from the capillaries into the skin. Petechiae are quite tiny (less than 3 millimeters in diameter) and do not blanch when pressed upon.

There are many conditions in which petechiae may be seen. These conditions range from very minor to very major. The common causes of petechiae include local injury and trauma, allergic reactions, autoimmune diseases, viral infections that impair blood coagulation (clotting), thrombocythemia (an abnormally high platelet level), certain medical treatments such as radiation and chemotherapy, idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP), leukemia and other bone marrow malignancies that may lower the number of platelets, and sepsis (bloodstream infection). Petechiae are commonly seen right after birth in the newborn and after violent vomiting or coughing. Drugs such as the anticoagulants warfarin (Coumadin) or heparin, aspirin, and cortisone can also cause petechiae.
posted by aquafortis at 4:33 PM on January 18, 2009

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