What is Ocular Rosacea

Rosacea is a chronic skin disease that affects approximately 14 million individuals in America. Males and females can be affected by this skin condition. Ocular Rosacea is a complication of rosacea and affects the skin around the eyes including the eyelids. Generally rosacea appears on the face (cheeks, chin, forehead and nose), but it can show up on the neck and chest too. Rosacea is more common in women but it is more severe in men. It occurs more frequently to those of fair complexions, but it can show up on any skin color. Many individuals go undiagnosed and untreated because they are unaware of what they have.

The exact cause of rosacea has not yet been determined though scientists are trying to pinpoint the cause. Doctors and dermatologists treat the symptoms of the condition to bring relief and to lessen the severity of the symptoms.


Triggers for rosacea are known and they are: hot baths or hot showers, drinking hot drinks like tea or coffee, being exposed to heat from the sun, environmental factors like strong winds, and extreme temperature fluctuations or changes in humidity. Spicy foods can cause some individuals to blush and drinking alcoholic beverages can cause some individuals to appear flushed.

Ocular rosacea is common in menopausal women.

Certain factors can aggravate rosacea such as heavy exercising, consuming alcohol and taking hot showers or baths. Emotional triggers can have a negative impact on rosacea and include being stressed out, getting angry and being embarrassed. These factors increase the severity of rosacea making ocular rosacea more likely.


Individuals will first notice symptoms of rosacea and then report them to their doctor or dermatologist who will examine them and perhaps do a biopsy to determine what if any other diseases it could be. After other causes are ruled out, the results of the biopsy could reveal rosacea.

Symptoms will include red, dry, itchy, or burning eyes, excess tears, eyes that feel like they have sand in them, sensitivity to light; sometimes blurred vision is a symptom. Some individuals will experience red, inflamed and swollen eyelids.

The treatment is a two-punch method. One oral antibiotic is given along with a topical anti-inflammatory mediation.

Usually the symptoms of rosacea go hand in hand with the symptoms of Ocular Rosacea. In 20% of the cases though, ocular rosacea occurred without any rosacea skin symptoms.


There is no cure for ocular rosacea, there is however a treatment. The treatment plan is determined by the symptoms and the severity of them.

Antibiotics like tetracycline or doxycycline are the usually prescriptions for ocular rosacea. Infections of the eyelid must be treated with proper eye hygiene. Steroid drops are prescribed in very severe cases.

It is believed that reducing the skin inflammation has a positive effect on the relief for ocular rosacea.

The individual with ocular rosacea will be treated by both the dermatologist and the eye doctor. It is vital that the individual continue to take all mediations as prescribed. Vision problems can result from ocular rosacea. Understanding what triggers your rosacea can help prevent it from getting worse and possibly returning to ocular rosacea.