Ocular rosacea. Can it only be managed?

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I've just seen an ophthalmologist, who diagnosed me with ocular rosacea - blepharitis and dry eyes caused by my rosacea.  He's prescribed eye drops and I have to follow a regime of eyelid hygiene before seeing him again in six months time.

I only use Skinoren occasionally, when I have a flare-up of pustules on my cheeks.  Am I right in thinking that using the Skinoren daily, even if I have no pustules, would keep the rosacea under control and may help my eye problems?  I'd also be interested in other's experiences of ocular rosacea.  Does it ever get better, or is it a case of management?

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3 Replies

  • Posted

    Hello Cheetah, 

    I too have ocular Rosacea. I have had rosacea affecting my nose for aobut 20 years, and have used a variety of creams and antibiotics to try to control it. About a year ago I started to have trouble with my eyes feeling gritty and dry and inflamed (Blepharitis). I then started to get a stye on the lower eyelid of  my left eye. this seemed to reoccur, and eventually I developed two  chalazions (blocked oil glands that keep the eye lubricated). After a number of visits to the doctors and using drops without much success, and having recurring problems, the doctor reluctantly referred me to an eye clinic (chalazion. lumps on their own are considered only a cosmetic problem now).

    The  ophthalmologist drained both lumps and said rosacea was the probable cause.

    The bottom eyelid has been ok since, but the same thing has happened to the top eyelid. It is too soon for another referral, so at the moment I am cleaning around the eye and applying warm compress two or three times a day. The warm bit is about trying to keep the lubricant flowing and not blocking the ducts.to try and stop the lumps getting bigger,

    So far, Keeping the eyelid and area clean ( I wipe the area around the eye and the closed eyelid with a drop of Johnson's baby shampoo,using cotton wool pads and then wipe it off with clean warm boiled water again using the cotton wool pads.

    This seems to keep the infection away, and the grittiness seems to have gone. It is just the lumps which I think will in the future need to be drained.

    I also use azelaic acid for the Rosacea on my nose, but of course this can't be used near the eyes, but I have found this to be the best treatment for my nose without using antibiotics long term.

    I hope you have success with your treatments.

    • Posted

      Thank you for your reply, Peter.  So sorry to hear that you've been having such problems with ocular rosacea. Thankfully, I haven't had any styes or chalazions, but have had a constant feeling of grittiness, itchiness and discomfort in my eyes for months and my left eye is rather inflamed.  I asked to be referred to the hospital, as, like you, I'd tried various eye drops with no success and I thought that the problem was linked to the rosacea.  My GP referred me, but said the referral may get rejected.  However, I'm pleased to say the referral was accepted and the consultant was excellent.  

      I'm using a TheraPearl eye mask twice a day - you put it into the microwave to warm it - and then I massage my lids and clean with a cotton bud and cooled boiled water.  I'm also using prescribed eye drops, without any preservative, as often as I need during the day.  My optician said that baby shampoo wasn't recommended so much nowadays (not sure why), so I haven't used that.

      Skinoren (azelaic acid) works well for me too and I use this on my cheeks mainly, where I sometimes get pustules.  Lovely, isn't it?

      I wish you well with everything and hope that things improve for you.  Thanks again.  

  • Posted

    Hello Cheetah,  yes, the awful gritty eye feeling, I know it well.  At first mine was thought to be linked with my Graves Disease, but then the dermatologist it was ocular rosacea.  I was also told to start off with the baby shampoo cleaning routine and use eye drops every day.  Have tried a few of those, some work better than others.  By the way, I hardly ever use Skinoren any more and have bought the IR intense serum from the Rosaliac range which helps against redness over time, which is far more gentle on the skin.  Good luck with your treatment,  Stefania

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