Rosacea Treatment
Eye Problems
Subtype: Ocular rosacea

If you have been diagnosed with ocular rosacea, treatment is essential. Without treatment, the rosacea in your eyes may worsen. In rare cases, it can cause problems with your eyesight.

Treatment for your eyes differs from treatment for your skin. A treatment plan that will help control ocular rosacea may include the following:

Stop wearing contact lenses: While the rosacea in your eyes is flaring, this is important — especially if you have dry eyes.

Eye drops: A medicine such as artificial tears helps to alleviate the dryness and ease the discomfort.

Eyelid hygiene: Most patients need to cleanse their eyelids twice a day for a few weeks with warm water and a warm compress.

Medicine for the eyelids: Your dermatologist may prescribe metronidazole gel, an antibiotic that you can apply to your eyelids, or a similar medicine. You apply the medicine to the edges of your eyelids once or twice a day. You typically apply the medicine for a few weeks.

Antibiotics: Some patients need to take antibiotic pills to clear their eyes. An antibiotic such as doxycycline or tetracycline is often prescribed.

What to expect after treatment
If the ocular rosacea is mild or moderate, it usually clears with eyelid hygiene and the medicine listed above.

When ocular rosacea does not clear or the rosacea in your eyes is extensive, you may need to see an ophthalmologist (medical doctor who specializes in the eyes).

After the symptoms subside, some patients need to follow a maintenance plan. This helps keep your eyes comfortable. It usually involves eyelid hygiene (described above) and using eye drops.

Many patients see their eyes clear with treatment. In one study, 36 out of 37 patients who took tetracycline as prescribed for 3 weeks saw their eyes clear. These patients remained free of signs and symptoms of ocular rosacea for 5 to 28 months.

The sooner you start treatment, the better your outcome.

More Information
What is ocular rosacea?

Baldwin HE. “Systemic therapy for rosacea.” Skin Therapy Lett 2007; 12: 1-5, 9.

Crawford GH, Pelle MT, James WD. “Rosacea: I. Etiology, pathogenesis, and subtype classification.” J Am Acad Dermatol 2004; 51: 327-41; quiz 42-4.

Gupta AK, Chaudhry MM. “Rosacea and its management: an overview.” J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol 2005; 19: 273-85.

Pelle MT, Crawford GH, James WD. “Rosacea: II. Therapy.” J Am Acad Dermatol 2004; 51: 499-512; quiz 3-4.

Powell FC. “Clinical practice. Rosacea.” N Engl J Med 2005; 352: 793-803.

Webster GF. “Rosacea and Related Disorders.” In: Bolognia JL, Jorizzo JL, Rapini RP et al, editors.Dermatology, Spain, Mosby Elsevier; 2008. p. 509.

White GM and Cox NH. “Rosacea and related conditions.” In: White GM and Cox NH. Diseases of the Skin: A Color Atlas and Text. China. Mosby Elsevier. 2006. p. 165-6.

Wilkin J, Dahl M, Detmar M et al. Standard classification of rosacea: Report of the National Rosacea Society Expert Committee on the Classification and Staging of Rosacea. J Am Acad Dermatol 2002; 46: 584-7.


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When rosacea develops in your eyes, treatment is essential.






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