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What is ocular rosacea?

Rosacea is a skin disorder on the face that can look like acne. It can also appear on the back and chest. A person's blood vessels near the skin become inflamed, giving a reddish, bumpy appearance. Ocular rosacea is rosacea that affects the area near the eyes. Aside from inflamed skin and swollen eyelids, people with ocular rosacea will also have dry, itchy, red eyes. They may feel as if there is something in the eye.
Rosacea (pronounced rose-AY-shah) is a chronic disease that affects both the skin and the eyelids.
People with rosacea affecting their skin may flush easily and have redness, acne-like symptoms or both, on their nose, cheeks, chin or forehead. People who have ocular rosacea (involving the eye) may have:
  • red or bloodshot eyes;
  • burning or tearing;
  • the sensation of foreign material or sand in the eye.
A non-contagious infection of the eyelids can also occur and may cause redness and swelling on the lids and at the base of the eyelashes.
More than half of people with rosacea affecting their skin have some symptoms of ocular rosacea. However, some people may have ocular rosacea without showing any skin symptoms.
Approximately 13 million people in the United States have rosacea. It usually occurs in adults (especially women) between the ages of 30 and 60. Although people of any skin color can develop rosacea, it tends to occur most frequently in people with fair skin.
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Ocular rosacea is a condition that causes watery, bloodshot eyes that may sting or itch and feel dry or burn. People with rosacea often have symptoms affecting their eyes, which increases their sensitivity to light. They also may have cloudy or blurry vision and frequent painful, red lumps on their eyelids (styes).

Ocular rosacea needs medical treatment by a ophthalmologist (a doctor who treats diseases of the eye) or a dermatologist (a doctor who specializes in treating skin, nail, and hair disorders).

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.