What is Rosacea?

by Dr. Robert Benza, MD 29. October 2013 09:14

Many of our patients will come to the office with complaints which they describe as adult acne.  They often report redness and bumps or papules in the nose and face area.  The neck and shoulders can be involved as well.  Rosacea is an inflammatory condition which effects the glands in these areas.  Associated with the skin condition,  many patients develop irritating eye problems. Blepharitis, styes and dry eyes are common conditions which often are associated with rosacea. The oil glands around the eyelids can become inflammed making the eyes much more uncomfortable.
 
Flushing of the skin can make the appearance look worse.  It has a similiar look as the acne we often see in teenagers.  Alcohol, coffee or spicy foods can aggravate the situation.  Wide changes in temperature can exacerbate the situation as well.  The eyes may feel gritty and sandy and may appear red at times.  The margin of the eyelids (where the lashes leave the eyelid)  can appear red and swollen. Our patients often feel uncomfortable during these times.
 
Treatment plans may vary.  Local treatment with topical eye drops and lid scrubs can help the blepharitis and underlying dry eye symptoms.  Many patients are started on oral antibiotics for a few weeks to a few months to control the oil gland dysfunction.  Topical treatments from the dermatologist or primary care physicians can help
as well.  Even though rosacea is a skin condition,  many patients develop significant eye problems.  If you have any of these symptoms (or have been diagnosed with rosacea),  follow up with your eye physician for an evaluation. Remember,  protect those eyes!

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