New information about the causes of eye irritation in rosacea and proper skin care were among the rosacea-related topics presented to dermatologists attending the recent 71st annual meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) in Miami Beach.
Q. I’ve been treated for rosacea for almost a year, and my eyelashes are almost nonexistent. Could this be connected to the rosacea?
A. Rosacea patients who suffer from the eye symptoms of subtype 4 (ocular) rosacea may experience blockage of oil glands, inflammation and crusting around the eyelashes.
A new technique for improving the eye symptoms of ocular rosacea, a possible biochemical clue to its diagnosis and a potential link between Demodex and the development of corneal ulcers are among the advances from National Rosacea Society-funded researchers to appear in recent medical journals.
Soothing cleansing and other measures in addition to medical therapy may help relieve the symptoms of subtype 4 (ocular) rosacea, according to the standard management options for rosacea recently published by the National Rosacea Society (NRS).
"Gentle care in keeping eyelids clean is especially important in keeping eyes with ocular rosacea healthy," said Dr. Marian Macsai, professor of ophthalmology at the University of Chicago and a member of the consensus committee and review panel of 26 medical experts who developed the new standard options.1
A new study has found there may be a link between ocular rosacea and bacteria associated with Demodex mites, microscopic inhabitants of normal skin that tend to occur in much greater numbers in those with rosacea.
In the recently published study of 59 rosacea patients, Dr. Jianjing Li and colleagues at the Ocular Surface Center in Miami found a significant correlation between facial rosacea, infestation of the eyes with Demodex mites and reaction to certain mite-related organisms previously shown to stimulate an immune response in rosacea sufferers.1
A. While many rosacea patients are affected by environmental factors that change with the seasons, what affects one person may not affect another. It may be that you are particularly sensitive to wind or frigid weather and these winter elements aggravate your rosacea.
Robert Angsten, an Arizona retiree, had symptoms of rosacea for about six years when his wife first noticed some redness in the area of his cheekbones. A dermatologist diagnosed the condition as rosacea. Typical of older men, however, he was unconcerned about his complexion and viewed the rosacea as little more than a nuisance until it began to affect his vision.
Special care may be needed for rosacea patients with severe forms of ocular rosacea, according to Dr. Sandra Cremers, instructor of ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School. As part of a National Rosacea Society (NRS) research grant, she recently developed a scoring system to identify severe cases of this rosacea subtype, which may affect half of all rosacea patients.
Most rosacea patients who exhibit signs and symptoms of ocular rosacea can still safely wear contact lenses, according to a recent article in Review of Ophthalmology by Dr. Mark Mannis, chairman of ophthalmology at the University of California-Davis.1 He emphasized that if eye doctors take steps to minimize inflammation of the eyelid and the eye itself and to stabilize the tear film prior to fitting the lenses, ocular rosacea patients should not suffer any discomfort or damage to the eye surface.