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purple2067 02-03-2006 10:36 AM

Dry eyes related to skin problems?
I have had dry eyes for almost 5 years. I have Meibomitis, but not really Blepharitis. I was treated with Doxycycline but I had to come off of it because of stomach problems. So anyway, there I was rolling along with the eye problems when all of a sudden a few weeks ago my face started to get red and itchy and burn a lot. I finally got to see a Dermatologist today and he said I have Sebhorreic (sp?) Dermatitis and a touch of Rosacea. We had a long talk about all of my auto-immune problems (MS and possibly Sjogrens) and he thinks that this is all related. He thinks that whatever is causing my dry eyes and eye allergies is also playing a role in my current skin problems.

What's up with that? We know that I have auto-immune problems, but I haven't really been able to affirm a positive diagnosis of anything except MS.

So what do you all think? Is it possible that my dry eyes are somehow related to this current rash of facial skin problems? (pardon the pun!)

I also have some dermatitis on my elbows, probably unrelated to my dry eyes but just gives more evidence of recent skin problems that could all be related to my dry eyes.

As luck would have it, I happened to find the one dermatologist who actually deals with a lot of auto-immune disorders too! He specializes in treating auto-immune diseases of the skin, and wants to keep on top of me to see if my recent skin problems are in any way related to my dry eyes.

Does anybody else have this? No Blepharitis, but Meibomitis and severe, severe dry eyes as well as dermatitis and rosacea?

Help me!

mike838 02-03-2006 01:10 PM

Re: Dry eyes related to skin problems?
Meibomitis is a form of blepharitis and chances are if you have serrobic dermatitis then that is your eye problem and if you have rosesa then chances are one or the other is the eye problem. I have serrobic blepharitis and mgd or Meibomitis. Its a tough condition to deal with and I have been batteling it for over a year on antibiotics without much luck. I hope this may help you out some I was also tested for auto immune conditions with no findings of any. What auto immune skin condition are they thinking. if its sjorgrins then you would have a dry mouth and nose also. My mother has severe sjogrins and some other auto imune conditins so I went through the ringer gettting tested but fortunatally is just mgd I say just but I am gland it not mgd with a list of other things. I hope you see some inprovement soon do you do warm compresses and lid scrubs too?

azebo 02-03-2006 01:23 PM

Re: Dry eyes related to skin problems?
What exactly is serrobic blepharitis? What are the symptoms?

Elyse, Did the doctor do any tests to determine that you had Sebhorreic (sp?) Dermatitis and Rosacea? Did he start you on any medication?

This stuff is all so confusing to me...

mike838 02-03-2006 03:52 PM

Re: Dry eyes related to skin problems?
serrobic dermitis is dandruff serrobic blepharitis is dandruff of the eye lash line. rosesa is a simmular condition it causes redness in the cheeks and facial flushing. both conditions can cause Meibomitis or mgd. I have the serrobic blepharitis but not the rosesa. just because you have rosesa doesent mean you have ocular rosesa though. The drs say its all treatable and can be controled but im waiting for it to work. be glad you have a dr willing to help I went through 9 before I ended up with a good one. I saw a dermotiligst and they said see the eye dr so I went round and round. but the drs in boston seem to be great at least this one cares about making the condition better.

purple2067 02-03-2006 04:56 PM

Re: Dry eyes related to skin problems?
I seem to have found a great dermatologist. I found out just by talking to him that his specialty is not only skin disorders, but he has a PhD as well and knows an awful lot about auto-immune disorders.

I am trying to find a clear link between my recent skin issues and my everlasting dry eyes. Maybe after all this time Rosacea is finally rearing its ugly head.

We know that I have Meibomitis/MGD. I don't have any flaking of the eyelids though. My eyes are just severely dry and irritated, no matter what we try. The Rosacea did not appear until very recently though. Isn't it usually the other way around? Doesn't the Rosacea usually surface first, before any sort of dry eyes? I guess I am just unique.

Missy, there really are no tests to do to determine if you have Rosacea or Sebhorreic Dermatitis. You just have to have a well trained, experienced Dermatologist. This is the first time I have been to this particular Dermatologist and he took one look at me and knew exactly what is wrong. Plus, I also have some Dermatitis on my elbows which would make it all the more possible for me to have it on my face (if you have it on one area of the body, chances are greater that you'll have it on another.) The auto-immune disorder most commonly associated with the skin is Scleroderma. I don't have that, but he thinks that all of my problems (dry eyes, MS, poor resistance, skin problems) are all related regardless. And I agree with him 100%. It's time for me to go back and see my Immunologist again with this new development.

Mike, I am sorry that your mother suffers so badly with her Sjogrens. Don't peop-le with Sjogrnes have skin problems too? I have not been positively diagnosed with it because my blood tests (ANA and SS-A/SS-B) have always come back "borderline". I *do* have some dry mouth, and I have had to have my nose cauterized several times over the years due to nosebleeds from dryness. However, the dry mouth and dry nose are not even one tenth as bothersome as the dry eyes are for me. Now I am also starting to get dry skin. Another reason to think that I have some other auto-immune thing going on that is causing all of this is that I have MS, which is believed to be an auto-immune disorder. If you have one auto-immune disorder chances are you have more. Maybe now that I am having dry skin too, something will show up in my blood tests that will finally put all of this together and concretely link my dry eyes to everything else.

I asked the dermatologist to send a report to my ophthalmologist, because maybe my new skin problems will shed some more light on my eye problems. My ophthalmologist is VERY interested in this, and is really concerned about what is going on with me. He really wants to figure this out, and he said he's really curious to see what a dermatologist has to say. I had been to one about 5 years ago but she really didn't diagnose me with anything because I was pretty much asymptomatic as far as my skin went. This is the first time I've ever experienced anything like this. Until now there has been ABSOLUTELY NOTHING that would lead me to believe that I have Rosacea or anything else wrong with my face. In fact, people usually comment on what a great complexion I have. Other than the occasional wart removal, I never went to a dermatologist.

I am just wondering how many people have had these same kinds of problems, particularly the dry eye and the skin problems (without having flaking of the eyelids) and have found them all to be related.

Unfortunately I cannot take oral anti-biotics for the MGD. We tried Doxycycline and I wound up with a lot of stomach problems. Also, I have a very weak immune system and my resistance is very low. Being on long term anti-biotics would only make that worse.

The dermatologist gave me a few different medications to use on my face and I have to see him in 6 weeks. He said that he can really only treat the skin condition, and to just make sure that the ophthalmologist knows about this new development and let him take care of the eyes. (Of course. :))

Even when I went to the ophthalmologist yesterday he noticed something wrong with my face. But he said he's not a dermatologist and he can't make that diagnosis. It is VERY clear that something is not right with my face! My skin is red and sore and itchy and flaking. Basically, my skin feels like my eyelids feel all the time (but my eyelids don't flake.)

The last dermatologist that tried to prescribe something for my face (even when I was not experiencing symptoms, she insisted that I had skin problems! Maybe she was right after all!) She told me to use Elidel cream, and to put it on my eyelids too! Since when did she become an ophthalmologist??? I never went back to her again.

So I know that the creams that the dermatologist prescribed for my face are not going to cure my eyes, but maybe his diagnosis will shed more light on the eye problems. I am also looking forward to discussing this with my primary care doctor and my immunologist to see what they have to say.

john10 02-09-2006 02:19 PM

Re: Dry eyes related to skin problems?
Hiya purple

I am in a simular situation, i have bad dry eye for 11 months but have only realised lately that i may have rosecea. The rosecea is not bad, when i get out the shower and exercise it is bad. and have had a bit more redness lately. But nothing compared to the eye symptoms. I dont have red eyes, but the problems may be occular rocesea. Is ocular rosecea and dry eye the same thing, just called occuar rocesea if occupanied with rosecea? Gamma linoceed oil (Borgae oil) is supposed to help occular rocesea. Ive had improvements lately, dont know if its this though. I live in the UK, and ive haf such a hassle getting help with eye symptoms that i dont really want to ask to see a derm, and was told i couldnt do anything because the rosecea Isnt that bad. I think you can defienetly have dry eye first, then notice rosecea. I have read that the severenity of rocesea is not related to the severenity of dry eye (you can have mild rocesea and bad dry eye, and the other way round), I think that if you improve one thing (treat) you may improve the other possibly. Im tring accupuncuture for all my problems at the moment, as they may be connected.

purple2067 02-09-2006 07:15 PM

Re: Dry eyes related to skin problems?
John, Ocular Rosacea and dry eye are not really one and the same. One may be accompanied by the other, but usually with Ocular Rosacea, you would have more Blepharitis and Meibomian Gland Dysfunction, not *only* dryness. My Rosacea is not that bad either, but my Dermatologist also said that I have something called Sebhorreic Dermatitis on my face. My face is itchy and peeling. So he is treating me for everything. I have known since my dry eyes started in October 2001 that I have MGD. But I don't really have Blepharitis. (my eyelids are not flaky) However, my ophthalmologist never really made any mention of Ocular Rosacea until my recent skin problems popped up. The reason for that being that until now I have had absolutely perfect skin for my entire life, and never had any reason at all to think that I would have Rosacea. AND, MGD and/or Blepharitis can occur without Rosacea as well. My dermatologist thinks it has got to be related, and now that the Rosacea is surfacing we can probably say that at least a percentage of my eye problems has something to do with that. I have not had a chance to talk with the ophthalmologist about this in depth (have not seen him since I went to the Dermatologist). But I will be seeing him on next week and we'll talk about it.

UCB2005 02-09-2006 09:18 PM

Re: Dry eyes related to skin problems?
Hi Purple - I'm so sorry to hear you're starting to experience skin problems. I think you are familiar with my story. I was diagnosed with ocular rosacea a couple years ago. I was pretty shocked. I couldn't understand why I had problems with my eyes but no problems with my skin. Like you, I've had a good complexion all my life - never any signs of rosacea. But my ophth. told me that the eye problems can come before you notice any skin problems. I'm just really careful now and watch my skin closely for any changes. I wanted to tell you about this product I've been using to wash my face - it's very soothing so hopefully it won't irritate your skin (it's soap-free, fragrance-free, etc.). It's made by Eucerin and it's called Redness Relief (there's a gentle moisturizing cream available as well). I even use it to wash my eyelids and eyelashes. I've been using it for about 3 months now and it has been great so far. Your dermatologist probably already gave you something to use on your skin, but just in case he/she didn't, I would suggest trying this. I know how sensitive you are to certain medications. That's a bummer you can't take doxycycline. It's supposed to be able to help your eyes as well as your skin. I was on doxy for over a year and it did wonders for me. But it doesn't always work for everybody. Okay, good luck next week with your ophth. visit. Hopefully he'll have some pearls of wisdom for you.


purple2067 02-11-2006 04:45 PM

Re: Dry eyes related to skin problems?
Thanks. :) My ophthalmologist (who I saw today as an emergency) told me to really start increasing the hot compresses and to start taking liquid flaxseed and fish oil. He said it all fits now. He too, told me that eye problems can come first. He said that Rosacea can lead to Meibomitis and the Blepharitis, so we've got to watch me really carefully now that we know I have Rosacea. I already have Meibomitis, but that's just the first stage in that happens before Blepharitis. The thing is that we caught the MGD very early and we have been treating it with hot compresses and hopefully it will prevent it from ever progressing to Blepharitis.

Has anybody ever *really* gotten this under control without the use of Doxycycline? My stomach is waaaaaaay too sensitive to take it for a year.

My dermatologist just told me to use a non-comedogenic skin cleanser, so I started using Cetaphil. It seems to be working nicely. But I avoid contact with the eyes. My eyes are too sensitive. I just use a warm washcloth to wash my eyes. He also gave me Locdoid cream and Noritate cream for my face. It seems to be working nicely. But just because it clears up my Rosacea doesn't mean my eye problems are going to go away. You know, dry eyes can be caused by Rosacea, so I just wish that the sutff that gets rid of my Rosacea could get rid of my dry eyes when the Rosacea goes away! Of course that's not logical, but it would be nice!

topher1181 02-12-2006 05:10 PM

Re: Dry eyes related to skin problems?
Elyse -

I'm hoping you remember me, but my name is Chris, and I use to post here constantly (with you and Donna...years ago). Anyway, I disappeared, but I stopped by here and it was nice to see an update on how you are I had to reply.

It sounds like things are making more sense for you. Are your eyes just as bad as they have always been?

Anyway, I plan on coming back here frequently again, so I hope to talk to you more.

purple2067 02-13-2006 03:34 PM

Re: Dry eyes related to skin problems?
Yes Chris, I definitely remember you! I'm glad to hear from you! How are your eyes doing?

Yeah, things seem to finally be making a little more sense. The Rosacea does not account for all of my eye problems (it doesn't cause allergies!) but it does solve a big piece of the puzzle. Until now I was just treating the dry eyes, knowing they are a symptom of something greater. But I never, ever, ever had ANY skin problems. I had a picture perfect complexion. Not a pimple, not a dry spot, not a discoloration, nothing. Over the past month or so I started noticing a lot of irritation on cheeks, chin and forehead. So I finally got to the right Dermatologist, and it just so happens that he is very knowledgeable about MS (which I was diagnosed with about 2 and a half years ago) and all the other auto-immune disorders. So far the stuff he gave me seems to be helping, but I'm afraid I'm going to have to use skin cream for the rest of my life!

Plus, Noritate (one of the creams I am using) says that it can cause pink eye when applied to the skin!

topher1181 02-13-2006 06:25 PM

Re: Dry eyes related to skin problems?
I've been doing okay. I kind of just gave up with the ophthalmologists, and my eyes, since nothing was helping. Ironically, my eyes felt a little better when I stopped everything. They aren't perfect, but they are tolerable...for the most part.

However, I have started up my quest to find my cure again and went to see an ophthalmologist last Friday. However, I told him my history, and he agreed pretty much before he even looked at me. And he also added, "I'll tell you it's dry eye, and you'll walk out of here thinking I'm an idiot and not come back." Is that any way to set the right kind of tone for a doctor/patient relationship? And I didn't get a diagnosis any more specific than "dry eye." He mentioned artificial tars, which I told him didn't work. He mentioned punctal plugs, which I told him didn't work. And he mentioned Restasis, which I told him didn't work. He shrugged and said there isn't really anything more he can do. Curiously, no mention of blepharitis or MGD treatment.

Apparently, I'm still having bad luck with ophthalmologists.

A couple years ago, the last time I saw any type of eye doctor, I had been told they didn't even see anything wrong...but I still felt it. And then another said I wasn't producing any of the oil from the meibomian glands.

I made another appointment for tomorrow at another place. I'm not telling this doctor my history, and I'm sticking with just this one. I've nearly run out of ophthalmologists in my area.

Anyway, that's where I am with all of this. I felt it was time to try and find a cure again. It's not off to the best start.


purple2067 02-13-2006 08:20 PM

Re: Dry eyes related to skin problems?
You live in the Chicago area, right? I think a while back I had given you the name of an ophthalmologist in that area who is a friend of my own ophthalmologist. He comes very highly recommended. I think his name is Dr. Senthil Krishnasami (I don't think I'm spelling the last name correctly, but I know that's how it's supposed to sound!) He's from India, I think. Was he one of the ones that you came across in your quest to find the right ophthalmologist?

You know, I hate when these doctors tell you that they don't see anything wrong with your eyes, so there must not be anything wrong. My doctor is the complete opposite. I went to him last week with a sticking pain in my right eye, and he could not find anything wrong. But he reminded me as he has a hundred times before, that just because he doesn't see anything that doesn't mean that my eye doesn't hurt. He said that more than anything, as a doctor he has to rely on what his patients tell him about their symptoms even when he can't see it for himself. I wish all of my friends here on healthboards could find a doctor like him.

Anyway, whatever happened with you taking Accutane for your Acne?

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