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Rosacea on my face that's causing my eye problems?

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Old 03-22-2006, 07:38 PM   #1
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Re: Dry eyes related to skin problems?

Hi All

I have been reading this thread with some interest now. I have been suffering with dry eyes for about 10 years now however the last few years I have noticed that the skin on my face is also very dry. I am not sure if it is dry but it feels extremely sensitive that I hate any wind blowing on my face. I also have angular chelaitis which is when the corners of my lips are always dry and chapped. My scalp is also itchy. I don't have dry flaky skin on my face and my skin actually looks fine however it feels terrible. My eyes are the worst part as they are always red and swollen. I have tried every arteficial drop and steroid drop on the market as well as restasis. I have also tried doxycycline and punctum plugs. I have never found anything that gives me any sort of relief. I have also had tests for sjogrens about 3 times.

My question is that is it possible that I have Rosacea on my face that's causing my eye problems? I have made an appointment for a dermatologist in a months time so will see what he says. Is it possible that I have Rosacea with no redness on my face?

Thanks for the help.

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Old 03-22-2006, 09:45 PM   #2
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Re: Rosacea on my face that's causing my eye problems?

Rosacea is characterized by redness. If you don't have redness, you don't have Rosacea. However, you could have other skin conditions such as Sebhorreic Dermatitis that is related to your dry eyes. The skin problems can also come on much later, after the eye problems are already there. My eyes have been severely dry for the past 5 years or so and only in the past 3 or 4 months did I start to develop skin problems. Now I have both Rosacea (my face gets VERY red!) and Sebhorreic Dermatitis on my face (characterized by itching, burning, peeling, windburnt feeling)

Both my ophthalmologist and my dermatologist feel that my eye problems and my skin problems are all related to my auto-immune disorders. (I have Multiple Sclerosis and possibly Sjogren's Syndrome)

Do you have clogged Meibomian Glands and/or Blepharitis? That's the only way your dryness would be related to any sort of Rosacea or other skin problems. Rosacea would cause clogged Meibomian Glands (which causes dry eye) and dry, flaky, itchy eyelids. Skin problems would only cause dryness related to poor tear quality, not lack of production as would be associated with a Lacrimal Gland problem. Does that make sense?

My eyes have not really changed one way or the other since I started treating my skin problems. They will probably never change. But I have to say though, I am making remarkable progress with my skin since my last dermatology appointment. He gave me two creams to put on my face and I've been using them twice a day for the last 5 weeks. I'm 85% better.

Also, I had Chelitis once before. It came from my dry mouth. It was a fungal infection on the corners of my lips. I had to wrinse with liquid Nystatin for two weeks and apply Nizoral cream to my lips. My doctor said it came from my not having enough mositure in my mouth, causing my lips to crack. You have Chelitis, so do you have dry mouth? If you have dry mouth and dry eyes and dry skin you might want to ask your doctor to check your blood for Sjogren's Syndrome. It's an auto-immune disorder that causes deficiencies in moisture wherever there is supposed to be moisture.

I hope I have been helpful.


Last edited by purple2067; 03-22-2006 at 09:55 PM.

Old 03-23-2006, 02:43 AM   #3
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Re: Rosacea on my face that's causing my eye problems?

There is such a thing as ocular rosacia.

Old 03-23-2006, 04:09 PM   #4
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Re: Rosacea on my face that's causing my eye problems?

Hi Purple

Thank you very much for your reply. To answer your question, I do have clogged Meibomian Glands and Blepharitis. The blepharitis has been really bad the last couple of weeks. My glands are all blocked and the eye specialist even took digital photos to show me how blocked they were. I have had tests for sjogrens 3 times in the last few years and I was also sent for a saliva test by an immunologist whom also thought I had sjogrens. All tests have come back negative. I do have that itching burning feeling that you mentioned below put I don't have any peeling. My face does look fine but very dull and never oily or greasy. It is the worst in the evening after a shower.

I have been told that I have a loack of tear quality and my eyes don't produce Mucin. This has also caused GPC (Giant Papillary Conjunctivitis). The last eye specialist I saw tried various things like doxycycline which I was on for about 7 months with no improvement. He also made me try Rosacea ointment on my eyelids as he said I may have ocular rosacea but the ointment just irritated my eyes more. He basically said that there is nothing more he can do until some new treatements come out this year. He will be using me for clinical trials on these new drops.

How do you know you have auto-immune disorders? All my symptoms seems to point that way but no medical tests can prove it. I seem to have all doctors and specialists confused over this.

Many thanks,

Old 03-23-2006, 07:40 PM   #5
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Re: Rosacea on my face that's causing my eye problems?

Do you use hot compresses for your blepharitis? What about eyelid scrubs?

You mentioned that your ophthalmologist gave you some cream for rosacea to put on your eyelids. Once a dermatologist tried to get me to out some Elidel cream on my eyelids because she thought it would help. I ran it by my ophthalmologist and he wanted to know what this dermatologist would do for me if the Elidel got in my eyes or irriated my eyes even more. He told me not to use it. I have to follow his instructions because he has never steered me wrong.

My doctors are very confused too. My blood tests always come back borderline for Sjogrens. But I still have dry eyes and some dry mouth and now the skin problems on my face. My immunologist is wonderful. He's written several books about Sjogren's. He said that even though my blood tests don't come back positive yet, that doesn't mean I don't have it. I tried to get a salivary gland biopsy but it turned out that the surgeon completely missed my salivary glands in my lip! He just took out skin! So my immunologist says that when I'm ready, he'll send me to someone else to try again.

I also have very poor immunity to illnesses. No matter how many multi-vitamins and vitamin C I take, if someone on the next block sneezes, I catch their cold. I live with my parents right now and I told them that the next time one of them gets sick, I'm going to a hotel!

The thing is, we know I have MS. All of my tests for that are 100% positive. MS is an auto-immune disorder that affects the brain and central nervous system. All of my doctors say that auto-immune disorders go hand in hand with each other, and that if you have one it is very likely that you have another.

My immunologist has written several papers on the links between Sjogrens and other auto-immune disorders, especially MS. My neurologist also agrees. Even my dermatologist has experience with patients with auto-immune disorders (he specializes in treating patients with Scleroderma) and he said that it is highly likely that I have these skin problems because my immune system is so messed up. It's all linked. My ophthalmologist believes whole heartedly that my eyes are unable to fight off infection because my tear quality is so screwy and because my body as a whole has a very poor immune system. I've also got some Irritable Bowel Syndrome, which a lot of times goes along with auto-immune problems.

Old 03-23-2006, 07:55 PM   #6
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Re: Rosacea on my face that's causing my eye problems?

I also have Rosacea and it has gone into my eyelids causing dry eyes as well as blepharitis. Has been a long hard battle for past 3 years but right now doing good. The blepharitis has cleared and I now only have the dry eyes to contend with. My face feels burned and itchy frequently. I use Pond's Dry Skin Cream on damp face and it works well. I use SeaBreeze astringent on scalp to relieve the itching/irritated feeling. Sea Breeze astringent is what beauty shops use on elderly ladies itchy scalps and it works. I use Nutregena Liquid skin cleanser on face when taking a shower and in the mornings use Cetaphil Cleanser.

Doing hot soaks for 10 minutes morning and night using Johnson & Johnson baby shampoo in water then use cotton pads to scrub eyelids with. Washrag was too rough on eyelids. Using Restasis twice a day plus preservative free eyedrops has helped. Restasis does not moisten the eyes, need to use other eye drops 5 minutes after using Restasis. I use Refresh Plus, Refresh Celluvisc, or Systane, and Refresh PM ointment. I faithfully set a timer for 2 hrs and put drops in eyes on regular basis all day then used Refresh Celluvisc plus ointment at bedtime. I do have lower eyelid plugs.

Hope my experience will be of some help to you.

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