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How To Deal With Ocular Rosacea

For many rosacea sufferers, eye irritation isn’t just from cool winter air or seasonal allergies. It’s ocular rosacea, a common form of rosacea that involves the eyelids and the front of the eye. 

So What Is Rosacea?

Rosacea is a chronic vascular disorder affecting the facial skin and eyes, often characterised by a chronic cycle of remission and flare. Regardless of severity, people experience cosmetic symptoms including flushing, redness, the appearance of red blood vessels, papules / pustules. As there is no cure for the condition, management consists of avoidance of triggers and using products that work to achieve remission, prevent flare and camouflage disease manifestations such as flushing and redness.


Our naturally formulated Rosacea Cream has been scientifically developed to treat rosacea. It's a low-irritant emollient cream that can provide moisture to the skin while creating a protective barrier. It works to alleviate dry, irritated, itchy, sensitive and red skin that has been affected by rosacea. Moisturising is important in order to maintain the softness and elasticity of the skin. This clinically proven formula has been scientifically tested to reduce redness, including naturally derived, purified ingredients that are used to soothe and hydrate the skin of rosacea sufferers.

How to use Graham's Rosacea Cream? 

There are two ways we recommend using our rosacea cream: 

  1. As a cold cream mask - use as a cleansing ‘cold cream’ by putting the cream in the fridge. This creates a cooling effect that helps to soothe irritated skin. Apply to skin affected by rosacea (leave on for 20 minutes) rinse off using lukewarm water, and pat dry with a soft towel. Follow up with your usual skincare routine.
  2. Everyday use - It can also be used as a rinse off cleanser and a soothing leave on treatment moisturiser. For best results apply generously to areas affected by rosacea at least 2x daily. Can be used as a day cream or night cream. If symptoms persist, contact your medical practitioner. Tell your doctor you are using this cream.

What Is Ocular Rosacea? 

Recent studies have shown ocular rosacea affects up to 60 percent of rosacea patients. This results in a watery or bloodshot experience, irritation and burning or stinging of the eyes. In addition, people diagnosed with ocular rosacea often have chronically bloodshot eyes, dry eyes and blepharitis. 

Symptoms Of Ocular Rosacea 

Signs and symptoms of ocular rosacea include: 

  • Red, burning or watering eyes 
  • The feeling like something is stuck in your eye 
  • Redness and swelling on your eyelids and at the base of your lashes 
  • Chalazion or stye 
  • Dry eyes 
  • Increased tears 
  • Itching 

Ocular rosacea affects adult males and females equally, with one study reporting an average age of presentation of 56 years old. It is rare in children and generally starts after patients hit their 30’s. 

What Causes Ocular Rosacea 

Unfortunately, the exact cause of ocular rosacea is unknown. However, immunological factors, micro-organisms on the skin surface, and reactive blood vessels are involved. It may also be genetic or caused by something in the environment. 

There are several common triggers that can cause rosacea to flare up. These include: 

  • Exposure to heat, sun, wind or cold 
  • Physical exercise 
  • Consumption of alcohol, hot coffee or tea  
  • Eating spicy foods  
  • Stress 


The diagnosis of ocular rosacea is usually based on your symptoms, your medical history, and an examination of your eyes and eyelids, and your skin. No specific tests or procedures are administered.

Three Different Levels of Ocular Rosacea

Ocular rosacea can be classified into three grades of severity: grade 1 - mild, grade 2 - moderate, grade 3 - severe). 

Ocular Rosacea Treatment 

Conservative Management 

  • Practice good eyelid hygiene - moistened Q-tips can remove debris and oily secretions from eyelid margins and lash line. Some eye doctors recommend diluted baby shampoo, while others believe plain water is best.
  • Warm compresses - applying a warm compress daily for around 5-10 minutes can improve flow of meibomian gland secretions, chalazion and hordeolum.
  • Artificial tears - reduce symptoms of dry eye 
  • Glasses instead of contacts - avoid wearing lenses if they irritate the eyes 

Topical Antimicrobials 

Anterior blepharitis can be successfully treated with various topical antiseptics and antibiotics including:

  • Erythromycin
  • Metronidazole
  • Azithromycin
  • Bacitracin
  • Polymyxin B
  • Fusidic acid

Topical Anti-Inflammatory Agents

  • Ibuprofen may be helpful as a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agent 
  • Topical steroids are used short-term to treat marked lid inflammation or rosacea keratitis. Long-term use of topical steroids should be avoided, as they can lead to glaucoma and cataracts.

Systemic Antibiotics 

The following oral antibiotics are used for ocular rosacea:

  • Tetracyclines such as doxycycline
  • Macrolides such as erythromycin

They reduce bacteria, improve tear film stability and normalise meibonian gland secretions.

Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplementation 

Oral omega-3 fatty acid supplementation has been reported to reduce inflammation in ocular rosacea and improve syptoms including dry eyes. It is believed that omega-3 consumption decreases inflammation, while a higher ratio of omega-6 fatty acids revs up the inflammatory cascade in our bodies. Therefore, maintaining a delicate ratio of higher omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acid consumption is ideal to decrease inflammation, which is a major component in the pathogenesis of ocular rosacea. Omega-3 fatty acids are derived from fish, flaxseed, and walnuts, while omega-6 fatty acids are predominately derived from plant oils such as olive oil, canola oil, and peanuts.

Looking for an easy way to include essential oils and fatty acids to your diet? Check out our Mega Oil.Containing 100% natural oil ingredients including Omega 3, 6 and 9, our oil works to treat gut issues that can contribute to skin disorders and overall health issues. We have chosen to use only seed oils as many people with allergies cannot tolerate fish oils that are predominately used for EFA's. These seeds give our Mega Oil a delicious nutty flavour.