Ocular rosacea is an inflammatory eye condition that doesn’t yet have a cure. You can use numerous treatments and remedies, including medicated eyedrops, to manage ocular rosacea symptoms.

Estimates suggest more than 5% of the world population has some type of rosacea, a chronic skin disease that affects facial skin.

Ocular rosacea typically affects people already living with rosacea. This condition can cause eye itchiness, redness, and irritation along with other eye symptoms, such as:

  • dryness
  • tearing
  • tingling and burning
  • light sensitivity
  • blurred vision
  • a gritty sensation
  • eye puffiness

If you have ocular rosacea, you’re at higher risk of developing more serious eye issues, such as infection and even vision loss. But managing your symptoms with the proper treatment may help keep them from getting worse and improve your quality of life.

Read on to get the details on treatments and home remedies for ocular rosacea.

There’s no cure for rosacea, but treatment can often help relieve symptoms.

Options for treating ocular rosacea include:

Artificial tears

Artificial tears, also called lubricating eye drops, may help ease the irritation and dryness that often comes with ocular rosacea. You can often treat milder rosacea with over-the-counter (OTC) artificial tears.

For more severe cases, you may want to work with your care team to get a prescription for stronger eye drops, such as cyclosporine (Restasis) or lifitegrast (Xiidra).

Steroid eye drops

Steroid eye drops prescribed by a healthcare professional may help soothe inflammation and control symptoms of ocular rosacea.

These medications may include loteprednol etabonate (Lotemax, Alrex) or Pred Forte (prednisolone acetate).

Keep in mind that steroid eye drops are meant for short-term use only. Your prescribing clinician will give you more guidance on using them safely.


Your care team may also prescribe topical or oral antibiotics to treat ocular rosacea symptoms.

According to a 2016 review, antibiotics that effectively treat severe symptoms include:

  • topical erythromycin eyedrops 1%
  • topical cyclosporine
  • clarithromycin
  • metronidazole

According to a 2020 review, tetracycline antibiotics such as doxycycline may also help reduce severe inflammation.

Intense pulsed light (IPL) therapy

This type of light therapy uses different wavelengths of light to penetrate the second layer of skin.

A 2022 review and 2022 prospective study both suggest this treatment may help relieve rosacea symptoms affecting your eyes.

Several home remedies can also help you manage ocular rosacea symptoms. These include:

Eyelid scrubs

OTC eyelid scrubs contain antibacterial ingredients that help keep your eyes and the area around them clean and healthy.

According to 2021 research, good eye hygiene offers a first line of defense against ocular rosacea symptoms.

Tea tree oil

Tea tree oil has natural antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that may help address rosacea symptoms.

Research has yet to support the effectiveness of tea tree oil for ocular rosacea in particular, but evidence does suggest this essential oil can have benefit as a remedy for several ocular conditions, including blepharitis.

You can buy eyelid scrubs that contain tea tree oil. Just be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for use.

Never apply tea tree oil directly to your eyes, and never apply it directly to your skin without diluting it first.

It’s always best to check with your care team before trying essential oils like tea tree oil, especially on the delicate skin around your eyes. They can offer more guidance on safe use.


According to 2021 research, taking omega-3 fatty acid supplements may help relieve ocular rosacea symptoms.

You can also try foods high in omega-3s, such as:

Avoiding triggers

Sometimes, you can manage rosacea symptoms by identifying and avoiding specific triggers.

Common rosacea triggers include:

  • extreme weather, such as heat, cold, or wind
  • drinking hot beverages or alcohol
  • eating spicy food
  • stress
  • running, biking, and other physical activities that may cause wind to hit your face

Keeping a journal of your daily routine and rosacea symptoms can help you start identifying your triggers. A dermatologist or other skin care specialist can offer more guidance.

Because ocular rosacea may potentially cause vision problems or corneal damage over time, it’s best to seek care from an eye doctor or other medical professional.

Routine eye examinations can help your care team find the best treatment for reducing inflammation and protecting your eyes from rosacea complications.

A doctor can help you develop a care plan that includes both prescription treatments and home remedies.

You can use many approaches to help treat and manage ocular rosacea symptoms, from maintaining good eye hygiene and using artificial tears to avoiding potential triggers like extreme wind or cold.

Because unmanaged ocular rosacea may cause vision issues over time, you’ll want to contact a healthcare professional as soon as possible. Timely treatment can help improve your daily quality of life and may help prevent serious symptoms in the future.