Rosacea Specialist

Rosacea is a fairly common inflammatory skin condition that affects a whopping 415 million people worldwide. One of the most common side effects of rosacea is ocular rosacea, which leads to red, swollen eyes and eyelids. At Watson Dry Eye Center, Susan Watson, MD, and her experienced team offer the most innovative treatments available for ocular rosacea, helping patients in Raleigh, North Carolina, find relief. If you’d like to explore your treatment options, call or use the online booking tool to schedule an appointment.

Rosacea Q & A

What is ocular rosacea?

Rosacea of the skin is a common problem that causes facial redness and visible blood vessels, typically around your cheeks and nose. The condition can flare up periodically, causing large acne-like bumps to form. Approximately half of the people who suffer from rosacea also develop ocular rosacea, which leads to red, swollen eyes.

Because ocular rosacea is an inflammatory condition, it causes the release of mediators that prevent normal functioning of your meibomian glands which are responsible for the oils in your tears. In turn, oil builds up, attracting and trapping bacteria, which leads to the swelling and redness in your eyes.

What are the symptoms of ocular rosacea?

The hallmarks of ocular rosacea are:

  • Chronically red or bloodshot eyes
  • Dry eyes
  • Itchy eyes
  • Swollen eyelids with a stye-like appearance
  • It’s important to note that these symptoms may appear even before the condition begins to affect the skin on your face.

Thanks to advanced diagnostic tools, Watson Dry Eye Center can determine whether ocular rosacea is the underlying cause of your eye problems and offer a variety of effective therapies.

How do you diagnose and treat ocular rosacea?

Watson Dry Eye Center specializes in comprehensive testing, analysis, and treatment of all conditions that lead to dry, itchy eyes, including ocular rosacea. To determine whether rosacea is causing your problem, Dr. Watson and her team analyze your tears and use advanced imaging to visualize the inner workings of your glands. If rosacea is a contributing factor to your discomfort, they offer a number of tools to bear that help you find long-lasting relief.

To start, Dr. Watson addresses your immediate comfort by providing you with therapies that relieve the redness, itchiness, and swelling. For a long-lasting solution, she offers intense pulsed light (IPL) therapy to address the underlying condition.

IPL works to constrict your blood vessels, reducing inflammation as well as delivering critical heat to reactivate your meibomian glands and promote a healthier, more fluid tear composition. The treatments are 10-15 minutes long and well-tolerated as she uses a state-of-the-art IPL device with a cooling applicator tip. Typically, Dr. Watson recommends that you undergo a series of IPL sessions, spaced several weeks apart, for the most effective relief from ocular rosacea.

To learn more about treating ocular rosacea, call Watson Dry Eye Center, or request an appointment using the online scheduler.

What We Offer


IPL has been in use for many years to reduce or eliminate skin discolorations, such as brown spots, age spots, broken blood vessels, and rosacea.

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A fairly common inflammatory skin condition that affects a whopping 415 million people worldwide.

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Dry Eyes

A condition that leaves your eyes perennially dry, itchy, and scratchy, and can even cause blurry vision.

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Itchy Eyes

Chronic itchy eyes are a severe problem for many adults, leading to excessive rubbing, vision strain, and daily distraction.

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LipiFlow works to remove these blockages to promote healthier balance in your tears and frustration-free contact lens experience.

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An inflammation of your eyelids. What’s not so simple is the number of problems that can lead to blepharitis.

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Red Eye

It’s not uncommon to wake up with red eyes after a poor night’s sleep or experience angry, irritated eyes when debris gets in them, but chronic red eyes may signal a larger problem

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Skin Tightening

There are two main conditions that affect the function and appearance of your eyelids, both of which cause laxity of your eyelids and an increased risk of dry eye disease.

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To ensure the safety of our staff and patients, we are now offering Telemedicine services for new patients and non-emergent cases. You can connect with our team in an affordable, convenient, and secure way using your phone, tablet, or computer. Information is kept private and HIPAA compliant.

Please call our office at 252-231-0424 to schedule your visit.