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Evaluation and Treatment of Children With Ocular Rosacea

Donaldson, Kendall E MD, MS; Karp, Carol L MD; Dunbar, Mark T OD

doi: 10.1097/ICO.0b013e31802e3a54
Clinical Science

Purpose: To describe the clinical presentation and treatment of ocular rosacea in children, an often unrecognized entity.

Methods: Retrospective chart review of 20 patients (age, 22 months to 17 years) who presented during childhood with corneal pathology, lid margin disease, and skin changes consistent with ocular rosacea. All patients were evaluated by the Cornea/External Disease Division of a tertiary-care facility, Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, Miami, FL, between 1990 and 2003.

Results: Sixty percent of patients improved after treatment with systemic erythromycin or doxycycline and topical low-dose steroid preparations. Ten percent of patients experienced no change in symptoms with treatment, and 30% of patients had incomplete follow-up to determine success of treatment. The patients maintained remission for up to 4 years after a slow taper of systemic treatment. The mean length of follow-up was 19.6 months (range, 0-9 years).

Conclusions: Early recognition and treatment of ocular rosacea in children may improve patient outcome by limiting progression of corneal pathology, including scarring and vascularization.

From the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, University of Miami, Miami, FL.

Received for publication January 24, 2006; revision received August 18, 2006; accepted August 22, 2006.

Supported in part by a grant from Research for the Prevention of Blindness.

The authors state that they have no proprietary interest in the products named in this article.

Reprints: Carol L. Karp, Department of Clinical Ophthalmology, Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, 900 N.W. 17th Street, Miami, FL 33136 (e-mail:

© 2007 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.