Rosacea Review - Newsletter of the National Rosacea SocietyRosacea Review - Newsletter of the National Rosacea Society

Q&A: Eyelash Loss & Migraine Headaches

Q. I’ve been treated for rosacea for almost a year, and my eyelashes are almost nonexistent. Could this be connected to the rosacea?

A. Rosacea patients who suffer from the eye symptoms of subtype 4 (ocular) rosacea may experience blockage of oil glands, inflammation and crusting around the eyelashes.

If you haven’t already done so, you should see your eye doctor for diagnosis and appropriate care. This may include gently washing your eyelids every morning with lukewarm water and baby shampoo to help prevent crusting and blockage, or you may require more advanced treatment.

Q. I get migraine headaches when I have a flare-up. Is this normal for rosacea sufferers?

A. Women with rosacea may be significantly more likely to experience migraine headaches than those without rosacea, according to a small Swedish study.1 The researchers examined 809 randomly selected office workers and found that 14 percent of the women had rosacea, and of these 27 percent also experienced migraine, versus 13 percent without rosacea who experienced migraine. The headaches were significantly more common in women than men with rosacea, and the incidence rose with age.

The authors speculated that because female rosacea patients are more prone to migraines than men, peaking between ages 50-59, changes in vascular reactivity caused by hormones might represent a reason for this finding.


1. Berg M, Liden S. Postmenopausal female rosacea patients are more disposed to react with migraine. Dermatology 1996;193:73-74.