Patients are often surprised to learn that their dry, irritated, and red eyes may be due to a skin condition or their skincare routine. As a dry eye specialist, Dr. Mila Ioussifova has dedicated her practice at South Waterfront Eye Care to treating the root causes of dry eye disease, not just the symptoms.
Q: What is the correlation between eyes and skin?
A: Many of our patients who suffer from dry eye disease also struggle with skin conditions such as acne and rosacea, as well as loss of skin elasticity. It is estimated that 80% of patients with rosacea, which is a chronic inflammatory condition of the skin, also suffer from dry eye disease.
Q: What kind of treatment do you offer to those patients with rosacea and dry eye?
A: We have been treating dry eye secondary to rosacea with Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) for several years. This treatment, which was recently FDA approved for dry eye disease, has multiple mechanisms of action. First, it targets abnormally dilated blood vessels. By shrinking them down, it reduces inflammation on the face, eyelids, and even in the eyes. Second, it eradicates bacteria and demodex (mites) that are commonly seen in rosacea and dry eye patients. In addition, it stimulates the meibomian glands on the eyelid that secrete lubrication and improve tear quality. The benefits of IPL are seen on the eyes and the skin, which is a great bonus!
Q: Are there other dry eye treatments that also benefit the skin?
A: Yes! Radiofrequency (RF) is a skin tightening treatment used in dermatology and aesthetics, which we can now use for dry eye disease. This treatment, when applied to the eyelids, heats and unclogs blocked meibomian glands. Blocked glands, also known as meibomian gland dysfunction, is the leading cause of dry eye disease. Again, RF provides a treatment for one of the main root causes of dry eye, while providing skin and aesthetic benefits, like skin tightness, wrinkle treatment and prevention, and improving eyelid laxity. Another win-win!
Q: What else should patients know about their skin and dry eye?
A: During exams, we often discover that patients are using cosmetics or topical skincare products that contain ingredients that are proven to be harmful to the ocular surface and the meibomian glands. For example, products that contain Retinol for anti-aging or medications like Accutane for acne can cause meibomian gland atrophy. We offer skincare consultations with our advanced aestheticians who assess your skincare products and practices and offer solutions and treatments like Potenza RF Microneedling or Hydrafacial to improve the skin health and appearance without the harmful products.
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"Dr. Mila is a miracle worker. With her IPL and other treatments, I am symptom free of my horrible Dry Eye Syndrome." -Tenny G.
"Customer service was great! Thanks for taking the time to explain everything to me and helping me treat my dry eyes. Highly recommend this place." -Saydi S.
"So eye opening! The doctor and assistants were amazing! I have been wearing contacts and glasses for years and no other doctor had explained to me how to keep my eyes healthy. Very thankful that they took time to explain my tests results and treatment options." -Lindsay B.