PURPOSE The aim of this study is to identify and grade the severity of chronic ocular complications in patients who suffered from Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS) and toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN) treated in Cape Town, South Africa. METHODS A total of 54 patients with SJS or TEN for 6 months or longer were examined. The ocular complications were classified into corneal, eyelid and conjunctival complications. The complications were graded from 0 to 3 depending on the severity. RESULTS A total of 108 eyes were included in the study. Medications caused SJS or TEN in all cases, and the most common associated drugs were anti-retroviral medications. 59.3% of patients were HIV-positive, with CD4 counts ranging from 6 to 521. Although only 11% of patients with SJS or TEN had acute ocular complications during the initial illness, 89% developed chronic ocular complications. Loss of the palisades of Vogt was the most common corneal complication. Among the six components of conjunctival and eyelid complications, irregularity of the mucocutaneous junction abnormalities was the most common, followed by mild conjunctival hyperemia. There was no statistically significant difference in the severity of chronic ocular complications between HIV-positive and HIV-negative patients (P = 0.4). In addition, the severity of chronic ocular complications was not statistically significantly associated with visual acuity loss (P = 0.3). CONCLUSION We conclude that almost 90% of patients who are diagnosed with SJS or TEN will develop chronic ocular complications. Unless eyelids are severely affected, most chronic complications are mild to moderate ocular surface abnormalities and not necessarily vision-threatening complications.