Rosacea: Common Questions

Rosacea is a chronic skin disorder that causes flushing, redness, and inflammation on the face...

What is Rosacea?

  • Rosacea is a chronic skin disorder that causes flushing, redness, and inflammation on the face
  • Burning, stinging, and itching are common sensations
  • Rosacea symptoms come and go with periods of remission and flares
  • Rosacea is often a progressive condition, worsening with time
  • The first symptoms of Rosacea are often facial blushing and flushing that persist longer than usual
  • Although Rosacea cannot be cured at this time, it can be managed effectively

What are the main symptoms of Rosacea?

  • Flushing and inflammation on the cheek, nose, chin, and the forehead area
  • Dilated blood vessels on the cheeks
  • If mild, Rosacea may closely resemble sunburn or acne
  • Swelling, acne-like bumps, and pustules may form if the condition is advanced
  • In some cases, the eyes may become affected becoming dry and irritated (ocular Rosacea)
  • In very severe cases, patients may develop a bulbous nose (rhinophyma)

Who gets Rosacea?

  • Common disorder that affects nearly 15 million Americans
  • Most commonly starts between the age of 30 and 50
  • Affects more women than men, but men tend to have more severe symptoms
  • Affects fair skinned people most commonly
  • Those from a North Western descent may be more prone to this disorder--another name for Rosacea is "Curse of the Celts"

What causes Rosacea?

  • The exact cause of Rosacea is not understood at this time
  • Genetics play a major role in this disorder as this condition tends to run in families
  • More is known about environmental factors that cause Rosacea to temporarily worsen

What factors commonly trigger Rosacea flares?

  • Sun exposure in the affected area
  • Emotional stress
  • Heat
  • Wind exposure
  • Strenuous exercise
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Spicy foods
  • Hot foods or drinks

How do I treat Rosacea?

  • If you suspect that you may have Rosacea, visit a dermatologist; many other skin diseases can at least temporarily mimic the symptoms of Rosacea
  • Rosacea is generally diagnosed by sight and history of symptoms although a skin biopsy may be used to confirm a diagnosis
  • Topical treatments such as azelaic acid and metronidazole can help control the redness
  • Oral antibiotics may be prescribed to control moderate to severe Rosacea
  • In extremely severe cases, Isotretinoin (Accutane) may be prescribed
  • Alternatively, lasers or chemical peels may be recommended by some dermatologists
  • Sunscreen should be used regularly as sun exposure is a very common trigger for Rosacea flares