Rosacea is a recurring disorder primarily affecting the face. The symptoms of rosacea come and go. This disorder does not usually affect people who are younger than 30 years old. According to, up to 16 million Americans have rosacea and do not know it. There are treatments for this disorder, but the first step is realizing you have it.
Initial symptoms include red rashes on the:
Elizabeth S. Martin, M.D., who is a dermatologist with a private practice in Alabama, states that many people do not even realize they have rosacea because the symptoms are not constant. As the condition progresses, the symptoms worsen.
Rosacea can Occur in Areas Other Than the Face
Sometimes rosacea also occurs on the ears, neck, scalp and chest. As time passes, this redness becomes more visible and persistent; blood vessels may become more noticeable. If treatment is not sought, pimples and bumps frequently develop. In extreme cases of rosacea, the nose swells and becomes bumpy due to excess tissue (referred to as rhinophyma). Rhinophyma is more common in men than it is in women.
Individuals who have rosacea may also experience irritated eyes that appear bloodshot or watery. Their eyelids may become red and inflamed, stys occur frequently. If an individual avoids seeking medical assistance for ocular rosacea, corneal damage and vision loss may occur.
Fair Skin Individuals are at Higher Risk
While it is true that rosacea can affect individuals with any skin-tone, those with light skin, who are prone to blushing, are at greatest risk. Women receive a rosacea diagnosis more often; however, the symptoms men experience are usually more severe. Most likely this is because men tend to wait until rosacea is in its advanced stages to seek treatment.
Signs of Rosacea
Primary Signs and Symptoms:
Rosacea will always have at least one of the primary signs listed below:
- Persistent Redness on the Face
- Red, Solid Bumps (Resembles Acne)
- Noticeable Blood Vessels
- Pus Filled ‘Pimples’
Secondary Signs and Symptoms
- Burning or Stinging Sensations on the Face
- Eye Irritation
- Itching and a ‘Tight’ Feeling on the Face
- Rough Facial Skin that Appears Dry
- Thick Skin (Due to Excess Tissue)
- Raised Red Patches (Plaques)
- Facial Swelling
If You Think You Have Rosacea, Seek Treatment
Unfortunately, the cause of rosacea is not known and a cure is yet to be found. That said, there are medical therapies available that can reverse or control the symptoms associated with this condition. If you believe you have rosacea, you need to seek treatment from a dermatologist.
Because every case of rosacea is different, your dermatologist will create a rosacea skin care treatment regimen that meets your specific needs. Your dermatologist may prescribe topical lotions/ointments and oral medications. Topical medications treat the pimples, bumps and facial redness that is associated with this disorder.
Initially, your dermatologist may prescribe both oral and topical therapies. This treatment takes immediate control of the disorder. Once the disorder is managed, topical therapy and/or oral therapy maintains remission.
Oral antibiotics typically treat this condition.
More Invasive Treatments for Rosacea
Intense pulsed light, lasers and other devices can reduce redness, remove visible blood vessels and correct the damage done to the nose by Rhinophyma.