Rosacea Fact Sheet

Rosacea is a skin disorder that causes recurrent facial redness and flushing. Get the facts about this common problem here.

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If your face is red and ruddy, you could have rosacea, a skin disorder that affects approximately 5% of the U.S. population. Get informed about this common problem with this fact sheet:

Symptoms

  • Redness and flushing usually in the central area of the face (the forehead, nose, cheeks and chin), which may be either temporary or persistent
  • Irritated pustules that may resemble acne and may contain pus
  • Spider veins on the face that don't go away
  • Thickening of the skin on the nose that may make the nose appear larger (more common in men)
  • Eye dryness, irritation and swollen, red eyelids occur in half of people with rosacea
  • Burning or stinging sensation of facial skin
  • Symptoms may be worse with sun exposure, emotional stress, hot weather, wind, heavy exercise, alcohol, hot baths, cold weather and spicy foods.

Causes
The redness and flushing associated with rosacea is thought to be due to increased numbers of blood vessels close to the skin's surface. These blood vessels may dilate more often or more dramatically in people with rosacea, leading to increased blood flow to facial skin. The cause of these vessel problems is unknown, but there are theories that it may be due to an immune response to mites or bacteria on the skin, or may even be related to the amount and type of gastrointestinal bacteria.

Rosacea is more common in people ages 30-60, in women, in people with fair skin and for those with a family history of the condition.

Diagnosis
There is no specific test for rosacea, so your doctor will usually diagnose it based on your symptoms and the appearance of your skin.

Treatment
While rosacea can't be cured, some treatments may help control symptoms and reduce redness.