Medical Dermatology

Rosacea

Rosacea is a common condition characterized by flushing and redness in the central face area.

  • As rosacea progresses, other symptoms can develop such as permanent redness, red bumps (some with pus), red gritty eyes, burning and stinging, small blood vessels visible near the surface of the skin and, in some men, a bulbous nose.
  • Rosacea affects both men and women and occurs in all races, but most often in lighter-skinned individuals.
  • Triggers that cause episodes of flushing and blushing play a part in the development of rosacea such as exposure to temperature extremes, strenuous exercise, heat from sunlight, severe sunburn, stress, cold wind, moving to a warm or hot environment from a cold one.
  • There are also some foods and drinks that can trigger flushing, these include alcohol, foods high in histamine and spicy food.
  • Most experts believe that rosacea is a disorder where the blood vessels become damaged when repeatedly dilated by stimuli. Immune cells and inflammatory mediators can leak from the vessels.
  • There are four identified rosacea subtypes (which may overlap in the same person). Erythematotelangiectatic rosacea is characterized by permanent redness with a tendency to flush and blush easily, small blood vessels visible near the surface of the skin, and burning or itching sensations including sensitivity to many topical products.
  • Papulopustular rosacea is characterized by permanent redness with red bumps and pustules, all lesions that are easily confused with acne. Phymatous rosacea is usually characterized by sebaceous gland enlargement on the nose.
  • Phyma can also occur on the chin, forehead, cheeks, and ears. Small blood vessels visible near the surface of the skin may also be present.
  • Ocular rosacea is characterized by red, dry and irritated eyes and eyelids, as well as foreign body sensations, itching and burning of the eyes. The treatment of rosacea is varied and depends upon the specific symptoms of each individual.