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Rosacea is a chronic rash on the face that is most often observed in adults between 30 and 60 years but it can sometimes be found in children and adolescents as well. It is common in those with fair skin. It may be transient, recurrent, or persistent and is characterized by its red color

Image of person with rosacea on cheeks

1. Rosacea could be caused by one or more factors.

Rosacea could be caused by genetic, environmental, vascular and inflammatory factors. Skin damage due to chronic exposure to ultraviolet radiation has a part.

2. Rosacea has a distinct presentation

Rosacea produces red spots and sometimes pus filled bulging patches known as pustules. Unlike acne, rosacea pustules are curved, dome shaped rather than cone shaped and pointed. Rosacea patients do not have blackheads, whiteheads or nodules.

Image of a woman with rosacea patches on face
Woman with rosacea patches on face

Three most common types of rosacea are:

  • Erythematotelangiectatic rosacea, characterized by red patches

  • Rosacea dermatitis, characterized by scaling

  • Phymatous rosacea characterized by swelling

General characteristics of rosacea include:

  • Frequent blushing or flushing

  • A red face due to persistent redness and/or prominent blood vessels

  • Red papules and pustules on the nose, forehead, cheeks and chin

  • Dry and flaky facial skin

  • Aggravation by sun exposure and hot and spicy food or drink

  • Sensitive skin: burning and stinging, especially in reaction to make-up, sunscreens and other facial creams

  • Red, sore or gritty eyelid margins including papules and styes

  • Sore or tired eyes

  • Enlarged unshapely nose with prominent pores and fibrous thickening

  • Firm swelling of other facial areas including the eyelids

  • Persistent redness and swelling or solid swelling of the upper face

  • Persistent yellow-brown raised spots and nodules

3. Rosacea symptoms typically involves your skin's immune response

The skin's innate immune response plays a part in the symptoms. High concentrations of antimicrobial peptides such as cathelicidins have been observed in rosacea.

4. Rosacea treatment begins with prevention

Rosacea patients are advised to avoid substances that cause facial flushing including spicy foods, oil-based facial creams (used water-based creams instead), topical steroids that aggravate symptoms, sun exposure and more.

Treatment focuses on managing symptoms, and may include a combination of oral and topical medications. These are aimed at reducing inflammation and redness caused by the enlarged the blood vessels.

A consultation with our dermatologist will help decide optimal course of action for treatment and ongoing management.

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