Rosacea FAQs

Rosacea is a common, chronic skin condition that usually affects the face, causing redness and the formation of small, pus-filled bumps similar to acne.

Who gets rosacea?

Most often, rosacea affects fair-skinned middle-aged women, often at menopause, but it can also affect men. Individuals with a family history of the disease are more likely to suffer from its symptoms. No cause for the disorder has been pinpointed.

What are the symptoms of rosacea?

The characteristic symptom of rosacea is redness of the skin, with other symptoms including visible spider veins, burning or stinging, small pustules, and eye/eyelid irritation. In severe cases, the nose can become enlarged and bulbous (rhinophyma).

Are the symptoms of rosacea constant?

No; rosacea symptoms flare up periodically, and tend to worsen over time, progressing through phases known as pre-rosacea, vascular rosacea, inflammatory rosacea and late rosacea. The first stage involves flushing and redness; the second involves the appearance of spider veins; the third involves pustules; and the fourth involves an intensifying of all prior symptoms. If the disease progresses to the eyelids and eyes, it is referred to as ocular rosacea.

What can trigger rosacea?

Rosacea symptoms can be triggered by a number of factors, including drinking alcohol, eating spicy foods, exercising strenuously, and taking certain medications. Emotional stress is a trigger, as is exposure to sun and extreme temperatures.

How is rosacea treated?

Mild cases of rosacea are often left untreated, and many people are not even aware that they have it. Depending on the severity of the symptoms, treatment may involve one or more of the following: topical ointments, laser treatment or electrosurgery. To treat ocular rosacea, oral antibiotics and steroid eye drops may be prescribed.

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