What is rosacea?

Rosacea, also called acne rosacea, is a chronic condition that affects the skin of the face, mostly in the areas where people blush.

What are the symptoms?

There are a number of symptoms, ranging from mild to severe, which vary from person to person. Symptoms can include:

  • Redness- This can appear as rosy cheeks or a mild sunburn. It is caused by flushing; that is, blood rushing to the face. If flushing happens repeatedly, the blood vessels on the skin dilate and become visible. This can appear as permanently red cheeks, or skin with visible blood vessels. These are sometimes referred to as “broken blood vessels” even though the vessels are not truly broken
  • Pimples- These appear as small red/ brown bumps, with or without a “white head”
  • Enlarged bumpy nose- this condition is called rhynophyma. It typically does not develop until the late stages in rosacea, and may patients will never develop this
  • Sensitive skin- skin is irritated or burns when creams, cleansers or sunscreens are applied
  • Pimples around the mouth or chin- these do not go away with acne treatments

To control your rosacea, it is very important to figure out what things trigger rosacea in you, and then avoid those things. The triggers in one patient may not be the triggers in another patient, so it is often helpful to keep a diary of your flare-ups, and try to figure out what you may have done that triggered them.

Sometimes even a brief exposure to a trigger is enough to cause rosacea, so once you’ve figured out your triggers, complete avoidance of those triggers is usually best. Triggers can include: spicy foods, hot showers, exercise, caffeine, chocolate etc.

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