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Rosacea

Rosacea
Acne - close-up of cysts on the back

Definition

Rosacea is a chronic skin problem that makes your face turn red. It may also cause swelling and skin sores that look like acne.

Alternative Names

Acne rosacea

Causes

The cause is not known. You may be more likely to have this if you are:

Rosacea involves swelling of the blood vessels just under the skin. It may be linked with other skin disorders (acne vulgaris, seborrhea) or eye disorders (blepharitis, keratitis).

Symptoms

Symptoms may include:

The condition is less common in men, but the symptoms tend to be more severe.

Exams and Tests

Your health care provider can often diagnose rosacea by doing a physical exam and asking questions about your medical history.

Treatment

There is no known cure for rosacea.

Your provider will help you identify the things that make your symptoms worse. These are called triggers. Triggers vary from person to person. Avoiding your triggers may help you prevent or reduce flare-ups.

Some things you can do to help ease or prevent symptoms include:

Other triggers may include wind, hot baths, cold weather, specific skin products, exercise, or other factors.

In very bad cases, laser surgery may help reduce the redness. Surgery to remove some swollen nose tissue may also improve your appearance.

Outlook (Prognosis)

Rosacea is a harmless condition, but it may cause you to be self-conscious or embarrassed. It cannot be cured, but may be controlled with treatment.

Possible Complications

Complications may include:

References

Habif TP. Acne, rosacea, and related disorders. In: Habif TP, ed. Clinical Dermatology. 6th ed. St Louis, MO: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 7.

Korman NJ. Macular, papular, vesiculobullous, and pustular diseases. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 25th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 439.

van Zuuren EJ, Fedorowicz Z, Carter B, van der Linden MMD, Charland L. Interventions for rosacea. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2015;(4):CD003262. PMID: 25919144 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25919144.


Review Date: 8/26/2017
Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.