Rosacea. Left untreated, rosacea can get worse.
Rosacea (rose-AY-sha) is a common skin disease. It often begins with a tendency to blush or flush more easily than other people.
The redness can slowly spread beyond the nose and cheeks to the forehead and chin. Even the ears, chest, and back can be red all the time.
Rosacea can cause more than redness. There are so many signs and symptoms that rosacea has four subtypes:
- Erythematotelangiectatic rosacea: Redness, flushing, visible blood vessels.
- Papulopustular rosacea: Redness, swelling, and acne-like breakouts.
- Phymatous rosacea: Skin thickens and has a bumpy texture.
- Ocular rosacea: Eyes red and irritated, eyelids can be swollen, and person may have what looks like a sty.
With time, people who have rosacea often see permanent redness in the center of their face.
How do dermatologists diagnose rosacea?
To diagnose rosacea, a dermatologist examines the skin and eyes. Your dermatologist also will ask questions.
How do dermatologists treat rosacea?
To treat rosacea, a dermatologist first finds all of the patient’s signs and symptoms of rosacea. This is crucial because different signs and symptoms need different treatment.
Treatment for the skin includes:
- Medicine that is applied to the rosacea.
- Sunscreen (wearing it every day can help prevent flare-ups).
- An emollient to help repair the skin.
- Lasers and other light treatments.
- Antibiotics (applied to the skin and pills).
Dermatologists can remove the thickening skin that appears on the nose and other parts of the face with:
- Dermabrasion (procedure that removes skin).
- Electrocautery (procedure that sends electric current into the skin to treat it).
When rosacea affects the eyes, a dermatologist may give you instructions for washing the eyelids several times a day and a prescription for eye medicine.
There is no cure for rosacea. People often have rosacea for years.
In one study, researchers asked 48 people who had seen a dermatologist for rosacea about their rosacea. More than half (52 percent) had rosacea that came and went. These people had had rosacea for an average of 13 years. The rest of the people (48 percent) had seen their rosacea clear. People who saw their rosacea clear had rosacea for an average of 9 years.
Some people have rosacea flare-ups for life. Treatment can prevent the rosacea from getting worse. Treatment also can reduce the acne-like breakouts, redness, and the number of flare-ups.
To get the best results, people with rosacea also should learn what triggers their rosacea, try to avoid these triggers, and follow a rosacea skin-care plan.