Signs and symptoms of rosacea may include:
- Facial redness. Rosacea usually causes a persistent redness in the central part of your face. Small blood vessels on your nose and cheeks often swell and become visible.
- Swollen red bumps. Many people who have rosacea also develop pimples on their face that resemble acne. These bumps sometimes contain pus. Your skin may feel hot and tender.
- Eye problems. About half of the people who have rosacea also experience eye dryness, irritation and swollen, reddened eyelids. In some people, rosacea's eye symptoms precede the skin symptoms.
- Enlarged nose. Rarely, rosacea can thicken the skin on the nose, causing the nose to appear bulbous (rhinophyma). This occurs more often in men than in women.
When to see a doctor
If you experience persistent redness of your face, see your doctor or a skin specialist (dermatologist) for a diagnosis and proper treatment.
The cause of rosacea is unknown, but it could be due to a combination of hereditary and environmental factors. Rosacea is not caused by poor hygiene.
A number of factors can trigger or aggravate rosacea by increasing blood flow to the surface of your skin. Some of these factors include:
- Hot drinks and spicy foods
- Temperature extremes
- Sunlight or wind
- Drugs that dilate blood vessels, including some blood pressure medications
Anyone can develop rosacea. But you may be more likely to develop it if you:
- Are a woman
- Have fair skin, particularly if it has been damaged by the sun
- Are over age 30
- Have a family history of rosacea
In severe and rare cases, the oil glands (sebaceous glands) in your nose and sometimes your cheeks become enlarged, resulting in a buildup of tissue on and around your nose — a condition called rhinophyma (rie-no-FIE-muh). This complication is much more common in men and develops slowly over a period of years.
Aug. 18, 2016
- Goldsmith LA, et al., eds. Rosacea. In: Fitzpatrick's Dermatology in General Medicine. 8th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://accessmedicine.com. Accessed June 20, 2016.
- Habif TP. Acne, rosacea, and related disorders. In: Clinical Dermatology: A Color Guide to Diagnosis and Therapy. 6th ed. Edinburgh, U.K.; New York, N.Y.: Mosby Elsevier; 2016. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed June 20, 2016.
- Dahl MV. Rosacea: Pathogenesis, clinical features and diagnosis. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed June 20, 2016.
- Ferri FF. Rosacea. In: Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2017. Philadelphia, Pa.: Elsevier; 2017. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed June 20, 2016.
- Maier LE. Management of rosacea. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed June 5, 2013.
- AskMayoExpert. Rosacea. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2015.
- van Zuuren EJ, et al. Interventions for rosacea. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. http://ovidsp.tx.ovid.com/sp-3.20.0b/ovidweb.cgi. Accessed June 23, 2016.
- Fowler J, et al. Once-daily topical brimonidine tartrate gel 0·5% is a novel treatment for moderate to severe facial erythema of rosacea: Results of two multicentre, randomized and vehicle-controlled studies. British Journal of Dermatology. 2012;1663:633.
- Aldrich N, et al. Genetic vs environmental factors that correlate with rosacea: A cohort-based survey of twins. JAMA Dermatology. 2015;151:1213.
- Questions and answers about rosacea. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Rosacea/default.asp. Accessed March 31, 2015.
- Isotretinoin: Drug information. www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed June 20, 2016.
- Colloidal silver. www.naturaldatabase.therapeuticresearch.com. Accessed June 24, 2016.
- Emu oil. www.naturaldatabase.therapeuticresearch.com. Accessed June 24, 2016.
- Laurelwood. www.naturaldatabase.therapeuticresearch.com. Accessed June 24, 2016.
- Oregano oil. www.naturaldatabase.therapeuticresearch.com. Accessed June 24, 2016.
- Gibson LG (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. July 12, 2016.