Rosacea is a chronic skin problem that makes your face turn red. It may also cause swelling and skin sores that look like acne.
Symptoms may include:
The condition is less common in men, but the symptoms tend to be more severe.
Your health care provider can often diagnose rosacea by doing a physical exam and asking questions about your medical history.
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.
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.
Complications may include:
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's Cecil Medicine. 25th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 439.
van Zuuren EJ, Kramer S, Carter B, Graber MA, Fedorowicz Z. Interventions for rosacea. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2011;(3):CD003262. PMID: 21412882
Last reviewed on: 8/29/2015
Reviewed by: Laura J. Martin, MD, MPH, ABIM Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Hospice and Palliative Medicine, Atlanta, GA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.