Rosacea, sometimes called adult acne, is a chronic inflammation of the face of unknown cause and without a permanent cure. Four different types of rosacea have been described:
“Redface” rosacea, with a tendency to face flushing (or blushing), which can progress to a persistent redness of the nose or central face
“Acne”-like bumps and/or pus-filled lesions (papulopustular rosacea), with or without a red face or flushing
Rhinophyma – slow enlargement of oil glands and skin thickening of the nose and sometimes other face areas, usually in men
Eye problems (ocular rosacea), which may occur before skin changes – a burning or gritty feeling may be present as well as reddening of the eyes and lids
Adults between 30 and 60 are most often affected by rosacea; it is more common in women and in fair-skinned individuals, although dark-skinned people may also be affected. About 14 million Americans have rosacea. In most people rosacea comes and goes periodically; in some, it gets worse with time.
Frequent triggers (things that increase face blood flow) of rosacea include sunlight, hot drinks, spicy foods, alcohol, exercise, hot baths or saunas, temperature extremes, and emotional stress. Prolonged use of cortisone creams on the face can also lead to rosacea. Some drugs may worsen flushing (nasal steroids, amiodarone, high doses of some B vitamins, tamoxifen, and rifampin).
If you have severe changes in appearance or symptoms that interfere with your daily life, you should seek care. If you have severe, persistent flushing, there are other possible causes of flushing requiring laboratory tests and should be evaluated by our clinicians at Smart Skin Dermatology.