The cause of rosacea is unknown. There may be a change in genes for some with rosacea.
Rosacea symptoms may be set off by:
- Very hot or spicy foods
- Sun exposure
- Extreme temperatures (very hot or very cold)
- Emotional stress or social embarrassment
- Rubbing, scrubbing, or massaging the face
- Irritating cosmetics and other toiletries
Frequent flushing of the face and persistent redness are most common symptoms. Other symptoms can be different from person to person:
Symptoms of the face, ears, chest, and back:
- Broken blood vessels
- Stinging and burning skin
- Dry, oily, or rough skin
- Acne-like pimples
- Raised patches of skin
- Thickened skin (rare)
Symptoms in the eyes:
- Redness and tearing
- Burning, itching, and dryness
- Sensitivity to light
- Blurred vision
There is no cure for rosacea. Treatment will help to manage symptoms. Treatment options include:
The first step is to identify triggers. They can vary from person to person. Avoiding triggers can stop symptoms.
Keeping skin healthy will also decrease risk of irritation. This includes basic care such as:
- Using moisturizer
- Sun protection with sunscreen with SPF of 30 or greater
- Washing with mild soap
- Exercise in a cool environment
Medicine may help to calm symptoms that do appear. Prescription medicine options include:
- Antibiotics or anti—parasitics pills or lotions
- Medicated creams or gels—to help manage acne
- Medicated creams or gels—to help shrink blood vessels near surface of skin and decrease redness
- Eye drops—to increase tear production (ocular rosacea)
- Acne pills—for severe rosacea
Surgery may help if other treatment has not worked. It can help to decrease redness and manage enlarged blood vessels. Options include:
- Intense pulsed light therapy
- Laser therapy
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
Edits to original content made by Denver Health.
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American Academy of Dermatology https://www.aad.org
National Rosacea Society https://www.rosacea.org
Canadian Dermatology Association https://www.dermatology.ca
Health Canada https://www.canada.ca
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