UHealth - University of Miami Health System


What is rosacea?

Rosacea is a common skin condition that usually only affects the face and eyes. Characterized by redness, pimples, and broken blood vessels, rosacea tends to begin after middle age (between the ages of 30 and 60) and is more common in fair-skinned people.

The cause of rosacea is unknown. An estimated 14 million people in the US have rosacea.

What are the symptoms of rosacea?

Rosacea often begins with easy blushing and flushing of the facial skin. Eventually, redness will persist around the nose area, extending to the rest of the face. Rosacea has a variety of clinical symptoms and is classified into the following four types, based on these different symptoms:

Type Symptoms
prerosacea frequent episodes of blushing and flushing of the face and neck
vascular rosacea swelling of blood vessels under the facial skin, leading to swollen, warm skin (common in women)
inflammatory rosacea formation of pimples and enlarged blood vessels on the face
rhinophyma enlarged oil glands in the nose and cheeks that cause an enlarged, bulbous red nose

In addition, approximately 50 percent of those affected by rosacea will have eye involvement. Eye symptoms may include:

  • redness
  • burning
  • tearing
  • inflamed eyelids
  • sensation of a foreign object in the eye

The symptoms of rosacea may resemble other dermatologic conditions, such as acne. Always consult your physician for a diagnosis.

How is rosacea diagnosed?

Rosacea is usually diagnosed with a complete medical history and physical examination.

Treatment for rosacea:

Specific treatment for rosacea will be determined by your physician based on:

  • your age, overall health, and medical history
  • extent of the rash
  • your tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies
  • expectations for the course of the rash
  • your opinion or preference

The goal of treatment is to control the symptoms associated with rosacea. Treatment may include:

  • diet modifications (such as avoiding foods that dilate the skin's blood vessels, such as caffeine, spicy foods, and alcohol)
  • topical and oral antibiotics
  • glycolic acid peels
  • cortisone cream
  • laser therapy
  • dermabrasion
  • electrosurgery

Click here to view the
Online Resources of Dermatology

E-mail a Friend