Rosacea is a chronic skin condition affecting the face. In the early stages it causes easy flushing or blushing. Redness may become permanent as the small blood vessels of the face dilate. There may be small, red, pus-filled bumps or pustules. It looks like a bad case of acne, and has been called “adult acne,” but it is not caused by the same things that cause acne.
Rosacea is a chronic illness that alternates between flare-ups and remissions at intervals of a few weeks to a few months. The cause for rosacea is unknown. If not treated, rosacea tends to get worse over time.
Some men with a more severe form of rosacea develop rhinophyma. In this condition, the oil glands on the skin of the nose become blocked and the nose gets bigger. At the same time, the cheeks become puffy. Alcohol may increase the flushing, but this condition is not caused by alcohol use.
Rosacea can be treated with topical gels and creams. Oral antibiotics are used for more severe cases. You should see improvement in the first 4 weeks. Dilated blood vessels can be treated with a small electric needle or laser surgery. Rhinophyma can be treated with surgery or dermabrasion.
The following guidelines can help you care for yourself at home:
Avoid things that make your face red or flushed, such as hot drinks, spicy foods, caffeine, and alcohol.
Exercise indoors or in a cool area to avoid getting overheated.
Avoid excess sun exposure. Use a sunscreen with at least SPF 15 or higher.
Avoid extreme hot or extreme cold weather.
Don't scrub your face. That will irritate the skin and increase redness.
Avoid harsh soaps or moisturizers with irritating ingredients. You may need to use hypoallergenic cosmetics.
Avoid over-the-counter treatments unless instructed by your doctor. Some of these treatments may make rosacea worse.
Try to figure out what triggers your flares (such as stress, sun exposure, or certain foods).
Follow up with your doctor or as directed by our staff. Contact your doctor if your condition is not responding to the medicines you were given. Getting treatment early can prevent it from getting worse.
When to seek medical care
Get prompt medical attention if you experience redness, burning, or a gritty sensation in the eyes.