Dermatology Information and Resources


Rosacea is a common skin condition that causes skin discoloration and/or bumps on the face. Associated with extreme blushing or a flushed face, rosacea is commonly mistaken for acne or an allergic reaction. Rosacea flare ups may persist for weeks or months before skin returns to normal. There are four types of rosacea: Erythematotelangiectatic rosacea, Papulopustular rosacea, Phymatous rosacea, and Ocular rosacea.

Common symptoms: Redness and visible blood vessels in your face. It may also produce small, red, pus-filled bumps. These signs and symptoms may flare up for a period of weeks to months and then diminish for a while. Rosacea can be mistaken for acne, an allergic reaction or other skin problems.[1] Erythematotelangiectatic rosacea: Skin reddening or flushing, and visible blood vessels. Papulopustular rosacea: Redness, and acne-like breakouts. Phymatous rosacea: Thickening skin and raised red or white bumps. Ocular rosacea: Looks similar to conjunctivitis, eye redness, blood vessels, irritation, swollen eyelids, and the formation of a sty. In any case, skin may appear swollen, dry, or very sensitive.[2] Some see spider vein like patterns on their cheeks.

Causes: Rosacea is most common in fair-skinned people and can be triggered by any activity or reaction that causes increased blood flow to the face. Activities such as exercise, drinking alcohol, stress, anger, embarrassment, anxiety, exposure to sunlight, consuming spicy foods, allergies, contact dermatitis, and some medications.[3]

Treatment: There’s no cure for rosacea, but a doctor can assess your symptoms and prescribe medications that may help reduce redness. Brimonidine (Mirvaso) is a prescription-strength gel that can help restrict blood vessels in the face. Azelaic acid and metronidazole are also useful topical products that help reduce redness and pimples in mild cases.
Other prescription options are antibiotics (taken orally) such as Doxycycline to fight bacterial causes of rosacea, as well as fight inflammation. Also Isotretinoin, (Amnesteem, Claravis, others) which is a powerful oral acne drug.[4]

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