What Is Rosacea?

Rosacea is a skin condition that causes redness and small red bumps on the nose and cheeks and eventually spreads to the jawline, forehead, chest and back.

It can also cause your eyes to become dry or irritated and the skin on your nose to thicken.

There are four types of rosacea and they include:

  • Erythematotelangiectatic rosacea: This type of rosacea is characterized by redness, flushing and visible blood vessels
  • Papulopustular rosacea: This type features swelling and acne-like pimples in addition to redness
  • Phymatous rosacea: This type of rosacea is characterized by your facial skin thickening and having a bumpy texture
  • Ocular rosacea: Dry, irritated, red eyes and swollen eyelids with sty-like bumps are known as ocular rosacea.

It’s estimated that more than 14 million Americans have rosacea with most being women over the age of 30. 


An estimated 16 million Americans have rosacea, however only a small fraction are actually being being treated for this skin condition.

Signs and Symptoms of Rosacea

Rosacea has many symptoms that range widely from person to person.

The symptoms of rosacea may include:

  • Redness across the cheeks and nose
  • Tiny broken blood vessels
  • Acne-like breakouts or raised patches
  • Oily skin
  • Bumpy skin texture
  • Thickened, red skin on the nose and occasionally other parts of the face
  • Swelling
  • Sensitive skin
  • Stinging and burning
  • Dry, rough or scaly skin

Symptoms of ocular rosacea may include:

  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Extreme dryness that brings on watering
  • Gritty feeling in the eyes
  • Burning and stinging
  • Blurry vision
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Itching
  • Stys or small cysts

Causes of Rosacea

The exact cause of rosacea isn’t known, but researchers are working to determine its origin. It is known that rosacea runs in families, so there may be a genetic component to the disease. Other causes being investigated are:

  • Immune system: Some rosacea sufferers have an overreaction to a particular bacterium.
  • Pylori: A common digestive bacterium that’s normally associated with stomach ulcers may play a role.
  • Demodex (a mite): This mite is commonly found on the skin of the nose and cheeks, where rosacea first appears.
  • Cathelicidin (a protein): This normally occurring protein usually protects the skin from infection, but may cause swelling and redness in some people.

Rosacea triggers include:

  • Exposure to the sun
  • Stress
  • Heat or cold
  • Wind
  • Exercise
  • Hot baths or showers
  • Spicy foods
  • Alcohol

Rosacea Treatments

There is no cure for rosacea, but the right treatment can help greatly control your symptoms.

Our treatments for rosacea include:

  • Daily sunscreen use
  • Antibiotic cream
  • Oral antibiotics
  • Select prescription medication
  • Chemical peels
  • Microdermabrasion
  • Laser therapy
  • Electrosurgery
  • Identifying and avoiding triggers