Rosacea – What is Rosacea?

송도피부과 Rosacea is a long-term condition that causes redness in the skin and visible small blood vessels (telangiectasia). It also affects the eyes, making them appear watery or bloodshot.


Your doctor may prescribe medications to help with your symptoms. These include brimonidine, such as Mirvaso or Rhofade, which narrows the blood vessels on your face and reduces redness. Ivermectin, such as Soolantra, is used to kill the microscopic skin mites that can contribute to rosacea.


Rosacea symptoms usually begin with redness that looks like a blush or sunburn. Over time, it may get worse and spread to other areas of the face. Visible veins on the cheeks and nose are another common symptom of this condition. Eventually, skin thickens, leading to firm bumps that resemble acne (pimples). This condition is sometimes called papulopustular rosacea. In rare cases, it causes the nose to swell and become bulbous (rhinophyma). Eye problems also occur. They can make the eyes watery, bloodshot, or itchy. They can swell the eyelids or the white of the eye (conjunctivitis). If left untreated, this can cause permanent damage and even blindness.

Scientists do not know what causes rosacea. It may be due to a combination of factors, such as abnormalities in the blood vessels or a reaction to microscopic mites that live on the skin. Some people are more likely to have rosacea than others. Certain things can trigger it, such as heat, spicy foods, alcohol, and stress.

There are four subtypes of rosacea. Your doctor will determine which one you have based on your symptoms and how they change over time. You should keep a journal of what you eat, drink and use on your skin for a few weeks to see what makes your symptoms flare-up and improve.


A dermatologist (skin doctor) can diagnose rosacea based on appearance of the skin and symptoms. If your eyes are affected, you should also see an ophthalmologist (eye doctor).

The main features of rosacea include flushing, redness that comes and goes (persistent erythema), visible small blood vessels on the face (“telangiectasia” or “spider veins”), pus-filled pimples or other bumps, and eye problems like swollen or watery eyes and a stinging sensation in them. Other symptoms of rosacea are scaly or swollen skin on the nose, cheeks, chin, forehead, and neck, thickening of the skin (plaque), and enlarged pores (dermatitis).

If you have a mild case of rosacea with redness that comes and goes, your healthcare provider may recommend over-the-counter skin treatments such as moisturizers, cleansers, or sunscreens. For more severe cases, your healthcare provider will prescribe medicines to reduce redness and other symptoms. These may include a topical antibiotic, an anti-inflammatory drug, or a medicine that reduces the amount of oil produced by your skin.

Other treatments, such as laser or light therapy and other cosmetic procedures, can improve your skin’s appearance. You may also need to make changes in your lifestyle, such as cutting down on alcohol or spicy foods, which can cause flare-ups. To help identify your triggers, you may wish to start a rosacea diary (available from the NRS). It can help you keep track of what makes your symptoms better or worse.


As with any long-term (chronic) disease, rosacea can cause problems such as low self-esteem and feelings of embarrassment or frustration. But medical therapy can help control symptoms and improve the appearance of your skin.

Treatment options include avoiding foods, beverages and skincare products that trigger flushing or aggravate your skin. Topical antibiotic creams or gels (such as tetracycline, oxytetracycline and doxycycline) can reduce redness and blemishes. These medications work by blocking the release of inflammatory chemicals by the cells that line your pores. Topical retinoids can also be used to clear blemishes caused by clogged pores. This is done by reducing the activity of the enzyme NADPH oxidase, which increases reactive oxygen species and causes inflammation.

Eye drops that contain artificial tears and a steroid such as ciclosporin can relieve dryness, redness and itching of the eyes. Rosacea can sometimes affect the cornea, which may become inflamed and damaged, a condition called keratitis. This can lead to permanent vision loss if it isn’t treated promptly.

In severe rosacea, the skin may thicken and swell from excess tissue, particularly around the nose (rhinophyma). This can make it hard to breathe through your nose and is usually more common in men. Plastic surgery or an ophthalmologist can often restore normal nasal airflow and improve the appearance of the nose.


Rosacea can be triggered by many things, including sunlight, hot baths, saunas and steamy environments, exercise, wind, spicy foods, alcohol, and stress. Certain medicines, like clonidine, lithium, and tetracycline, may also cause flushing in some people. The condition may become worse over time if not treated. It can have a serious impact on self-esteem. If you are concerned, see a skin specialist (dermatologist) and discuss how to control your symptoms.

Treatment options can include oral medication, creams and laser treatments. The goal is to reduce the frequency of flare-ups. You can help by identifying your triggers, and avoiding them. Keeping a diary of your symptoms can be helpful for this. Try writing down what you eat, drink and use on your face, and note when your symptoms appear and disappear.

It is important to wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen every day, especially before sun exposure. Make sure to choose a gentle, fragrance-free product that contains zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. A hat with a wide brim is also recommended. Keeping the eyelids clean can help prevent irritation and blepharitis. In very rare cases, rosacea can cause complications that affect the eyes, such as keratitis (inflammation of the cornea) or glaucoma (increased pressure in the eyeball). If you develop these symptoms, see your doctor right away.