Rosacea: Frequently Asked Questions

If you are beginning to experience some redness, acne breakouts, and irritation on your face, particularly on your cheeks, nose, and chin, you should go to a dermatologist. Going to your dermatologist to determine the cause of these symptoms is important and while at the office, your dermatologist might diagnose you with a condition called rosacea. Here are the answers to a few frequently asked questions about rosacea, including how to find relief.

What Exactly Is Rosacea?

Otherwise known as acne rosacea or adult acne, rosacea is a vascular disorder that causes severe redness, irritation, and breakouts. Rosacea typically takes several years to develop and usually occurs in women more than men. Although rosacea is called adult acne or acne rosacea, the bumps associated with rosacea are not really acne.

What Are the Symptoms of Rosacea?

The most common symptoms associated with rosacea are severe redness on the nose, cheeks, and chin. However, there are four different subtypes of rosacea that a patient can experience. Here are the four subtypes of rosacea:

  1. Grade 1 rosacea. Flushed skin, redness, and blushing. The patient may also have a sensitivity to sunlight in this grade.
  2. Grade 2 rosacea. In addition to the redness and irritation, the patient will experience breakouts of pustules that resemble acne.
  3. Grade 3 rosacea. The redness and irritation are greater and there is also swelling and skin thickening.
  4. Grade 4 rosacea. Otherwise known as ocular rosacea, this stage impacts the eyes and can cause the eyelids to swell and the eyes to become red and irritated.

If left untreated or the rosacea progresses to ocular rosacea, the patient can experience blurred vision and sensitivity to light.

How Will a Dermatologist Diagnose and Treat Rosacea?

Your dermatologist will diagnose rosacea by asking you questions about symptoms and through a physical examination. Treatment will be determined by your symptoms and the stage of rosacea you are experiencing. For example, if you are in the early stages, you can sometimes find relief by regularly applying a topical antibiotic.

Whatever stage you are diagnosed with, understanding and avoiding your rosacea triggers can help prevent flareups. For example, some people have rosacea flareups after eating spicy foods or spending time in the sun. Washing your face with a mild soap and avoiding facial care products with alcohol or perfumes can also help you avoid irritation and rosacea flareups.

Rosacea is a common skin disorder that can be treated and prevented if you catch it early. Contact a dermatologist with any other questions you might have.