What is Acne Rosacea?

Does your face get bright red when you exercise?

  • Do you flush, blush and have a rosy red nose when you’re hot, eat spicy food or have a glass of wine?
  • Do you have adult acne and break out with pimples, but you don’t seem to have a problem with blackheads?
  • Does your skin have lots of broken capillaries in the crease of your nose and on your cheeks?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may be one of the many people who suffer from acne rosacea – argh!

This is the first of a four-part article series on acne rosacea. My goal is to give you practical medical information about rosacea. In this article I’ll present an overview of rosacea. Next I’ll describe the symptoms of rosacea in detail. We’ll then cover important general supportive skin care tips from my dermatology practice that help prevent rosacea flare-ups and maintain rosacea remissions. Lastly, I’ll discuss my approach to rosacea treatment, including medicines, procedures and diet advice.

What Is Rosacea?

Rosacea is a facial rash that’s technically a skin disease. It’s actually so common that I almost think of it as a ‘skin type’. I treat a lot of rosacea patients in my dermatology practice and I have mild rosacea myself. I see it every day in subtle and not so subtle forms and I counsel rosacea patients constantly; I treat it, I manage it and I work around it to accomplish a variety of goals for my patients. It is possible to have rosacea and still keep your skin looking healthy and attractive.

Acne Rosacea Overview:

Rosacea is a facial rash that occurs in adulthood and is a common cause of ‘adult acne’. Anybody can develop rosacea, but Caucasian people are most commonly affected, especially those with Celtic or Northern European ancestors.

There are three main rosacea symptoms and you don’t have to suffer from all three to qualify for the diagnosis.

Rosacea symptoms include

  1. pimples,
  2. ‘broken’ flush-prone capillaries and
  3. oil gland enlargement.

Both sides of the face are usually involved. In addition to affecting the facial skin, rosacea can lead to inflammation of your eyes, called ocular rosacea. The symptoms of ocular rosacea include irritation and redness of the white part of your eye (the sclera) and lash-line inflammation (called blepharitis) with itching, crust and/or irritation. Rosacea often coexists with seborrheic dermatitis, which I covered in my last post. Both conditions cause sensitive red facial skin and both respond to some of the same treatments.

Rosacea is a chronic condition that continues to confound scientists. We don’t know what causes it but doctors have treatments and advice that help our patients control the condition. In Part 2 of my series on rosacea I describe the symptoms in greater detail and  share some of my treatment tips that I’ve developed over my 25 years or so treating patients with this common rash.

My 5 Article Series On Rosacea:

What is Acne Rosacea?

What Are The Skin Symptoms Of Acne Rosacea?

Rosacea Skin Care Tips From My Dermatology Practice

Acne Rosacea; Dermatologist’s Natural Treatment of Rosacea

Prescription Medication and Cosmetic Procedures To Treat Rosacea

If You Found This Information Interesting, You May Also Want To Read:

Why You Might Have Broken Facial Capillaries

Photo: Gratitude & thanks to Mitch

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2 Responses to “What is Acne Rosacea?”

  1. Lisa October 23, 2010 at 8:42 am #

    Thank you for your great blog! Please, please, please cover the ocular rosacea. I have been treating my eyes with homeopathic drops for pink eye for a few years now. The light certainly came on with your short description of ocular rosacea. I have had a mild rosacea for 10+ yrs but manage to have healthy looking skin. Thanks again!


  2. Cynthia October 23, 2010 at 10:43 am #

    Thanks for your comment Lisa. I will briefly address ocular rosacea, but I defer to ophthalmologists for eye care; eyes are delicate and precious and as a dermatologist they are not my area of expertise. There is some interesting new scientific information on demodex mites and ocular rosacea and you may want to ask your ophthalmologist about it. Please see my September post on rosacea for more information about it.