Rosacea Overview

What is rosacea?

Rosacea is a common skin disorder which predominantly affects the central facial area including the nose, cheeks, chin and eyes (see incidence of rosacea). The symptoms of rosacea can vary between individuals. In the early stages, rosacea usually begins as redness on the nose, cheeks, chin or forehead - flushing is frequently observed.

Overtime the redness may become darker and more persistent. Blood vessels under the skin may show (known as telangiectasia). Left untreated a person with rosacea may develop bumps and pimples. In its most advanced stage, the skin can become thickened.

A condition known as rhinophyma may occur - the nose becomes red enlarged & bulbous. Rosacea can also affect the eyes and a subtype of rosacea, 'ocular rosacea' has been categorized.

Rosacea: Causes and Cures?

The cause of rosacea is unknown although there are several theories for which results from studies have been inconclusive:

Rosacea is a component of a more generalized disorder of the blood vessels

This theory could explain why rosacea sufferers have a tendency to flush.

Helicobacter pylori may play a role in the development of rosacea

Some treatments for Helicobacter pylori in peptic ulcer disease have been associated with improvements in rosacea symptoms.

Microscopic skin mites on the facial area may cause rosacea.

Demodex folliculorum are microscopic skin mites which may play a role in rosacea. The preferred sites for demodex are facial areas including the forehead and cheeks, eyelashes and external ear channels.

There is no cure for rosacea although the symptoms of rosacea can be treated and controlled.