Rosacea Symptoms

The Stages of Rosacea - Associated Symptoms & Conditions

Rosacea has four recognized stages characterized by different features (signs & symptoms) which affect the facial area.


Frequent flushing of the face is a symptom which occurs in the earliest stage of rosacea. The forehead, nose, cheeks & chin can all be affected. A burning sensation may be felt, especially when cosmetics or creams are applied to the face. The face may also become swollen. Flushing episodes can be unpredictable and can arise through chemical, environmental, food or emotional triggers.

Vascular Rosacea

Vascular rosacea is a stage in which the rosacea symptoms of persistent flushing and redness occur. A characteristic symptom of vascular rosacea is the dilation of blood vessels under the skin & face. Small red lines may show through the skin - they are known as spider veins / telangiectasia (preannounce: tel-AN-je-ek-tay-ze-ah). The affected skin may also appear swollen & slightly warm.

Inflammatory Rosacea

This stage is associated with papules (pink bumps) & pustules(bumps containing pus) on the skin. Nodules in the skin may become painful. Inflammatory rosacea also causes persistent redness of the skin & telangiectases may be present.

Late Rosacea

Late rosacea is the most advanced stage of this disease in which the symptoms of inflammatory rosacea become more intense. The skin becomes a deeper red, and telangiectases become more numerous. Skin on the forehead chin cheeks & other areas may become thicker.

Rhinophyma a condition in which the nose becomes red, enlarged & bulbous may also develop during this stage. Rhinophyma is caused by the sebaceous glands beneath the skin of the nose becoming enlarged. Sebaceous glands are oil producing glands which secrete an oily substance called sebum.

Up to 50 percent of people with rosacea also have eye problems.

Eye symptoms include:

  • redness
  • dryness
  • itching
  • tearing
  • a sensation of having sand or grit in the eye
  • sensitivity to light (photosensitivity)
  • blurred and impaired vision

The stages & associated symptoms of rosacea have led to the classification of 4 subtypes of rosacea.

Classification means a more accurate diagnosis can be given.