Rosacea is a long-lasting (chronic) skin condition affecting the face. In the early stages it causes easy flushing or blushing. Redness may become long-term (permanent) as the small blood vessels of the face widen (dilate). There may be small, red, pus-filled bumps (pustules). It looks like a bad case of acne, and has been called adult acne. But it is not caused by the same things that cause acne.

Rosacea is a chronic illness. You will have flare-ups that come and go. This may happen every few weeks or every few months. Experts don't know what causes rosacea. If not treated, it tends to get worse over time.

Some men with a more severe form of rosacea develop a condition called rhinophyma. The oil glands on the skin of the nose become blocked and the nose gets bigger. The cheeks also become puffy. Alcohol may increase the flushing. But this condition is not caused by alcohol use.

Rosacea can be treated with topical gels and creams. Oral antibiotics are used for more severe cases. You should see improvement in the firstĀ 4 weeks. Dilated blood vessels can be treated with a small electric needle or laser surgery. Rhinophyma can be treated with surgery. Or it may be treated by surgically scraping the skin (dermabrasion).

Home care

  • Avoid things that make your face red or flushed. These include hot drinks, spicy foods, caffeine, and alcohol.

  • Exercise indoors or in a cool area to avoid getting overheated.

  • Avoid excess sun exposure. Use a sunscreen with at least SPF 15 or higher.

  • Avoid extreme hot or extreme cold weather.

  • Don't scrub your face. That will irritate the skin and increase redness.

  • Avoid harsh soaps or moisturizers with irritating ingredients. You may need to use hypoallergenic cosmetics.

  • Avoid over-the-counter treatments unless instructed by your healthcare provider. Some of these treatments may make rosacea worse.

  • Try to figure out what triggers your flares (such as stress, sun exposure, or certain foods).

Follow-up care

Follow up with your healthcare provider, or as advised. Contact your provider if your condition is not responding to the medicines you were given. Getting treatment early can stop it from getting worse.

When to seek medical advice

Call your healthcare provider right away if you have redness, burning, or a gritty feeling in your eyes.