What is rosacea?


Rosacea is a skin condition that is frequently mistaken for acne. In fact, as recently as the 1980s, rosacea was referred to as acne rosacea.

It is a common condition with no known cause or cure.


Who gets it?


Rosacea develops later in life than acne, usually between 30 and 50 years of age.

It occurs most commonly in fair-skinned people of northern European ancestry; less often, it appears in people of color and Hispanic individuals.


What does it look like?


Rosacea consists of red pimples (papules), pus pimples (pustules), and small blood vessels known as telangiectasias.

Where does it appear?

Rosacea is typically seen on the forehead, nose, cheeks, and chin.


What are its symptoms?


It is mainly a cosmetic problem, although a burning sensation can sometimes be bothersome.

It can also involve the eyes and eyelids, which may require treatment by an eye doctor.


What makes it worse?


Sun exposure may trigger flares of rosacea.

Excessive washing of the face may also aggravate it.

Irritating cosmetics are another factor that can worsen it.

In some people, the following factors may aggravate rosacea:

Excess alcohol

Emotional stress

Spicy foods, smoking, or caffeine


How is it treated?


Topical therapy

A metronidazole cream or gel used once or twice daily. It is applied in a thin film to all rosacea prone areas.

Oral therapy

Your health care provider may also prescribe an oral antibiotic such as


Surgical treatment

Special light treatments and lasers are sometimes effective for the continuing redness that can remain even after the pimples and papules are gone.