Rosacea is a skin condition that primarily affects the face.
Rosacea symptoms can affect people in different ways with
varying levels of severity affecting different areas of the
face. However, most people with rosacea will only experience
some, rather than all, of the possible symptoms. These symptoms
are explained below.
One of the first signs of rosacea is frequent flushing of
the face. It may be the only symptom you experience for months
or years before any other symptoms develop. A flush can last up
to five minutes and be accompanied with an unpleasant feeling
of heat. It may spread to your neck and chest.
A classic sign of rosacea is an almost permanent redness
(erythema) to parts of the face that looks like sunburn.
Episodes of flushing are sometimes followed by facial redness
that doesn’t go away.
Spots, Papules and Pustules
Small, solid, lumpy, red spots (papules) and small,
pus-filled cysts (pustules) may develop on the skin and are
often mistaken for acne. The difference between acne and
rosacea is that with acne there are blackheads present. The
papules and pustules may come and go, but in some cases remain
continually until treated.
Visible Blood Vessels
The small blood vessels near the surface of the skin become
visible because they get enlarged in rosacea. They usually
appear on the cheek and nose area and are more noticeable as a
flush subsides. The blood vessels look like fine red lines
coursing through the surface of the skin.
Stinging or Burning
A feeling of stinging or burning of the face is a commonly
reported symptom. There may also be mild itching and a feeling
The eyes may become irritated, bloodshot or watery. This
particular symptom is known as ocular rosacea. There may also a
feeling as if something is in your eyes. Your eyes may also
experience burning, stinging, itching, dryness or sensitivity
to light. Your eyelids may get problems like cysts, styes or
inflammation (blepharitis). In the most severe cases, there is
a possibility of corneal damage and vision loss.
Red raised patches or plaques may develop on the skin,
whilst the surrounding skin remains unchanged.
Dry and Rough Skin
It is thought that about half of people with rosacea
experience very dry, flaky and rough skin.
Facial swelling occurs when there is a build up of fluid in
the facial skin. This may accompany other symptoms or occur on
Rhinophyma (bulbous, bumpy nose)
This is an uncommon symptom that occurs more often in men
than women. Rhinophyma or “whisky nose” occurs when excess
tissue develops around the nose and thickens. This causes the
nose to take on a large and bulbous appearance. In severe cases
this can cause distortion and disfigurement to the nose.
Rosacea is not a particularly painful or itchy skin
condition and serious complications are uncommon. Permanent
damage to the face, such as scarring rarely occurs. However,
for some people, rosacea can be unsightly and distressing
because they may sometimes be accused of having a drinking
problem because of their red face and visible blood