Rosacea is a skin condition that many women and men face. Rosacea typically occurs on the facial cheeks, chin, nose and glabella (between the eyes), but may also develop on the neck and chest. We still do not know the cause of Rosacea, therefore, we treat the symptoms of the condition. Because of its red-faced, acne-like appearance, it can cause significant psychological, social and occupational problems if left untreated.

In surveys by the National Rosacea Society, more than 76 percent of rosacea patients said their condition had lowered their self-confidence and self-esteem, and 41 percent reported that it had caused them to avoid public contact or cancel social engagements. Among rosacea patients with severe symptoms, 88 percent said the disorder had adversely affected their professional interactions, and 51 percent said they had even missed work because of their condition.

While the cause of rosacea is unknown and there is no cure, today medical help is available that can control the signs and symptoms of this potentially life-disruptive disorder. Any one of the following warning signs is a signal to see your provider for diagnosis and appropriate treatment before the signs and symptoms become increasingly severe:

 Redness on the cheeks, nose, chin or forehead.
 Small visible blood vessels on the face.
 Bumps or pimples on the face.
 Watery or irritated eyes.

Erythematotelangiectatic rosacea is characterized by flushing and persistent facial redness. Visible blood vessels may also be present, and facial discomfort is common. Because this subtype is difficult to treat with medical therapy, it may be especially important for you to identify and avoid lifestyle and environmental factors that trigger flushing or irritate your skin. The appearance of flushing, redness and visible blood vessels may also be concealed with cosmetics. Visible blood vessels and severe background redness may be reduced with lasers or intense pulsed light therapy. Several sessions are typically required for satisfactory results, and touch-up sessions may later be needed as the underlying disease process is still present.

Papulopustular rosacea is characterized by persistent facial redness and acne-like bumps and pimples. A number of medications have been extensively studied and approved for this common form of rosacea, and may also be used on a long-term basis to prevent recurrence of symptoms. In mild to moderate cases, providers often prescribe oral antibiotics and topical rosacea therapy to bring the condition under immediate control, followed by long-term use of the topical therapy alone to maintain remission. A version of an oral antibiotic with less risk of microbial resistance has also been developed specifically for rosacea and has been shown to be safe for long-term use.