How to Say It: rose-AY-sha
by Cynthia M. Johnson, MA
Rosacea is a skin problem that causes flushing and redness of the face. It can also cause a rash or small red sores that look like acne.
Ocular rosacea affects the eyes. It makes them red and irritated.
The exact cause is not known. It may be due to a problem with the immune system.
Rosacea may be triggered by:
Rosacea often starts in people over 30 years of age. It is more common in people with fair skin who are of European descent.
Other things that may raise the risk are:
Facial flushing and redness are the most common symptoms. Others may be:
You will be asked about your symptoms and health history. A physical exam will be done. This is often enough to make the diagnosis.
There is no cure. The goal of treatment is to manage symptoms. Choices are:
People who are not helped by other methods may need laser therapy or light-based therapies. These can help to ease redness and manage enlarged blood vessels.
There are no known guidelines to prevent this health problem.
American Academy of Dermatology
National Rosacea Society
Canadian Dermatology Association
Gallo RL, Granstein RD, et al. Standard classification and pathophysiology of rosacea: The 2017 update by the National Rosacea Society Expert Committee. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2018 Jan;78(1):148-155
Rosacea. American Academy of Dermatology website. Available at: https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/acne-and-rosacea/rosacea. Accessed December 1, 2020.
Rosacea. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/rosacea. Accessed December 1, 2020.
Rosacea. Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at: https://familydoctor.org/condition/rosacea. Accessed December 1, 2020.
Rosacea. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases website. Available at: https://www.niams.nih.gov/health-topics/rosacea. Accessed December 1, 2020.
Last reviewed September 2020 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Marcin Chwistek, MD
Last Updated: 4/23/2021