Rosacea is a chronic skin condition characterised by facial flushing, visible blood vessels, and acne-like bumps on the skin. Though extremely common, the condition is often misunderstood and misdiagnosed. So, let’s answer the question “what is rosacea” so you can get one step closer to understanding your skin.
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What Is Rosacea?
Rosacea is a long term condition affecting millions of people worldwide. An individual’s symptoms depend on the type of they are suffering with, and the severity of their condition. The condition is often a source of distress for sufferers, as it occurs very visibly in the centre of the face. Commonly, the flushing and vessels appear on the forehead, cheeks, nose and chin. Those with more severe cases may also find their neck, ears and chest are affected. Sometime, the eyes can also be affected, leading to irritation and redness.
Types of Rosacea
There are four types of rosacea that you may suffer with, as identified by an expert panel. Many people experience a combination of symptoms. The types are:
You can find out more about the different types on the SkinBase Blog.
What Is Rosacea: Symptoms
Rosacea symptoms vary between sufferers, and often cycle through flare ups and remission periods. The symptoms include:
Facial redness as a symptom of rosacea may initially begin as a tendency to blush, with redness across the central part of the face. Over time, the redness will persist for longer periods, potentially resembling a sunburn.
Some individuals will develop a rash of small, red, pus-filled bumps that resemble acne. These bumps can be tender or painful. The correct diagnosis for pimples on the skin is incredibly important, as rosacea and acne treatments will differ. Find out more about Acne vs Rosacea.
Visible Blood Vessels
Small blood vessels on the face may become visible in those with rosacea, giving the skin across the cheeks and nose a red, web-like appearance. Other factors can contribute to visible blood vessels, so this symptom alone does not necessarily mean you are suffering with rosacea.
Certain types of rosacea affect the eyes. Symptoms left untreated can be a serious problem. Sore, itchy, red eyes that may be dry or watery characterises ocular rosacea. Those with eye irritation may feel as though they have something gritty in their eyes, and the eyelids may appear red and swollen.
One of the more severe symptoms of rosacea is skin thickening. Commonly affecting men, the nose may appear enlarged and bulbous as the skin thickens in that area.
Symptoms on Darker Skin
Research suggests that symptoms are often missed in individuals with darker skin tones, as flushing is often more subtle and may appear violet or dusky brown, instead of red. Rosacea symptoms to watch out for on darker skin tones are:
- Consistently warm or burning skin
- Stinging when applying skincare
- Thickening skin on the nose, cheeks, chin and forehead
- Dry, swollen skin
- Dusky brown discolouration or patches of darker skin
- Acne-like breakouts
- Yellow or brown firm bumps around the mouth and eyes
- Ocular symptoms, as described above