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Alternative namesAcne rosacea
DefinitionRosacea is a chronic skin condition involving inflammation of the cheeks, nose, chin, forehead, or eyelids. It may appear as redness, prominent spider-like blood vessels, swelling, or skin eruptions similar to acne .
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
Although the cause of rosacea is unknown, you are more likely to develop this harmless skin condition if:
Rosacea involves enlargement of the blood vessels just under the skin and may be associated with other skin disorders ( acne vulgaris , seborrhea ) or eye disorders ( blepharitis , keratitis ).
Signs and tests
Your physician can usually diagnose rosacea with a thorough medical history and physical exam.
There is no cure known for rosacea. The goal is to identify and avoid possible triggers, and thus reduce flare-ups. In fact, the National Rosacea Society strongly recommends that you keep a symptom diary to identify the specific triggers you may have. As you keep track of your symptoms, you should start to see a pattern within several weeks of what makes your rosacea worse. Use this information to avoid future flare-ups.
Here are some steps that may help:
Triggers vary from person to person. Other triggers may include wind, hot baths, cold weather, specific skin products, exercise, or other factors. Booklets and a symptom diary containing more detailed management tips can be found at
There is no cure known for rosacea. The goal is to .
Oral antibiotics (such as tetracycline, minocycline, or doxycycline) or topical antibiotics (like metronidazole) applied to your face may control skin eruptions. Other medications (isoretinol or Accutane), which are similar to vitamin A, are stronger alternatives that your doctor or dermatologist might consider.
In severe cases, laser surgery may help reduce the redness. Surgical reduction of enlarged nose tissue may also improve your appearance, if you so choose.
Expectations (prognosis)Rosacea is not medically dangerous. It is not curable, but can usually be controlled with treatment. It may be persistent and chronic.
Update Date: 12/22/2003Jacqueline A. Hart, M.D., Department of Internal Medicine, Newton-Wellesley Hospital, Boston, Ma., and Senior Medical Editor, A.D.A.M., Inc. Previously reviewed by Michael Lehrer, M.D., Department of Dermatology, University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, Philadelphia, PA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network (8/15/2003).
Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT