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What Is Rosacea?

Types of Rosacea

What are the types of rosacea?

Doctors usually classify rosacea into four categories, based on symptoms:

  1. Prerosacea is the earliest identifiable stage, when symptoms include frequent and intermittent episodes of flushing and redness of the face and neck.
  2. Vascular rosacea is another type of rosacea commonly seen in women. It appears as flushing and redness that come and go at first, then become permanent. Affected areas can become slightly swollen and warm. This type of rosacea occurs when blood vessels beneath the skin swell.
  3. Inflammatory rosacea usually occurs in those with a history of vascular rosacea. The classic symptoms of this condition category include the appearance of pink bumps (called papules) and pimples. People with inflammatory rosacea often also notice thin red lines, caused by small facial blood vessels, that show through the skin.
  4. Rhinophyma, which is characterized by facial bumps caused by enlarged oil-producing glands and surrounding connective tissue, occurs mostly in men. People who have this form notice thick, knobby bumps, especially around the cheeks and nose.

What triggers rosacea?

Sun exposure, emotional stress, alcohol, spicy foods, exercise, cold wind, hot foods and drinks, and hot baths have been known to trigger rosacea. Even coughing has been linked to triggering symptoms.

When to go see your dermatologist

Rosacea can be controlled with medications and lifestyle changes. Early intervention by a dermatologist is key to successful treatment. Delay in diagnosis and treatment because of non-physician treatments can result in scarring.

Since rosacea can mimic other common skin problems, the best thing a person can do is see his or her dermatologist at the first sign of symptoms. Dermatologists know best how to identify and treat rosacea, which rarely responds to over-the-counter remedies. Experts believe that early treatment of rosacea might keep the disease from progressing.

For more information see also:

Source: American Academy of Dermatology, 2002. All rights reserved