There's no definitive test for rosacea. Diagnosis comes from the patient's description of symptoms and a doctor's physical exam. A flushed face that comes and goes is one of the four primary signs of rosacea and may be the first symptom noticed. As the disease progresses, it takes longer and longer for the flush to disappear. Rosacea is usually just found on the face, but occasionally symptoms appear on a person's chest, neck, ears or scalp.
Another sign of rosacea is a persistently red hue on your cheeks, nose, chin or forehead or all of the above. Both of these signs -- persistent flushing and intermittent flushing -- can look like a butterfly splashed across your cheeks and nose.
The third sign of rosacea is an outbreak of bumps and pimples that may be mistaken for acne. Rosacea's red bumps are called papules when they don't contain pus. They can be as small as a pencil eraser or as large as a small coin. Bumps with pus inside are called pustules.
The final primary sign of rosacea is tiny, visible blood vessels. Called telangiectasia, it's the result of inflammation or dilation of tiny facial blood vessels.
Some sufferers also experience eye irritation that may eventually lead to vision damage. See your dermatologist or ophthalmologist if you experience:
- a gritty feeling
- sensitivity to light
- blurry vision
- swollen eyelids
- crusty mucus
One out of two rosacea patients complain of dry skin. Others may be also be diagnosed with seborrheic dermatitis, which appears as dandruff or a greasy, reddish-yellow scaling.
Rosacea triggers can make the disease's symptoms worse. Continue reading to discover what those triggers are (and why it's difficult to avoid them).