Rosacea is a chronic skin condition that causes facial redness and swelling. It can also affect the scalp, neck, and ears. Eye symptoms (ocular rosacea) are also reported by nearly half of all patients suffering from rosacea.
One of the first symptoms you may notice from rosacea is a tendency to flush or blush easily. The condition progresses to persistent redness, pimples, and visible, threadlike blood vessels (telangiectasias) in the center of the face. These skin changes can eventually spread to the cheeks, forehead, chin, and nose. Rosacea occurs most commonly in people 30 to 50 years of age. Although women are more likely to have rosacea, men tend to suffer more severe forms.
Types of Rosacea
All forms of rosacea affect mostly the face, cause red bumps, and have no known cure. Though the different types can occur in conjunction with one another, they are divided into four categories based on symptoms.
Erythematotelangiectatic Rosacea (ETR)
ETR is the most common form of rosacea and is typically characterized by red or flushed cheeks and face. Often the skin will be a bit swollen or rough.
Papulopustular (Acne) Rosacea
Papulopustular rosacea is characterized by acne-like outbreaks of pimples and bumps. The skin will commonly be red, swollen, and oily.
Rhinophyma rosacea is often described as a “thickening” of the skin. Areas of skin around the nose, chin, forehead, and cheeks may become swollen, rough, and thicker.
Ocular rosacea affects the eyes and eyelids. It causes them to be dry, itchy, bloodshot, sensitive, and in some cases can cause blurred vision. Small pimples, called styes, may also form on the eyelids.
Although there is no cure for rosacea, a variety of treatments will reduce its appearance and prevent further progression. If allowed to worsen over a long period, rosacea may become more difficult to treat, and it could take longer to see positive results. Treatments for rosacea include oral and topical medications, lifestyle modifications, laser and light therapies, and surgical procedures (used mostly for advanced cases).
Specifically for ocular rosacea, treatments include steroid eye drops and artificial tears. Our Skin Cancer & Dermatology Institute Dermatologists may prescribe these treatments individually, or in combination for better results depending on your specific case.