What is Rosacea?


While many people may desire a rosy glow on their cheeks, sometimes that redness can indicate a chronic condition known as rosacea. Rosacea is characterized by redness and flushing on the face. More severe cases can include visible blood vessels, bumps, pimples, eye irritation and skin thickening.

Rosacea can affect anyone, including people of all skin types. However, people with fair skin are more prone to the condition. Men in particular may experience more severe cases, including skin thickening that presents as an enlarged or bumpy nose.

Rosacea is a common condition. It is chronic but many people respond well to treatment to address the most obvious symptoms. Because the symptoms are often similar to other skin conditions such as acne or eczema, it is important that you visit a dermatologist to get an accurate diagnosis before beginning any at-home treatments.

In this article, we will cover the different types of rosacea, the most common symptoms of the condition and possible treatment options.

The Types of Rosacea

While the causes of rosacea are relatively unknown, there are some indicators that are associated with the condition. Family history, fair skin and system-wide inflammation are considered to be three risk factors for rosacea. Studies have also seen a correlation between rosacea and the demodex mite

The appearance of rosacea can look very different on different people. Some people may experience mild redness and flushing, whereas others may have eye irritation and skin thickening. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, rosacea has four subtypes that include:

Erythematotelangiectatic Rosacea: Identified by redness in the face. Patients often report frequent flushing or consistent redness. Sometimes, patients report burning sensations or swelling.  

  • Flushing
  • Broken blood vessels 
  • Stinging 
  • Burning 
  • Dry skin

Papulopustular Rosacea: Identified by the appearance of bumps and acne. Patients also experience raised bumps that can be scaly. These are known as plaque. 

  • Bumps that resemble acne 
  • Pimples 
  • Redness 
  • Oily skin
  • Sensitivity 
  • Burning
  • Stinging 
  • Plaque

Phymatous Rosacea: Identified by excess tissue on the nose that gives it a large and bumpy appearance. Patients are most commonly male. 

  • Bumpy skin
  • Thick skin on the nose
  • Broken blood vessels 
  • Enlarged pores
  • Oily skin
  • Redness 

Ocular Rosacea: Identified by watery, red and stinging eyes. Patients often report swelling and general irritation. 

  • Red eyes 
  • Styes
  • Burning, stinging eyes 
  • Broken blood vessels on eyelids 
  • Dry eyes 
  • Watery eyes 

Treatment Options for Rosacea 

Because of the diversity of symptoms, you should consult with a dermatologist if you suspect that you have rosacea. There are no specific tests to indicate whether you have rosacea. Your dermatologist will look at your symptoms, health history and ask targeted questions to diagnose the condition. Successful treatment is tailored specifically to the individual to address their symptoms and to account for other health concerns.

A board certified dermatologist can prescribe oral and topical medications to address redness, pimples and dry skin. Laser therapies can address broken blood vessels. However, these treatments may not be appropriate for everyone. 

Your doctor may also suggest the use of a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher to be worn daily, since people with rosacea can experience increased sun sensitivity.

It is also important that patients become aware of factors that trigger a rosacea flare-up. Some common triggers include spicy foods, caffeine, the use of a steam room or sauna, hot or cold temperatures or wind. Patients should take efforts to identify triggers and avoid those whenever possible.

Your dermatologist can help you choose the right skin care that will not irritate sensitive skin. Gentle skin care products made specifically for people with sensitive skin can help you prevent rosacea outbreaks. In addition, your doctor will direct you to avoid things such as harsh scrubs, chemical peels and other treatments that could cause a flare-up.

Rosacea Dermatologist Atlanta and College Park – Buckhead Dermatology

Rosacea can be much more than an uncomfortable skin condition. People with rosacea often feel frustration with the chronic condition and may feel embarrassed or have low self-esteem because of the symptoms. In very severe cases, people have reported problems in their personal and professional lives as well as depression.

If you suspect that you have rosacea, do not wait to consult with your dermatologist. At Buckhead Dermatology, you will meet with Dr. Straughn who will help provide you with a diagnosis and a customized treatment plan to reduce the symptoms of rosacea. She will also help you identify your triggers and suggest proper skin care to decrease future flare-ups.

Contact Buckhead Dermatology of Atlanta and College Park today to schedule an appointment with Atlanta’s leading rosacea dermatologist.