Rosacea is a long-lasting (chronic) skin condition that often affects the face. In the early stages, it causes easy flushing or blushing. Redness may become long-term (permanent) as the small blood vessels of the face widen (dilate). You may have small, red, pus-filled bumps (pustules). It may look like acne, and has been called adult acne. But it's not caused by the same things that cause acne.

You may have flare-ups that come and go. They may happen every few weeks or every few months. Experts don't know what causes rosacea. If not treated, it tends to get worse over time.

Some older men often have a more severe form of rosacea (rhinophyma). The oil glands on the skin of the nose become larger and the nose gets bigger. The cheeks also become puffy. Alcohol may make the flushing worse. But this condition is not caused by alcohol use.

Rosacea can be treated with gels and creams for the skin (topical). You may need antibiotic medicine by mouth for more severe cases. You should see improvement in the first 4 weeks. Dilated blood vessels can be treated with a small electric needle or laser surgery. Rhinophyma can be treated with surgery, such as scraping the skin (dermabrasion).

Home care

  • Don't have foods or drinks that make your face red or flushed. These may include hot drinks, spicy foods, caffeine, and alcohol.

  • Exercise indoors or in a cool area so you won't get overheated.

  • Limit your sun exposure. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30 on your face every day.

  • Stay out of extreme hot or extreme cold weather.

  • Don't scrub your face. That will irritate the skin and make the redness worse.

  • Don't use harsh soaps or moisturizers with irritating ingredients. You may need to use hypoallergenic cosmetics.

  • Don't use over-the-counter treatments unless your healthcare provider advises it. Some of these treatments may make rosacea worse.

  • Try to figure out what triggers your flares and avoid them. This might be stress, sun exposure, or certain foods.

Follow-up care

Follow up with your healthcare provider, or as advised.

When to seek medical advice

Contact your healthcare provider if your condition does not get better after taking the medicines you were given. Getting treatment early can stop rosacea from getting worse. Call your healthcare provider right away if you have redness, burning, or a gritty feeling in your eyes.

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