Rosacea is a common, acne-like, benign, auto-inflammatory skin disease of adults. Rosacea is estimated to affect at least 16 million people in the United States alone and approximately 45 million worldwide, although studies have shown that 78% of people are not aware of the disease and many who have it don’t realize they do . Many people who have rosacea may just assume they have very sensitive skin that blushes or flushes easily. Most people with rosacea are Caucasian and have fair skin.
Rosacea characteristically involves the central region of the face, mainly the forehead, cheeks, chin, and the lower half of the nose. In rosacea-prone skin, the skin barrier is impaired or weak and the skin may be more prone to reaction to skin care ingredients or other triggers of reactions. The redness in rosacea, often aggravated by flushing, may cause small blood vessels in the face to enlarge (dilate) and become more visible through the skin, appearing like tiny red lines (called telangiectasias). Over time, the blood vessels lose their ability to contract back to their normal size, giving skin a continual redness. Continual or repeated episodes of flushing and blushing may promote inflammation, causing small red bumps, or papules, that often resemble teenage acne. One of the most unpleasant aspects of rosacea is the overgrowth of dermal tissues producing a “phymatous” change in the skin. This appears as a thickening and permanent swelling of the facial tissues. A bulbous nose called rhinophyma is an example of this change.
It is important to avoid any triggers of rosacea, to prevent development of new symptoms or worsening of symptoms. Rosacea symptoms can be triggered by many things, including changes in weather (like strong winds or changes in humidity), sun exposure, and sunburn. If you have any symptoms of rosacea, it would be good to seek help early to prevent development of other symptoms or prevent progression of the disease.
For more information and resources, check out the American Academy of Dermatology’s Rosacea Data.
Cole G. Rosacea. https://www.medicinenet.com/rosacea/article.htm#what_is_rosacea_is_rosacea_contagious_what_does_rosacea_look_like, accessed on 6/2/2018.