elderly woman with rosacea

Rosacea is a chronic and potentially life-disruptive disorder primarily of the facial skin, often characterised by its ability to come and go intermittently. Many have observed that it typically begins after the age of 30 as a redness on the cheek, nose, chin or forehead. In some cases, rosacea may also occur on the neck, chest, scalp or ears. Over time the redness tends to become ruddier and more persistent and visible blood vessels may appear.

If left untreated, bumps and pimples often develop, and in severe cases the nose may grow swollen and bumpy from excess tissue. This is the condition called rhinophyma. In many cases the eyes are also affected, feeling irritated and appearing watery or bloodshot. Although rosacea can affect all skin types, individuals with fair skin who tend to flush or blush easily are believed to be at greatest risk. The condition is more frequently diagnosed in women but more severe symptoms tend to be seen in men, perhaps because they often delay seeking medical help until the disorder reaches advanced stages.

There is no specific cure for rosacea and the cause is unknown. However medical therapy is available to control or reverse its signs and symptoms. Individuals who suspect they may have rosacea are advised to see a dermatologist for diagnosis and appropriate treatment.