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MAIN Arrow to Health Health Arrow to Rashes Rashes Arrow to rosacea Rosacea

rosacea rash
Typical red, bumpy rash
caused by rosacea.

Rosacea (pronounced "roh-ZAY-sha") is a chronic skin rash which first typically appears between the ages of 30 and 65 and is believed to affect as many as 45 million people worldwide.

It is generally found in those of north western European descent, and is much more common in women than it is in men. Rosacea can affect the face, scalp, ears, neck, and even the upper chest, but is usually limited to the center of the face. As a result, it is sometimes confused in its early stages with a common outbreak of acne.

Types & symptoms of rosacea

There are actually four different types of rosacea, which are differentiated based on the severity of the condition. The least severe may only look like a permanent red flush, with a tendency to blush very easily. The most severe form of rosacea includes symptoms such as bumpy, thickened skin, discharge of puss, and an enlarged nose. Occasionally, those suffering from rosacea also suffer from red, itchy eyes and burning and itching sensations all over the body.

What causes rosacea?

The exact cause of rosacea is not known to researchers, but it is likely that both the environment and genetic predisposition have a role to play in acquiring rosacea. Researchers do know that there are a number of risk factors that can exacerbate rosacea. Temperature extremes, spicy food, sunlight, alcohol, harsh face washes and creams, and even many psychological factors such as embarrassment, stress, and anger can all bring on or worsen rosacea.

Rosacea treatment

Treating rosacea is relatively easy, however it should be done quickly because as the rash worsens it becomes more difficult to treat. In most cases the treatment is only temporary and the symptoms will return, but with careful attention it is possible, though very difficult, to eventually send the ailment into permanent remission.

Treatment is usually some combination of the two common treatment methods, which are topical treatments such as creams and face washes; or administration of drugs which often take the form of antibiotics or in extreme cases more powerful drugs such as Accutane. Lasers and surgery are also sometimes used to treat the more permanent physical changes that rosacea can cause, such as enlargement of the nose.

More information about rosacea around the Web: - Check out expert information on what it looks like, how to control it, and answers to common questions.

Rosacea fact sheet - Get more expert tips from the American Academy of Dermatology on causes and symptoms, treatment, and tips for managing the condition with related photos.

This information is intended as reference and not as medical advice.
All treatment decisions should be made by medical professionals.

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