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What Is Rosacea?

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Rosacea is a chronic and possibly, but not necessarily, a progressive disorder of the face, characterized by some or all of the following symptoms:

Extremely facial sensitive skin, blushing, flushing, permanent redness, burning, stinging, swelling, papules, pustules, broken red capillary veins, red gritty eyes (which can lead to visual disturbances) and in more advanced cases, a disfiguring bulbous nose. Men and women of all ages can be affected, with over 45 million estimated sufferers of Rosacea worldwide.

"Rosacea is a multifactorial, hyper-reactivity, vascular and neural based disease with a broad range of facial manifestations where normal vasodilation is greater and more persistent and involves an autoimmune component of microscopic amounts of extravasated plasma induce localized dermal inflammation that may induce repeated external triggers, vasodilation, telangiectasias, redness with eventual fibrosis and hypertrophic scarring of the dermis." Sandra Cremers, M.D., F.A.C.S., RRDi MAC Member.

"Rosacea is not actually a disease, but rather a chronic dermatologic condition that predominantly affects the convexities of the central aspect of the face." [2]

"Rosacea is probably a collection of many different diseases that are lumped together inappropriately." Zoe Diana Draelos, MD - January 25, 2007. Dr. Draelos is a member of the ROSIE [ROSacea International Expert] Group that says the subtype classification of rosacea is controversial. Dr. Draelos is also a member of the RRDi MAC. Just because you have a red face might mean you have another skin condition besides rosacea. Your physician should differentiate rosacea from a plethora of other skin conditions. For more info click here.

There is now evidence that rosacea does not necessarily progress in stages. More info.

Rosacea generally occurs as an adult onset disease, typically from the age of 30 to 60 years of age, however, rosacea can be diagnosed at any age, even children and teenagers have been diagnosed with rosacea which is uncommon. [1]

Diagnosing rosacea by subtypes has progressed to phenotypes, the current classification. 

More info on diagnosing rosacea • What Causes Rosacea?


[1] Pediatr Dermatol. 2013 Apr 8. doi: 10.1111/pde.12137.
IFAG and Childhood Rosacea: A Possible Link?
Prey S, Ezzedine K, Mazereeuw-Hautier J, Eschard C, Barbarot S, Boralevi F, Taïeb A, Léaute-Labrèze C; on behalf of the Groupe de Recherche Clinique en Dermatologie Pédiatrique.
Pediatric Dermatology Unit, Pellegrin Children's Hospital, Bordeaux, France; University of Bordeaux Segalen, Bordeaux, France; Inserm U1035, Bordeaux, France.

[2] The Proposed Inflammatory Pathophysiology of Rosacea: Implications for Treatment, Larry Millikan, MD, Skinmed. 2003;2 (1). MedScape 

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