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Rosacea

A chronic dermatitis characterized by redness, flushing, pustules and papules on the face.

PubMed Health Glossary
(Source: NIH - National Cancer Institute)

About Rosacea

Red patches of skin on your face, and tiny visible blood vessels and spots — these can be quite common symptoms. They may be caused by rosacea, a common facial skin inflammation.

Skin diseases can be difficult to cope with, and they often affect people's self-confidence and wellbeing. But if you have rosacea, there is a lot you can do on your own.

Symptoms

Rosacea is a non-contagious inflammation of the skin on the face which can last for many years. It often develops into a rash, with papules and pustules (red and yellow pimples) and spidery red veins. It comes and goes in bouts. Sometimes the symptoms get worse and sometimes they get better or go away on their own... Read more about Rosacea

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

Treatments for rosacea

Rosacea is a common skin condition causing flushing, redness, red pimples and pustules on the face, and should not be confused with acne. Dilated blood vessels may appear near the surface of the skin (telangiectasia). It can also cause inflammation of the eyes or eyelids, or both (ocular rosacea). Some people can develop a thickening of the skin, especially of the nose (rhinophyma). Although the cause of rosacea remains unclear, a wide variety of treatments are available for this persistent (chronic) and recurring and often distressing disease. These include medications applied directly to the skin (topical), oral medications and light‐based therapies. We wanted to discover how people assessed their treatments: if the treatments changed their quality of life, if they saw changes in their condition and if there were side effects. From the doctors, we wanted to discover whether treatments changed the severity of rosacea, as well as how long it took before symptoms reduced and reappeared.

Azelaic acid in the treatment of papulopustular rosacea: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials

The authors concluded that topical azelaic acid was an effective treatment for papulopustular rosacea, and was as effective as metronidazole. This was generally a well-conducted review. However, the conclusion about the relative efficacy of azelaic acid and metronidazole was not based on studies included in this review, and its reliability is therefore unclear.

Personal Wireless Device Use for Wound Care Consultation: A Review of Safety, Clinical Benefits and Guidelines [Internet]

Wounds may result from physical, mechanical, or thermal damage, or develop from an underlying medical disorder and include conditions such as pressure ulcers, lacerations, burns, arterial or venous ulcers, and dermatological disorders. Wound care involves accurate assessment and appropriate management strategies and may require specialist consultations which may not always be easily accessible or may be time consuming. Telemedicine offers an alternative option. It is the delivery of health care through telecommunication between the patient with or without the local health care provider and remotely situated specialists. Technology used for telemedicine can range from a simple telephone conversation with the health care provider to complex systems with elaborate consultations with remote specialists at various locations, through live audio or videoconferencing. Telemedicine has been used in various clinical areas such as psychiatry, ophthalmology, and dermatology. Teledermatology consultation has been shown to be reliable and comparable to conventional clinic-based care. Imaging of the wound, uploading images and transferring them to the appropriate location play an important role in wound care involving telemedicine. The advent of high resolution digital cameras, computer technology, and specialized software has revolutionized the process of documentation of wounds. In recent times, personal wireless devices such as mobile phones are increasingly being used as a telemedicine technology. Mobile phones now have in-built cameras and data transfer capabilities and are often referred to as smartphones. The transmission of medical images and other data over mobile phone networks may facilitate remote medical consultations with specialists and enhance wound care management. However the safety and clinical efficacy of this modality of care needs to be assessed before it may be put in to widespread use.

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Summaries for consumers

Rosacea diary

One way to find out what is causing rosacea outbreaks is to keep a diary for a few weeks or months. Here you can find a diary that you can print for your own use:You can use a rosacea diary to keep track of the following things:What cosmetic products did you use on your face today?Did you use your medication today?NoYes – If yes: what medication?How severe is your rosacea today?No symptomsMild symptomsSevere outbreakGetting betterNo changesGetting worse

Avoiding and treating rosacea

If you avoid rosacea triggers, you may be able to prevent outbreaks of inflammation. The condition can be treated with creams or gels, and by taking medication.Rosacea is a common, often chronic inflammation of facial skin. It causes red patches of skin on your face, tiny visible blood vessels and spots, which come and go. Over time, people often discover that certain things trigger their outbreaks. These might include certain foods, alcohol, cosmetics or medications, but different people often have different triggers. Sunlight also plays a role. Although the effects of sunlight on rosacea symptoms vary from person to person, sunburn is hard on your skin and may even harm it.

Which rosacea medications are proven to be effective?

Skin creams containing metronidazole or azelaic acid can help relieve the symptoms of rosacea like skin redness. The same is probably true for medications containing the antibiotic doxycycline.

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Terms to know

Erythema
Redness of the skin.
Papules
A small, solid, raised bump on the skin that has a border with edges that are easy to see. Papules may be red, purple, brown, or pink.
Pustules (Pimples)
A pimple filled with pus.
Rhinophyma
Rhinophyma is a large, bulbous, ruddy nose commonly due to untreated rosacea.

More about Rosacea

Photo of an adult

Also called: Acne rosacea

Other terms to know: See all 4
Erythema, Papules, Pustules (Pimples)

Related articles:
Rosacea Diary

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