Rosacea – Dermatologist Review

Santa Rosa Dermatologist Sugarman

By Jeffrey Sugarman, MD

Santa Rosa, California 95403

Physician (MD, DO), Pediatric Dermatology, Dermatology


Rosacea is a chronic skin condition that can lead to facial redness, enlarged blood vessels on the cheeks and nose, red bumps and pimples. In advanced stages, it can lead to thickened skin on the nose.

Rosacea usually affect the face, and is sometimes present on the neck and chest, as well. These symptoms occurs most frequently in people with fair skin, although people of any skin color can have them. Rosacea usually occurs in adults 30 to 60 years old. Although it affects more women than men, the symptoms are often more severe in men.

The first signs and symptoms include frequent flushing and redness of the face and neck. The exact cause of rosacea is not known but many factors can trigger a flare-up. Many people report the following rosacea triggers; sun exposure, hot weather, emotional stress, exercise, alcohol, spicy food, hot food and beverages (especially coffee and tea), hot baths, irritating cosmetics, and certain medicines (especially vasodilators and topical steroids).

As rosacea progresses, small, solid red bumps and pus-filled bumps appear on the face.  Thin, red lines caused by enlarged blood vessels may appear on the surface of the skin. These are referred to as “telangiectasias”.

Rosacea leads to conditions affecting the eyes in about 20%-30% of those affected. Symptoms may include redness, tearing, stinging and the sensation of a foreign body or grittiness in the eyes. This condition (ocular rosacea) is commonly known as conjunctivitis and should be evaluated by your doctor.

Although rosacea cannot be cured, it can be treated and controlled. The treatment should be tailored to the individual patient. Patients are advised to avoid the rosacea triggers and often benefit from medical treatment.

The red bumps and pustules can be successfully treated with either a topical or oral medicine. Patients usually notice improvement within 3-6 weeks. The enlarged blood vessels are best treated with a laser The flushing or redness on the face is difficult to treat but often responds to laser.