What is rosacea and how is it treated?

Updated: Jul 29, 2019
  • Author: Julianne H Kuflik, MD; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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Answer

Rosacea appears similarly to acne vulgaris with papulopustules on the face, but in addition, patients may also have facial flushing and telangiectasias. Patients with rosacea, however, lack comedones. Four subtypes of rosacea exist: (1) erythematotelangiectatic, (2) papulopustular, (3) phymatous, and (4) ocular.

Rosacea is more common in the white population and in women in the third and fourth decades of life. Men, however, more commonly develop sebaceous hyperplasia of the nose, known as rhinophyma. Associated eye findings are variable but include blepharitis, conjunctivitis, iritis, iridocyclitis, hypopyon iritis, and even keratitis. Although the definitive etiology is unknown, weather extremes, hot or spicy foods, alcohol, and Demodex folliculorum mites can trigger and exacerbate this condition. Acne rosacea has also been associated with the ingestion of a high-dose vitamin B6 supplement. [20]

Histopathology of rosacea skin reveals granulomatous inflammation. Treatment primarily includes skin barrier sunscreens and topical antibiotics such as metronidazole, retinoids, and oral tetracyclines.


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