Is rosacea causing your red, irritated face?

Rosacea is a common skin condition.
Yet, many people are unaware that they have it. Because treatment can reduce the discomfort and prevent rosacea from worsening, it’s helpful to know the signs.
Flushing
Rosacea usually begins with a tendency to flush or blush easily. Do you flush or blush more easily than most people? Does the flushing happen when you feel stressed, drink alcohol, become too warm, or eat spicy food? These are early indications that you could have rosacea.
Redness lasts longer
Do you have redness in the center of your face — nose, cheeks, forehead, and chin? Does the redness come and go? Has it started to last longer? As rosacea progresses, these things can happen. These are all signs of rosacea.
Permanent redness
A permanently red face is the most common sign of rosacea. The redness appears in the center of your face. With time, it may spread to your ears, scalp, neck, upper chest, or back.
Acne-like breakouts
Without treatment, acne-like breakouts can appear. You’ll see these along with redness on your face. Your face may also feel oily. These signs are often mistaken for acne.
Visible blood vessels
Many people who have rosacea see small blood vessels appear on their face. These usually appear after you have a permanently red face. If the redness has become intense, you may not be able to see the individual blood vessels.
Skin is easily irritated
Rosacea can make your skin very sensitive. When you wash your face or apply certain skin care products, your skin may burn or sting. Even sunscreen and makeup can irritate your skin. Some people notice that their skin burns or stings when they flush of blush.
Sun-sensitive skin
Being in the sun — even for a short time — can cause rosacea to flare. Do you notice that the redness worsens or your skin feels more sensitive when you spend time outdoors? Some people also develop an itchy rash or bumps after being in the sun.
Swelling
The skin with rosacea can swell. This often occurs around the eyes, on the forehead, or on the cheeks. As rosacea progresses, the skin can feel bumpy. This can change the contours of your skin as shown here.
Thickening skin
As rosacea worsens, it can cause the skin to thicken. As the skin thickens, you see excess tissue, which usually develops on the nose. Less often, the thick skin appears on the cheeks, forehead, or another area of your face. Men are more likely than women to develop this rare sign of rosacea.
Eye problems
Rosacea can develop in the eyes, where it can cause many signs and symptoms. Your eyes may feel irritated. They may be watery (or dry) and bloodshot. Your eyelids may be red and swollen. Some people develop eye problems before rosacea appears on their skin. Eye problems require immediate care.
When to see a dermatologist
Most people who have rosacea develop some — but not all — of these signs and symptoms. Many signs and symptoms come and go. If you have any of these signs or symptoms, a dermatologist can tell you whether you have rosacea. An accurate diagnosis and treatment can prevent rosacea from worsening.

Additional related resources


Images 
Images 5, 6, 7, and 10: Image used with permission of the American Academy of Dermatology National Library of Dermatologic Teaching Slides.

Images 2, 8, and 12: Getty Images.

Image 1, 2, 9, and 11: Images used with permission of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. (J Am Acad Dermatol 2004;51:327-41.)

Image 4 used with permission of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. (J Am Acad Dermatol 2004;50:907-12.)


References
Crawford GH, Pelle MT, et al. “Rosacea: I. Etiology, pathogenesis, and subtype classification.” J Am Acad Dermatol. 2004;51:327-41.

Del Rosso JQ, Thiboutot D, et al. “Consensus recommendations from the American Acne & Rosacea Society on the management of rosacea, part 1: a status report on the disease state, general measures, and adjunctive skin care.” Cutis. 2013;92(5):234-40.

Two AM, Wu W, et al. “Rosacea: Part I. Introduction, categorization, histology, pathogenesis, and risk factors.” J Am Acad Dermatol. 2015;72:749-58.

Wilkin J, Dahl M, et al. “Standard grading system for rosacea: Report of the National Rosacea Society Expert Committee on the Classification and Staging of Rosacea.” J Am Acad Dermatol. 2004;50:907-12.