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Is rosacea causing your red, irritated face?

Know the signs of rosacea

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.

rosacea on woman's face

Flushing and blushing

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.

young adults toasting wine glasses

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.

rosacea on man's face

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.

rosacea on face

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.

rosacea on woman's face

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.

rosacea on cheek

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.

rosacea on woman's face

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.

smiling woman in field


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.

person with rosacea on face

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.

rosacea on nose

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.

man with rosacea on nose and eyes

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.

doctor talking to patient