Rosacea may begin as a tendency to flush or blush easily. In fact, when people with rosacea think about their pasts, they often remember flushing or blushing more easily than most. This tendency to flush or blush easily can occur over a long period of time and may gradually progress to a persistent redness, pimples and visible blood vessels in the center of the face that can eventually involve the cheeks, forehead, chin and nose. Other affected areas may be the neck, ears, chest and back.
Rosacea affects the eyes in approximately
50 percent of the people who have rosacea.
While most common on the face, one recent study indicated that some people who have rosacea do not have it on their face at all but rather on their back or elsewhere.
Classic Signs and Symptoms of Rosacea
Signs and symptoms vary from person to person and are often
intermittent. If you or someone you know exhibits any of the following, it is best to consult a dermatologist. Rosacea can be treated and controlled if medical advice is sought in the early stages. When left untreated, rosacea often gets worse and then becomes more difficult to treat.
Flushing of Face/Neck
Rosacea can cause redness, similar to that of a blush or sunburn. The flushing occurs when increased amounts of blood flow through vessels at a fast rate and the vessels expand to accommodate this flow. The redness may become more noticeable and persistent as the disease progresses.
Dry Facial Skin
Some people notice that their facial skin becomes increasingly dry.
The pimples of rosacea, which often occur as the disease progresses, are
different from those of acne because blackheads and whiteheads
(known as comedones ) rarely appear. Rather, people with rosacea have visible small blood vessels and their pimples—some containing pus—appear as small, red bumps.
Some with rosacea notice red lines, called telangiectasia (tell-an-jek-taze-yah), which appear when they flush. This is due to small blood vessels of the face becoming enlarged and showing through the skin. These red lines usually appear on the cheeks—especially when the overall redness diminishes.
Bumps on Nose
Nasal bumps, a condition called rhinophyma
(rye-no-feye-muh), are an uncommon sign seen especially in untreated rosacea. Men are more likely to experience the small, knobby bumps on the nose, and
as the number of bumps increases, the nose and cheeks
may appear swollen.
Facial Burning, Stinging or Itching
A 2002 survey conducted by the National Rosacea Society indicated that some people who have rosacea suffer physical symptoms, such as facial burning, stinging or itching.