Frequently Asked Questions About Rosacea

  1. Does everyone with rosacea have the same symptoms?

  2. I heard that blood pressure medication can cause a rosacea flare-up.
    Is that true?

  3. Is there a cure for rosacea?

  4. Does self-treatment work?

  5. I wonder if I am alone or do other people with rosacea suffer
    emotional effects from the disease?

  6. Does rosacea sometimes disappear for good after one episode?

  7. Are rosacea patients prone to other skin conditions?

  8. What causes rosacea?

  9. Does alcohol use cause rosacea?

  10. Is rosacea life-threatening?

  11. Are some people more prone to getting rosacea than others?

  12. What makes rhinophyma different from other rosacea symptoms?


  1. Does everyone with rosacea have the same symptoms?
    No. Rosacea’s signs and symptoms vary from person to person. While the signs of visible blood vessels, papules and pustules are common, some people never experience those. Instead, some people with rosacea might only experience facial redness. One recent study1 indicated that some people who have rosacea do not have it on their face at all, but rather on their back or elsewhere.
     

  2. I heard that blood pressure medication can cause a rosacea flare-up. Is that true?
    Some medications, especially blood pressure medicine, can precipitate flushing, which can aggravate rosacea. People who are being treated for rosacea should let their dermatologists know about any medications they are taking.
     

  3. Is there a cure for rosacea?
    Currently, there is no cure for rosacea. The good news, however, is that dermatologists have a variety of treatments that diminish the disease’s signs and symptoms. In fact, according to a study of 1,077 rosacea patients, 87 percent said their rosacea was under control with treatment.2 Treatments range from topical products and oral medications to treat the papules and pustules, to laser therapy for treatment of visible blood vessels on the face and laser surgery to treat rhinophyma.
     

  4. Does self-treatment work?
    Since dermatologists are experts in skin, hair and nail conditions, they are best able to diagnose the condition and provide proven, prescription treatments, as well as recommend lifestyle changes that in most cases control signs and symptoms. Rosacea generally does not go away on its own and tends to worsen over time. People who try to self-treat the condition often aggravate it by using over-the-counter remedies that contain acids, alcohol and other ingredients that can cause flare-ups.
     

  5. I wonder if I am alone or do other people with rosacea suffer emotional effects from the disease?
    Some believe the social and emotional effects of rosacea are worse than the physical symptoms. In one survey3, nearly 70 percent of rosacea patients said it lowered their self-confidence and self-esteem. Forty-one percent said the condition caused them to avoid public contact or cancel social engagements.
     

  6. Does rosacea sometimes disappear for good after one episode?
    Rosacea is a chronic, or long-term, disease. A study4 of 48 previously diagnosed rosacea patients found that 52 percent had active rosacea, with an average duration of 13 years. The remaining 48 percent cleared but had an average duration of nine years.
     

  7. Are rosacea patients prone to other skin conditions?
    It is common for rosacea patients to have other skin conditions, as well. In a survey2 of more than 1,000 rosacea patients, 77 percent said they had also been diagnosed with another skin condition. Acne was the most common, followed by non-melanoma skin cancer.
     

  8. What causes rosacea?
    The cause of rosacea is not known, although experts believe rosacea is due to a combination of genetic and environmental factors.
     

  9. Does alcohol use cause rosacea?
    No. However, the consumption of alcohol leads to flushing of the skin, which can worsen rosacea.
     

  10. Is rosacea life-threatening?
    No.
     

  11. Are some people more prone to getting rosacea than others?
    Adults are most likely to get rosacea, and women get it more often than men. Rosacea has a tendency to affect fair-skinned people more often.
     

  12. What makes rhinophyma different from other rosacea symptoms?
    Rhinophyma develops in some men who have rosacea, and very rarely in women with rosacea. It is characterized by thick, knobby red bumps around and on the nose, which arise when the oil-producing glands and the surrounding connective tissues enlarge.

References:
1.  Bamford J., Mitchell T, Elliott BA. "The relationship of rosacea phenotype and extrafacial lesions."
     Presented at the May 15-18, 2002 Society for Investigational Dermatology (SID) annual meeting,
     Los Angeles, Calif.

2.  "Survey reveals rosacea patients often have other skin conditions." Spring 2002 Rosacea Review.
      National Rosacea Society. www.rosacea.org/rr/2002/spring/article_3.html.

3.  "Rosacea awareness month unmasks symptoms of the ‘great pretender.’" Spring 2002 Rosacea
      Review. National Rosacea Society. www.rosacea.org/rr/2002/spring/article_1.html.

4.  "Q&A." Rosacea Review Winter 2002. National Rosacea Society.
       www.rosacea.org/rr/2002/winter/qa.html#2.
 

All content solely developed by the American Academy of Dermatology

People with rosacea should gently cleanse their face and other affected areas with a very mild soap-free cleanser. Avoid cleansers that contain any type of alcohol, eucalyptus, fragrance, menthol, or peppermint. These ingredients tend to aggravate rosacea.



 

 

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