Rosacea is a quite common chronic skin disease of the face. It is more typical for women, but it also affects men. It is not dangerous, but it represents a troubling cosmetic problems.


The causes are not entirely clear. There is probably a genetic predisposition, which can combine with some outer factors. The genetic factors cause increased fragility and easier dilation of little subcutaneous skin vessels. The outer causes include factors that are related to reddening of the face (alcohol, physical exercise, emotional stress, etc.).


The rosacea manifests with chronic reddening of the face. The most commonly affected areas are the chin, cheeks and the nose. Local blood vessels are dilated, the skin cover is thickened and more severe forms of rosacea may even cause deformation of the nose, which looks like a cauliflower. The people suffering from rosacea may be unfairly mistaken for chronic alcoholics (who also have a reddish face and nose).


The diagnosis can be easily done by checking the lesions by the naked eye. However, dermatologic examination is advisable to rule out other causes of reddish face. Some extensive forms of the rosacea may be similar to the so-called butterfly erythema present in systemic lupus erythematosus.


It is necessary to avoid any causes of reddish face. In mild forms of rosacea, no special treatment is needed. Affected skin areas can be covered by make-up. Increased skin care is appropriate including the usage of electric razor instead of blades, gentle washing and drying the face, etc. Local skin ointments may help and antibiotics are reported to have significant effect in some cases. It is assumed that there is certain relationship between some bacteria living in the digestive tract and the development of rosacea, but this issue is still under investigation.


The most severe forms of the disease associated with significant deformation of the shape of the nose may then require surgical treatment.


Jiri Stefanek, MD  Author of texts: Jiri Stefanek, MD
 Sources: basic text sources