Rosacea (cont.)

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What are rosacea symptoms and signs?

Typical signs and symptoms of rosacea include facial flushing, blushing, redness, burning, red bumps, and small cysts. The symptoms tend to come and go. The skin may be clear for weeks, months, or years and then erupt again. Rosacea tends to evolve in stages and typically causes inflammation of the skin of the face, particularly the forehead, cheeks, nose, and chin.

When rosacea first develops, it may appear, then disappear, and then reappear. However, the skin may fail to return to its normal color and the enlarged blood vessels and pimples arrive in time. Rosacea may rarely reverse itself.

Rosacea generally lasts for years, and if untreated, it tends to gradually worsen.

How is rosacea diagnosed?

Rosacea is usually diagnosed based on the typical red or blushed facial skin appearance and symptoms of easy facial blushing and flushing. Rosacea is largely under-diagnosed and most people with rosacea do not know they have the skin condition. Many people may not associate their intermittent flushing symptoms with a medical condition. The facial redness in rosacea may be transient and come and go very quickly.

Dermatologists are physicians who are specially trained in the diagnosis of rosacea. Generally no specific tests are required for the diagnosis of rosacea.

In unusual cases, a skin biopsy may be required to help confirm the diagnosis of rosacea. Occasionally, a noninvasive test called a skin scraping may be performed by the dermatologist in the office to help exclude a skin mite infestation by Demodex, which can look just like rosacea. A skin culture can help exclude other causes of facial skin bumps like staph infections or herpes infections. Blood tests are not generally required but may be used to help exclude less common causes of facial blushing and flushing including systemic lupus, other autoimmune conditions, and dermatomyositis.

While most cases of rosacea are fairly straightforward, there are some atypical cases that are not as easy to diagnose. Other conditions and rosacea look-alikes include

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/5/2014

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