Rosacea: A chronic skin disease that causes persistent redness over the areas of the face and nose that normally blush: mainly the forehead, the chin, and the lower half of the nose. The tiny blood vessels in these areas enlarge (dilate) and become more visible through the skin, appearing like tiny red lines (telangiectasias). Pimples that look like teenage acne can occur. Rosacea occurs most often between the ages of 30 and 60, especially in people with fair skin. It affects both sexes. Although it tends to occur more in women than in men, it is often worse in men. In most people the symptoms come and go, although it tends to worsen with time. Rosacea can be treated but not cured. Topical antibiotics such as metronidazole, and oral antibiotics such as tetracycline, are often used. Short-term topical cortisone (steroid) preparations of the right strength may also be used to reduce local inflammation. Avoiding smoking, food and drink that cause flushing (such as spicy food, hot beverages, and alcoholic drinks), and other triggers such as temperature extremes helps to minimize symptoms.
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