Rosacea - Symptoms - Causes
Facial redness/flushing . Triggers, such as sun exposure or alcohol, stimulate increased blood flow, which causes blood vessels to expand and facial redness to appear. In women, the redness usually appears on the cheeks, nose, chin, and forehead. The redness may appear in a "butterfly" pattern across the cheeks and nose. Facial redness in men typically appears on the nose, although symptoms can appear on other areas of the face. In some cases, redness may also occur on the neck and upper chest.

Pimples on the face. Small pimples may occur on the red areas of skin or on the edges. These pimples-red, round bumps in the skin-are different than acne pimples, which are blackheads or whiteheads.

Red lines on the face (telangiectasia). These small, thin, red lines are tiny
blood vessels that look like spiderwebs, and they usually appear on the cheeks.

Swollen bumps on the nose. In severe cases, mostly in men, the nose appears enlarged, bulbous, and red, a condition called rhinophyma.

Eye irritation. Symptoms include redness, dryness, burning, crusted mucus, tearing, a gritty feeling like that of sand in the eye, pinkeye (conjunctivitis), and swelling in the eyelid. The eyes may not tolerate contact lenses, and styes may develop. In some cases, vision may be blurry, but only in severe cases is vision damaged. About half of the people with rosacea have some eye irritation or symptoms.

Rosacea may be mistaken for some other conditions with similar symptoms, such as acne or lupus.

Some research suggests a link between rosacea and migraine headaches. Blood vessels may be the connection between these two conditions.

The exact cause of rosacea is unknown. One theory is that it may result from oversensitive blood vessels in the face. Because rosacea causes increased warmth in the skin, bacteria may grow, causing the pimples and bumps.

Tiny mites (Demodex folliculorum) that normally live on our skin may also play a role: People who have rosacea have more of these mites on their faces than those who don't have the disease.

Flare-ups often start when certain triggers cause the blood vessels in the face to dilate, which causes redness. Common triggers are sun, exercise, hot weather, emotional stress, spicy foods, alcohol, and hot baths. Swings in temperature from hot to cold or cold to hot can also trigger a flare-up of rosacea.

Many people with this skin condition have a family history of rosacea.1

There may be a link between rosacea and Helicobacter pylori bacteria, which causes an infection in the stomach, although studies are unclear.

Alcohol and poor hygiene do not cause rosacea, as was believed in the past. But drinking alcohol may trigger facial flushing and can cause symptoms to get worse.

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