Types of Rosacea, Their Causes and Treatments

Information on rosacea, (pronounced roh-ZAY-sha), has often been clouded by popular misconceptions about the skin disorder. It is not, as many people suppose, adult acne, although it is often referred to as acne rosacea. Symptoms are also often misunderstood: a red nose is not evidence of alcoholism or heavy drinking. W.C. Fields' red nose and his struggles with alcohol abuse linked the two problems in popular culture.

This site offers information on rosacea, its symptoms, and how it is treated. Rosacea is a chronic blood vessel disorder that most often develops between the ages of thirty and forty. The disorder affects both men and women (women are marginally more likely to develop it, and men are more likely to develop rhinophyma, the condition that caused Field's red nose). Fair skinned people with blue eyes are most likely to suffer from the disorder, but it can affect anyone.

Rosacea is a disorder of the facial blood vessels. Blood vessels just below the skin dilate and enlarge, causing blotchy redness and excessive flushing.

Information on Rosacea, Telangiectasia and Adult Acne

Rosacea is characterized by red, pimple-like bumps and excessive flushing of the face. The redness is

caused by the dilatation of small blood vessels, a condition known as telangiectasia.

In its early stages, excessive flushing is often mistaken for sunburn or blushing. In fact, a tendency towards blushing increases the likelihood that a person might develop the condition. The acne-like papules, or bumps, may be swollen and hard. Unlike adult acne, however, rosacea does not produce blackheads, whiteheads or cysts.


Erythema refers to patchy red skin rashes and is commonly associated with rosacea. Like the excessive flushing associated with telangiectasia, areas of erythema may be mistaken for blushing, sunburn or a change in complexion. Often the rash feels inflamed and hot. Erythema may worsen over time, becoming more prominent unless treated.


Rosacea can affect the eyes as well as the skin, causing conjunctivitis and other associated eye problems. Conjunctivitis is an inflammation of the inner membranes of the eyelids. Sufferers may have sore, red eyelids, experience a "gritty" feeling around the eyelids, or wake up with crusty build up on the eyelids after a night's sleep.

The T-Zone

Rosacea usually occurs with the "T-zone": the forehead, nose and mouth. The area is called the T-zone because it forms a T-like shape. The cheeks may also be affected and, in rare cases, the arms or the trunk of the body are involved.