What are the symptoms?

Rosacea can sometimes be called acne rosacea, as it can look similar to acne. However, it is a different condition to acne. Symptoms of rosacea include one or more of the following:

·        Frequent flushing of the face, similar to blushing. This is often the first symptom and may be the only symptom for months or years before anything else develops.

·        Redness (erythema) of parts of the face. This can look similar to sunburn.

·        Small lumpy red spots (papules) and small cysts (pustules) on the face. The spots and cysts look similar to acne. These may come and go in some cases but, in others, remain long-term unless treated.

·        Telangiectasia on the face. These are tiny blood vessels under the skin, which you can see and can become quite prominent on the face.

·        Eye symptoms(also called ocular rosacea) occur in about half of cases, but are often mild. They can include:

·        A feeling of something in the eye.

·        Burning, stinging or itchy eyes.

·        Dryness.

·        Sensitivity to light.

·        Eyelid problems such as cysts, styes or eyelid inflammation (blepharitis).

Inflammation and infection of the cornea (the front of the eye) is an uncommon but serious complication that can affect vision. See a doctor urgently if you develop eye pain or visual problems.


·        Thickening of the skin occurs in some cases. The most well known example of this is called a rhinophyma (a bulbous, bumpy nose). This is uncommon.



The symptoms are usually just on the central parts of the face - on the cheeks, forehead, nose, around the mouth and chin. Skin on other parts of the head is sometimes affected.

Rosacea is not usually painful or itchy. However, in some cases there may be a burning feeling over the affected skin. You do not usually feel ill with rosacea, and serious complications are uncommon. However, rosacea can be unsightly and distressing. People with rosacea are often accused of having a drinking problem because of their red face.

The symptoms can vary from case to case - for example:

·        Some people only ever get one or two of the symptoms. These may be just mild and not too troublesome. For example, some people just have facial flushing and/or mild redness of the face and never develop any other symptoms.

·        Some people may develop several symptoms, but one symptom may dominate.

·        Spots are a prominent feature in some cases, but not in all.

·        Rhinophyma is uncommon, but may occur even without any other symptoms.

·        Eye symptoms occur in some people before any skin symptoms develop.

In short, the development and severity of symptoms can vary greatly.