Identifying Rosacea Symptoms


Rosacea symptoms are one of the many aspects of this chronic skin condition that make it so difficult to diagnose properly.  Scientists have yet to discover the cause of this condition so it is up to you to pinpoint the symptoms and inform your doctor.

Perhaps one of the most well-known symptoms of rosacea is the distinct and persistent reddening around the nose, cheeks, forehead and chin.  Many people also identify this with eczema or a skin allergy, but this is just the beginning.  If the condition has the chance to progress it can lead to burning or stinging rashes, facial disfiguration and eye problems.

The Four Main Types of Rosacea

Rosacea has many symptoms attributed to it and their manifestation can vary significantly from person to person.  However, doctors have narrowed the most common symptoms down to four main types, written below.

  • Type 1: Erythema, which is characterized by redness and swollen blood vessels
  • Type 2: Papulopustular Rosacea, redness accompanied with puss filled bumps
  • Type 3: Phymatous Rosacea, thickening skin and enlargement of the nose
  • Type 4: Ocular Rosacea, irritated eyes and swollen eyelids

Type 1 is the most common and many people often mistake it for sensitive skin.  The key to telling the difference is the presence of tiny blood vessels that are visible beneath the skin.  When you enter type 2, inflammation increases drastically.  The rash is often confused with acne, but there are no blackheads and there is a pronounced burning or stinging sensation.  Type 3 is much rarer and occurs more often in men than women.  Along with the thickening of the skin, lumps can form on the chin, forehead and even inside the ears.  Type 4 is also rare and it is considered the most dangerous stage.  The eyes can become very dry and styes, small red bumps that form on the eyelids can cause serious secondary infections if they burst.  This can lead to cornea damage and vision loss.

Finding Rosacea Symptoms Early

In the list compiled below there are several early warning rosacea symptoms that you can identify to help in understanding what causes rosacea.

  • Flushing (excessive blushing)
  • Facial skin becomes hyper-reactive
  • Inflamed blood vessels
  • Consistent red patches on the face, scalp and ears

Flushing is always the first sign of pre-rosacea.  The difference between flushing and blushing is that the redness can spread down onto the neck and chest and it can persist for minutes at a time.  There can also be an unpleasant hotness accompanied with the sensation.  The skin of the face can also become over-reactive and redden with many stimuli including touch.  This is actually due to the dilation of blood vessels and not the skin itself.  Blood vessels around the nose and in the cheeks can become pronounced and may look like spider webs.  The face can also take on a blotchy look like that of an alcoholics.  If, after a flushing episode, the redness does not recede from certain parts of your face, this is the number one symptom that you are developing rosacea.

Triggers Behind Rosacea Symptoms

If you have rosacea it is important to know how to stop the onset of a rosacea flare-up.  There are many factors in your everyday life that can aggravate the condition.  Listed below are some of the most common.

  • Emotional stress and embarrassment
  • Extreme temperatures
  • Alcohol
  • Hot foods
  • Wind
  • Sun Exposure
  • Heavy Exercise

Since doctors are not sure of all the factors in the cause or causes of rosacea it is possible that some of these could also bring on the condition.  And these are not even a fraction of possible triggers since anything that might cause the blood to rush to the surface of the skin can aggravate the condition.  You should always take precautions where you can, such as wearing a hat and scarf when going outdoors to protect from sun and wind exposure.  Change your exercise regimen to something less intensive like swimming and walking.  Even letting that cup of coffee cool down can help in your rosacea treatment and keep you from having another flare-up.

Sadly, very little is known about rosacea despite the fact that so many people have contracted the condition.  Since doctors do not yet have a test for diagnosing rosacea, it is wise for you to be able to recognize the conditions and triggers that bring on rosacea symptoms so that you can stop it before it progresses into the more serious type 3 and type 4 stages.


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