What is Acne Rosacea?

Updated at: Jul 22, 2013
What is Acne Rosacea?

The red spots on the skin without pus inside them are called Acne Rosace. They are clearer than regular acne. It occurs in people with lighter skin tones.

Aditi Dasgupta
Skin CareWritten by: Aditi DasguptaPublished at: Jun 23, 2011

Rosacea is a skin condition that affects parts of the face. Symptoms can include facial flushing, facial redness, spots, thickening of the skin, and eye problems such as dry eyes and sore eyelids.

acne rosaceaAmerican Academy of Dermatology describes Rosacea in detail.

There are so many signs and symptoms that rosacea has four subtypes:

  • Erythematotelangiectatic rosacea: Redness, flushing, visible blood vessels.
  • Papulopustular rosacea: Redness, swelling, and acne-like breakouts.
  • Phymatous rosacea: Skin thickens and has a bumpy texture.
  • Ocular rosacea: Eyes red and irritated, eyelids can be swollen, and person may have what looks like a sty. 


Types of Rosacea-

Some people have more than one rosacea subtype at the same time. Each subtype requires different treatment.


Subtype 1: Facial redness, flushing, visible blood vessels


Signs and symptoms


  • Flushing and redness in the centre of the face.
  • Visible broken blood vessels (spider veins).
  • Swollen skin.
  • Skin may be very sensitive.
  • Skin may sting and burn.
  • Dry skin, roughness or scaling.
  • Have a tendency to flush or blush more easily than other people.


Subtype 2: Acne-like breakouts


Signs and symptoms


  • Acne-like breakouts, usually where the skin is very red.
  • Acne-like breakouts tend to come and go.
  • Oily skin.
  • Skin may be very sensitive.
  • Skin may burn and sting.
  • Visible broken blood vessels (spider veins).
  • Raised patches of skin called plaques (plaks).


Subtype 3: Thickening skin


Signs and symptoms

This subtype is rare. When it does occur, the person often has signs and symptoms of another subtype of rosacea first. The signs of this subtype are:


  • Bumpy texture to the skin.
  • Skin begins to thicken, especially common on the nose. When the skin thickens on the nose, it is called rhinophyma (rye-NO-fie-ma).
  • Skin may thicken on the chin, forehead, cheeks, and ears.
  • Visible broken blood vessels appear.
  • Pores look large.
  • Oily skin.

Who gets rosacea?

Rosacea is common. Most people who get rosacea are:


  • Aged 30-50 years.
  • Fair-skinned, and often have blonde hair and blue eyes.
  • Family history of rosacea.
  • Prone to acne cysts and/or nodules.
  • Women are a bit more likely than men to get rosacea. Women, however, are not as likely as men to get severe rosacea.


What causes rosacea?

Experts are not sure what the exact causes of rosacea are. The following related factors are said to contribute:

  • Abnormalities in facial blood vessels


Skin specialists suggest that a major factor is probably abnormalities in the blood vessels of the face, which cause the flushing, persistent redness and visible blood vessels. What causes the inflammation of the blood vessels is still a mystery.


  • Light skin colour


A much higher percentage of people with fair skin develop rosacea compared to other people.


  • Demodex folliculorum (microscopic mite)


Demodex folliculorum lives on human skin and usually causes no problems. However, patients with rosacea have much higher numbers of these mites than others do. Experts do not know whether the mites cause the rosacea, or whether the rosacea causes the overpopulation of the mites - i.e. whether the high population of demodex folliculorum is the cause or the effect of rosacea.


  • H. pylori bacteria


H. pylori, a bacteria found in the gut, stimulates the production of bradykinin, a protein known to cause blood vessels to dilate. Experts suggest that this bacterium may play a role in the development of rosacea.


  • Family history (inheritance, genes)


30% to 40% of patients with rosacea have a close relative with the condition. Unfortunately, scientists do not yet know how which genes are involved and how they are passed on.

Read more articles on Acne.




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