Understanding the 3 Stages of Rosacea

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Rosacea is a common, chronic skin condition in which redness or pustules form on the chin, cheeks, nose and forehead. Other symptoms include:

  • Frequent blushing or flushing
  • Appearance of small, red facial blood vessels
  • Large, red nose with thickened, bumpy skin
  • An irritating or burning sensation in the eyes

Although the cause of rosacea is unknown, flare-ups can be triggered by sun exposure, stress, hot or cold weather, exercise or consumption of alcohol and certain foods. The skin condition can be embarrassing and painful.

There is no cure for the skin condition, but it can be managed with a variety of treatments. The treatment that is appropriate will depend upon which stage a person is experiencing. There are three stages of rosacea.

Stage 1: Vascular Rosacea

This first stage of rosacea is characterized by redness and flushing on the cheeks, nose, chin and forehead. During this stage, the face may also become slightly swollen.

Stage 2: Pustular Rosacea

When rosacea progresses to the second stage, bumps, pimples, or spider veins and enlarged pores appear on the face. In some people, the skin irritation can also affect the scalp, ears, neck or chest.

Stage 3: Late Rosacea

Left untreated, rosacea may eventually reach the third stage. In this stage, the skin around the nose thickens. The nose can become bulbous and misshapen. The eyes can become dry or irritated, and excessive tearing or burning may occur. Eyelids may become swollen, and styes can be recurring.

If detected early, rosacea can be managed before it progresses. A dermatologist can diagnose and treat this skin condition, as well as recommend some lifestyle changes that can minimize flare-ups. Treatments may include antibiotics, topical creams and laser therapy to reduce the appearance of veins or redness.