Rosacea (row-zay-sha) is a common, chronic skin condition that frequently presents as facial redness and frequently pimples. Although rare, it can lead to skin thickening and swelling, particularly at the nose.

Blur_crop_08_DrBarankinIt often begins as a tendency to flush and blush frequently. In time, persistent areas of redness appear on the cheeks and nose. The chin, forehead and neck can also be affected.

Tiny blood vessels may be visible on the cheeks and nose.

There may be inflamed, red bumps and pimples (papules and pustules) on the cheeks, chin or forehead.

The skin is often very sensitive and may feel dry, rough or swollen.

Up to half of rosacea sufferers also experience eye involvement, ocular rosacea, causing red, watery eyes, frequent styes and an irritated, dry or gritty sensation.

The noticeable effects of rosacea – such as facial redness, visible blood vessels and for some, pimples, can cause low self-esteem, embarrassment, frustration and social anxiety.

Who gets rosacea?

More than 3 million Canadians suffer from rosacea but most often those from 30 to 50 years old are affected.

Rosacea usually affects :

# those with fair-skin, including people of Celtic or Northern European descent,

# more women than men,

# those with a family history of the condition,

# those with extremely sensitive skin.

As our population ages, rosacea is expected to become an even more common health problem.

*People with darker skin types get rosacea too but it is thought to be much less common in these groups. This issue is being investigated further.