Gary W. Cole, MD, FAAD
Dr. Cole is board certified in dermatology. He obtained his BA degree in bacteriology, his MA degree in microbiology, and his MD at the University of California, Los Angeles. He trained in dermatology at the University of Oregon, where he completed his residency.
William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
In this Article
- Rosacea facts
- What is rosacea? Is rosacea contagious?
- Is rosacea like acne?
- What are causes and risk factors of rosacea?
- What are rosacea symptoms and signs?
- How is rosacea diagnosed?
- What happens to the nose and the eyes?
- How is rosacea cured?
- What about using acne medicine?
- What is the treatment for rosacea?
- What should be avoided? What foods are good for rosacea?
- What natural remedies can help rosacea?
- Does rosacea get worse with age?
- How should I care for the skin of my face?
- How are the telangiectasias (the red lines) treated?
- How is a rhinophyma (the W.C. Fields nose) treated?
- What effect may rosacea have on my life?
- Where can people get more information about rosacea?
- Take the Rosacea Quiz!
- Adult Skin Problems Slideshow Pictures
- View Pictures of Rosacea
- Rosacea FAQs
- Find a local Dermatologist in your town
What happens to the nose and the eyes?
The nose is typically one of the first facial areas to be affected in rosacea. It can become red and bumpy and develop noticeable dilated small blood vessels. Left untreated, advanced stages of rosacea can cause a disfiguring nose condition called rhinophyma (ryno-fy-ma), literally growth of the nose, characterized by a bulbous, enlarged red nose and puffy cheeks (like the old comedian W.C. Fields). There may also be thick bumps on the lower half of the nose and the nearby cheek areas. Rhinophyma occurs mainly in men. Severe rhinophyma can require surgical correction and repair.
Some people falsely attribute the prominent red nose to excessive alcohol intake, and this stigma can cause embarrassment to those with rosacea.
Rosacea may affect the eyes. Not everyone with rosacea has eye problems. A complication of advanced rosacea, known as ocular rosacea, affects the eyes. About half of all people with rosacea report feeling burning, dryness, and irritation of the tissue lining of the eyes (conjunctivitis). These individuals may also experience redness of the eyelids and light sensitivity. Often the eye symptoms may go completely unnoticed and not be a major concern for the individual. Many times, the physician or ophthalmologist may be the first one to notice the eye symptoms. Untreated, ocular rosacea may cause a serious complication that can damage the cornea permanently damaging vision, called rosacea keratitis. An ophthalmologist can assist in a proper eye evaluation and prescribe rosacea eyedrops. Oral antibiotics may be useful to treat skin and eye rosacea.
How is rosacea cured?
Rosacea is currently not considered a curable condition. While it cannot be cured, it can usually be controlled with proper, regular treatments.
There are some forms of rosacea that may be significantly cleared for long periods of time using laser, intense pulse light, photodynamic therapy, or isotretinoin (Accutane). Although still not considered a "cure," some patients experience long-lasting results and may have remissions (disease-free period of time) for months to years.
Learn more about: Accutane
What about using acne medicine?
Since there is some overlap between acne and rosacea, some of the medications may be similar. Acne and rosacea have in common several possible treatments, including (but not limited to) oral antibiotics, topical antibiotics, sulfa-based face washes, isotretinoin, and many others. It is important to seek a physician's advice before using random over-the-counter acne medications since they can actually irritate skin that is prone to rosacea. Overall, rosacea skin tends to be more sensitive and easily irritated than that of common acne.
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