June 26, 2017

Rosacea

What tests do health care professionals use to diagnose rosacea?

Rosacea is usually diagnosed based on the typical red or blushed facial skin appearance and symptoms of easy facial blushing and flushing. Rosacea is largely underdiagnosed, and most people with rosacea do not know they have the skin condition. Many people may not associate their intermittent flushing symptoms with a medical condition. The facial redness in rosacea may be transient and come and go very quickly.

Dermatologists are physicians who are specially trained in the diagnosis of rosacea. Generally, no specific tests are required for the diagnosis of rosacea.

In unusual cases, a skin biopsy may be required to help confirm the diagnosis of rosacea. Occasionally, a noninvasive test called a skin scraping may be performed by the dermatologist in the office to help exclude a skin mite infestation by Demodex, which can look just like rosacea (and may be a triggering factor). A skin culture can help exclude other causes of facial skin bumps like staph infections or herpes infections. Blood tests are not generally required but may be used to help exclude less common causes of facial blushing and flushing, including systemic lupus, other autoimmune conditions, and dermatomyositis.

While most cases of rosacea are fairly straightforward, there are some atypical cases that are not as easy to diagnose. Other skin diseases and rosacea look-alikes include

Recently, there has been an association noted between rosacea and certain auto-inflammatory diseases, including diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, and cardiovascular disease.

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Reviewed on 6/9/2017
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