Last updated: August 9, 2021

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Rosacea is a chronic inflammatory skin disease that may be triggered by a number of factors (e.g., alcohol, stress). The etiology is unclear; however, the disease is more common in females and middle-aged individuals with fair skin. The disease presents with central facial erythema, telangiectasias, and papules/pustules. In severe cases, the nose develops a large, bulbous shape (rhinophyma). In contrast to acne, comedones are not present. Treatment options include the avoidance of triggers, topical agents (e.g., metronidazole, brimonidine) for mild disease and oral agents (e.g., metronidazole) for more severe disease.

  • Sex: > [1]
  • Age range: 30–60 years [1][2]

Epidemiological data refers to the US, unless otherwise specified.

The cause of rosacea is not entirely understood. It involves chronic inflammation of skin and is especially associated with triggers that increase body temperature.


In contrast to acne, comedones are NOT present in patients with rosacea.


The differential diagnoses listed here are not exhaustive.


  • Granulomatous lesions
    • Small brown papules, especially around the mouth and eyes
    • Granulomatous lesions may occur on their own, without other symptoms of rosacea
    • Histology: tuberculoid granulomas

All patients with rosacea and concurrent eye problems should have their eyes examined by an ophthalmologist.

We list the most important complications. The selection is not exhaustive.

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  2. Rainer BM, Kang S, Chien AL. Rosacea: Epidemiology, pathogenesis, and treatment. Dermato-Endocrinology. 2017; 9 (1): p.e1361574. doi: 10.1080/19381980.2017.1361574 . | Open in Read by QxMD
  3. Goldgar C, Keahey DJ, Houchins J. Treatment options for acne rosacea. Am Fam Physician. 2009; 80 (5): p.461-468.
  4. Mikkelsen CS, Holmgren HR, Kjellman P, et al. Rosacea: a clinical review. Dermatol Reports. 2016; 8 (1). doi: 10.4081/dr.2016.6387 . | Open in Read by QxMD
  5. Oge LK, Muncie HL, Phillips-Savoy AR. Rosacea: Diagnosis and treatment. Am Fam Physician. 2015; 92 (3): p.187-196.
  6. Weinkle AP, Doktor V, Emer J. Update on the management of rosacea. Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol. 2015; 8 : p.159–177. doi: 10.2147/CCID.S58940 . | Open in Read by QxMD
  7. Abokwidir M, Feldman SR. Rosacea Management. Skin Appendage Disord. 2016; 2 (1-2): p.26-34. doi: 10.1159/000446215 . | Open in Read by QxMD
  8. Gether L, Overgaard LK, Egeberg A, Thyssen JP. Incidence and prevalence of rosacea: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Br J Dermatol. 2018 . doi: 10.1111/bjd.16481 . | Open in Read by QxMD

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