About rosacea

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Updated: 4/11/2007 2:49 pm
Rosacea (rose-AY-shuh) is a chronic skin disorder that may cause redness, acne-like blemishes, and red lines due to enlarged blood vessels. In severe cases, the nose may become red, lumpy, and enlarged, though this is usually seen only in men. Rosacea typically affects adults age 30 to 60, especially fair-skinned individuals, and tends to get worse if not treated. The face is the most common location, but rosacea can also appear on the neck and upper chest. In its earliest stage, the condition causes temporary but repetitive attacks of flushing and redness. This flushing may be triggered by many factors, including hot or spicy foods, alcohol, and extreme temperatures. Eventually, the tiny blood vessels in the flushing areas may increase in diameter, leading to a permanent flushing called vascular rosacea. Another form of the disorder, known as inflammatory rosacea, can cause red or inflamed pimples that are often mistaken for acne. Still another type may lead to rhinophyma (rye-noh-FYE-muh), giving the nose a bulbous appearance. A person may have one or all types of rosacea symptoms. About half of those with rosacea may also experience mild eye problems such as burning, redness, tearing (TIR-ing), and irritation. Occasionally, the eyelids may become infected and swollen or blurry vision may develop.

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