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4 Types of Acne Rosacea - Causes, symptoms and treatments

Written by: Dr Emma Warner

Rosacea (玫瑰痤瘡,又稱酒糟鼻) is a skin condition that affects the face. Most cases of rosacea are mild, although it can still be bothersome. It mainly causes redness and flushing of the skin, or sometimes papules and pustules will develop. However, it is often misdiagnosed because the symptoms of rosacea can be similar to those of acne  

What is rosacea? 

As described above, rosacea is a skin condition mostly affecting the face, although it can also affect the neck, upper chest/back and ears. There have been a few proposed theories for what causes rosacea, but none of these have been definitively proven, so there is no known cause.  

Rosacea symptoms  

  1. Flushing of the face, which may be the first or only symptom of the condition  
  2. Redness of the face  
  3. Papules and pustules are small bumps and fluid filled spots that can form on the face  
  4. Small visible blood vessels called telangiectasia may appear on the skin, usually mostly noticable on the cheeks.  
  1. Thickening of the skin  
  2. Eye symptoms include foreign body sensation, burning, stinging or itching of eyelids.  

In some patients, eye symptoms can be serious and threatening to vision, so if you have rosacea and develop an eye problem, it is important to see a doctor immediately. 

How is rosacea treated?  

Since there is no definite cause of rosacea, there is no complete cure for it, but there are some treatments available that can help lessen the symptoms.   

Depending on the severity of the condition, your doctor may prescribe you antibiotcs or other topical skin treatments to help ease the inflammation. This will depend on their assessment of how severe your condition is, but also your predominating symtpoms and any triggers, as this will all affect the treatment choice. 

There are many things you can do to help reduce the severity yourself by making a few simple lifestyle changes:  


Daily life habits to prevent help rosacea    

  1. Reduce alcohol and caffeinated drinks (such as tea or coffee) 
  1. Eat less spicy food 
  2. Avoid long-term sun exposure and use sun protection daily  
  3. Avoid using harsh or alcohol-based facial soaps, makeup or beauty products that are heavily scented or oily  
  4. Avoid high-temperature activities such as hot spring baths, facial steaming, and sauna bathing 
  5. Manage stress and anxiety  
  1. You may feel more comfortable doing strenuous exercise in an airconditioned environment.  


OT&P advice 

Most people easily mix up rosacea with acne, which results in delayed treatment. If in doubt, consult your family doctor as soon as possible about treatment options. 

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  1. Springer Link. Rosacea, Germs, and Bowels: A Review on Gastrointestinal Comorbidities and Gut–Skin Axis of Rosacea. Retrieved 12 Sept, 2023, from  
  2. NYULangone Health. Types of Rosacea. Retrieved 12 Sept, 2023, from  
  3. American Academy of Dermatology Association. 8 tips to help prevent rosacea flare-ups. Retrieved 12 Sept, 2023, from  
  4. Everyday Health. What to Eat to Avoid Rosacea Flares. Retrieved 12 Sept, 2023, from  

Topics: General Practice / Family Medicine

Dr Emma Warner

Dr Emma Warner

Family Medicine, General Practice



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