Rosacea is a common inflammatory skin disorder that causes red patches, ‘pimples’, bumps and ‘burst’ capillaries on the face. The most commonly affected areas are the nose and cheeks (central face), but it can affect the whole face, including the ears and neck. It is not-contagious.

Rosacea can occur at any age but is most likely to affect people in their 30s and 60s. People with blue eyes and Celtic origins are especially susceptible. The disease is more common in women, but more severe symptoms tend to be seen in men. Frequent flushing or blushing is often the first sign. Over time, permanent redness (erythema) may develop as the capillaries enlarge and pustules begin to form. Rosacea can cause the nose to become reddened and enlarged (rhinophyma).

The cause is unknown and there is no permanent cure, but there are treatment options. It can be aggravated by anything that reddens the face e.g the sun, hot and spicy food.


The symptoms of rosacea include:

  • A permanent flush across the nose and cheeks
  • Enlarged capillaries (telangiectasis)
  • Frequent blushing
  • Yellow-headed pimples on the forehead, cheeks and chin
  • Non-tender lumps under the skin
  • Enlarged, red nose (rhinophyma)
  • A sensation of burning or stinging
  • A rash that is confined to the face