The main symptom of rosacea is redness on the face in the forehead, chin, cheek and nose areas, according to WebMD. Sometimes, pimples and tiny bumps appear along with the redness, and some people experience burning and sore eyes. In addition, the skin in the affected area may become thicker, coarser and bumpier.
The exact cause of rosacea is not certain. It is known that is caused by some sort of skin irritation, but not by a bacterial infection. People with lighter complexions seem to be affected more, and rosacea usually affects people who are 30 years of age or older.
It was once thought that alcohol abuse caused rosacea, but this is not the case. Alcohol can, however, cause rosacea to flare up, as it causes redness by making blood vessels in the face expand. Other factors can cause flare-ups in a similar manner, such as hot weather, stress, exercise, spicy foods and hot baths.
Doctors can usually diagnose rosacea easily because of the particular pattern of redness, and medical tests are usually not necessary. Rosacea can be treated in a number of ways, depending on the symptom. Antibiotics in pill form, such as doxycycline, are used to treat redness and breakouts, as well as skin creams that contain metronidazole, bimonidine and azelaic acid. Laser and intense pulsed light treatment, or IPL, is sometimes used to treat redness caused by tiny blood vessels. Eye irritation, dryness and redness is treated with eyedrops containing cyclosporine and other medicines. Cosmetic surgery is sometimes used as a treatment for bumpy or thickened skin.