Diagnostic Signs of Rosacea
The presence of either of these signs is diagnostic of rosacea.
Persistent facial redness is the most common individual sign of rosacea, and may resemble a blush or sunburn that does not go away.
The skin may thicken and enlarge from excess tissue, most commonly on the nose (known as rhinophyma). This condition is less common, but can lead to facial disfigurement and inadequate nasal airflow if severe.
Major Signs of Rosacea
The presence of at least two of these signs is diagnostic of rosacea.
Many people with rosacea have a history of frequent blushing or flushing. This facial redness may be accompanied by a sense of heat, warmth or burning comes and goes, and is often an early feature of the disorder.
Bumps and Pimples
Small red solid bumps or pus-filled pimples may often develop. While these may resemble acne, blackheads are absent and burning or stinging may occur.
Visible Blood Vessels
In many people with rosacea, prominent and visible small blood vessels called telangiectasia become on the cheeks, nasal bridge, and other areas of the central face.
In many rosacea patients, the eyes may be irritated and appear watery or bloodshot, a condition commonly known as ocular rosacea. The eyelids also may become red and swollen, and styes are common. Crusts and scale may accumulate around the eyelids or eyelashes, and patients may notice visible blood vessels around the lid margins. Severe cases can result in corneal damage and loss of visual acuity without medical help.
Secondary Signs and Symptoms
These may appear with one or more of the diagnostic or major signs.
Burning or Stinging
Burning or stinging sensations may often occur on the face. Itching or a feeling of tightness may also develop.
Facial swelling, known as edema, may accompany other signs of rosacea or occur independently. Raised red patches, known as plaques, may develop without changes in the surrounding skin.
The central facial skin may be rough, and appear scaly despite some patients complaining of oily skin.