Dr. M.J. Bazos, MD. Patient Handout

About Your Diagnosis
Rosacea is a skin disease that affects patients between 30 and 60 years of age. The cause is unknown, but it is in part hereditary. Alcohol, hot beverages, and certain foods can worsen the disease. The diagnosis is made by a doctor based on the characteristic appearance. Rosacea is treatable, and the symptoms can be controlled with medications in most cases. It is usually not curable.

Living With Your Diagnosis
Rosacea affects the skin of the nose, cheeks, and forehead. It can cause redness, swelling, and pimples or pustules. The skin can become oily. In more severe cases it causes larger bumps on the nose. Rarely it can affect the eyes and eyelids, causing welling, redness, dry eyes, and burning. Small blood vessels under the skin can become enlarged and be very noticeable. These are seen as thin red lines on the face or nose.

Mild cases can sometimes be treated with an antibiotic cream applied to the affected areas. Antibiotics taken by mouth such as tetracycline or erythromycin are used to treat rosacea. Some patients will clear up in less than 1 month, whereas others take longer. Recurrences are common and may require a smaller dose of medication taken regularly to keep symptoms under control. Early treatment may slow down the progression of rosacea. Pustules can be treated with special sulfur preparations. sometimes a combination of medications is used to control symptoms. Severe nose enlargement is occasionally treated with corrective surgery.

The DOs
• Wash your face two times a day with a washcloth and mild soap such as Dove.
• Follow your doctor’s recommendations for soaps, sunscreens, and medications. Early treatment may prevent some of the long-term effects of rosacea.

The DON’Ts
• Avoid foods that aggravate your condition. These may include hot liquids and spicy foods, chocolates, cheeses, nuts, iodized salt, and seafood.
• Avoid alcohol.
• Avoid exposure to sun and extreme heat and cold.

When to Call Your Doctor
• If you have any symptoms involving your eyes or eyelids.
• If treatment is not helping after 3 or 4 weeks.