Rosacea is a common condition that effects up to 3% of the population. It is characterised by facial flushing (redness), pimple like lesions, and occasional eye irritation.

Many people would not even know that had the condition. It presents with redness and flushing of the face, small papule and pustules, small prominent blood vessels and sometimes oedema and thickening of the skin. It is sometimes confused with conditions such as acne, peri oral dermatitis, seborrhoeic dermatitis, contact dermatitis and lupus.

Usually a general practitioner or dermatologist can make the diagnosis on appearance but sometimes a biopsy is needed.

We are learning more and more about the complex interaction of environmental causes such as UV light, mites and bacteria on the skin and complex genetic an immune modulators that lead to the presentation.

Some treatments are targeted at bacterial causes and include topical and oral antibiotics. Other treatments target the prominent blood vessels and topical agents which constrict the blood vessels and laser. There are newer topical treatments which aim to reduce the number of mites found on the skin as well. In some cases that are resistant to other treatments, an acne drug named isotretinoin is used.

There is a lot of exciting research into the cause of this common condition and association with other systemic conditions.

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