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Symptoms of Rosacea

  • Amy Scholten, MPH
Publication Type:

Condition InDepth

Symptoms of Rosacea

Rosacea has many symptoms and signs. They vary from one person to another. A person may have one or more of the following:

Flushing, redness—A person may flush or blush a lot. It may look like the skin has a sunburn or blush. Over time the redness is easier to see and lasts longer. The skin on the face may get very dry and thick. It may feel like it is burning, swollen, or warm.

Pink bumps or pimples—Small, red, solid bumps or pus-filled bumps, like acne, appear on the face as the disease progresses. This is sometimes called “adult acne.”

Red lines, small blood vessels on the face—Small, thin red lines on the cheeks and the face may appear. These lines are called telangiectasia, which are enlarged blood vessels just under the skin. The skin may get slightly swollen and warm.

Redness, burning, and tearing of the eyes—A person’s eyes may become red. The eyes may feel like they are burning or tearing. It may feel like sand or something else is in them. The eyelids may become infected, inflamed, and swollen. Some people complain of blurry vision. In severe cases of rosacea a person’s vision may become impaired.

Nasal bumps—If rosacea is left untreated, some people may get knobby bumps on the nose or an enlarged bulbous nose. This is called rhinophyma.

Other findings—A person may also have dry, rough skin, facial swelling and skin thickening. They may have raised red patches called plaques. The skin on the neck, chest, scalp or ears may be affected.

Rosacea Triggers

Common rosacea triggers may include:

  • Heat—from being in the sun, hot, humid temperatures, or from things like hot baths, drinks, and food
  • Stress
  • Windy or cold weather
  • Heavy exercise
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Spicy foods
  • Certain skin care products and cosmetics


  • Rosacea. DermNet New Zealand website. Available at: https://www.dermnetnz.org/topics/rosacea.
  • Rosacea. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/condition/rosacea.
  • Rosacea. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Disorders website. Available at: https://www.niams.nih.gov/health-topics/rosacea#tab-symptoms.
  • Rosacea: signs and symptoms. American Academy of Dermatology website. Available at: https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/rosacea/what-is/symptoms.


  • Nicole S. Meregian, PA
Last Updated:

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.