Acne Rosacea – Causes, Symptoms & Treatment


Rosy pink cheeks are beautiful to behold. But, don’t confuse it with rosacea. Rosacea is when the skin suffers from chronic inflammation that includes redness, spots, facial flushing, and thick and dry skin. Rosacea can also consist of bumpy and pus-filled pimples known as Acne Rosacea. Read on to understand more about this skin problem.

What Is Acne Rosacea?

Acne Rosacea is a skin condition when small bumpy cysts and lumps are formed, and the entire skin is red. It is neither painful nor itchy. It is also commonly known as inflammatory rosacea.

Causes Of Acne Rosacea 

  • Abnormalities In Facial Blood Vessels – Certain unknown abnormalities present in the blood vessels of the face can cause persistent redness, visible lines and blood vessels, and flushing.
  • Light Skin Color – Rosacea or acne rosacea usually occurs in fair/ light skin toned people compared to other skin tones.
  • Demodex Folliculorum It is a type of mite that lives on the skin’s surface and does not usually cause any problem. Although, people who suffer from rosacea have a higher percentage of these mites living on their skin. However, it is uncertain whether they are the main cause of rosacea or not.
  • H. pylori Bacteria – This is a bacteria found in the gut that stimulates and encourages the growth of bradykinin. It is known to cause blood vessels to dilate, and dermatologists propose that this may play a role in the development of rosacea.
  • Family History – People who suffer from rosacea or acne rosacea can inherit this skin condition. If your close relatives suffer from this problem, then there are higher chances for you to contract acne rosacea/rosacea.

Also Read: Effective Treatment For Acne/Pimple

Who Gets Acne Rosacea?

Acne rosacea is a skin condition that mainly affects fair or light skinned people more than people of darker complexion. It is estimated that 1 in 20 Caucasians suffers from it. It affects around 45 million people around the world.

What Body Parts Are Affected? 

Rosacea only affects that face; most common region involves nose, cheeks, forehead, and chin. It is generally present in the center of the face.

Acne Rosacea Symptoms

  • Frequent Flushing Of Your Face/ Facial Redness – It the most common symptom. The face becomes dark pink or red depending on the severity.
  • Small Bumpy Red Spots – The skin that is flushed red usually has small bumps that are red in color. They might contain pus and look like pimples.
  • Tiny Blood Vessels – Another common symptom includes visible blood vessels that spread like spider’s web across the face.
  • Facial Swelling – Since rosacea is caused because of inflammation, the face can puff and swell up.
  • Enlarged Nose – Unfortunately, the nose can increase in size and the pores are easily visible. The nose is also red and flushed.
  • Eye Problems – Rosacea can cause dryness, and it can affect your eyes. It can cause tearing, dryness, itching, blurred vision, and light sensitivity.
  • Thickening Of The Skin – The affected area can become rough in texture and thicken.

Also Read: What Is Cystic Acne – Symptoms, Causes & Treatment Options?

How To Treat Acne Rosacea?

There are topical and oral acne rosacea medications, non-surgical treatments, and foods to avoid as a preventive and cure for acne rosacea.


  • Topical Medications – The popular topical creams and gels for rosacea treatment include metronidazole (Metrogel) and Azelex cream. Both show positive results and effectively control redness and bumpy texture.
  • Oral Antibiotics For Acne Rosacea – Oral medications such as antibiotics are commonly prescribed to reduce and control acne rosacea. Doxycycline, tetracycline, and minocycline are classic examples of oral antibiotics. Tetracycline is commonly used for ocular rosacea. Doxycycline is used for several eye symptoms such as blurred vision, itching, dryness, and photo-sensitivity.
  • Isotretinoin – Isotretinoin is an oral medication prescribed for extreme and recurring rosacea. It is mainly used for acne vulgaris and acne rosacea. Isotretinoin must be used on a daily basis for 4-6 months.
  • Blephamide – It is a steroid eyedrop that is prescribed to patients who are suffering from ocular rosacea (dry eye symptoms). These can be used on a daily basis for up to one week, as per the dermatologist’s recommendation.

Also Read: What Acne Medications Are Prescribed By Doctors In India?

Other Treatments


  • Laser Treatment – Laser can be used on patients who suffer from visible blood vessels (telangiectasia). This helps to shrink them. To minimize the pain experienced, the dermatologist will apply anaesthesia to numb the skin before the treatment.
  • Glycolic Peels – Peels are a great way to exfoliate the skin. Glycolic peels are a fantastic method to control and improve acne rosacea. It is applied once in four weeks for the duration of 2-5 minutes usually. There can be a slight stinging sensation during the treatment.
  • Plastic Surgery For Thickened Skin – There are various cosmetic surgeries that are suitable for patients suffering from thickened skin that is inflicted with rosacea.
  • Photodynamic Therapy – It is a new technology that helps reduce inflammation and works very well on acne rosacea. It uses a topical photosensitizer liquid along with light to heal the skin.

Acne Rosacea Foods To Avoid

Since it is caused by inflammation and excessive dryness, there are certain foods that must be avoided at all cost. Watching what you eat and drink will really help with calming your skin and preventing this skin condition. Here some things to avoid while planning your Acne Rosacea diet –

  • Meat, especially liver can be highly acidic which can trigger it.
  • Milk and milk by-products like yogurt, cheese, and sour cream are again highly acidic in nature post-digestion. Inflammation can be caused by such acidic food.
  • Flavors such as chocolate and vanilla have been known to provoke acne rosacea.
  • Foods containing vinegar such as ketchup, pickles, olive brine, mayonnaise, chilli sauce, etc. contain histamine, a known assailant that triggers rosacea.
  • Bread, pretzel, cake, naan, etc. all contain yeast. Yeast extracts can increase inflammation.
  • Vegetarian protein such as broad-leaf beans and pods including lima, navy or pea are unsuitable for rosacea.
  • There are certain fruits and vegetables that have known to trigger acne rosacea such as citrus fruits (lemons, lime, and oranges), tomatoes, bananas, red plums, raisin, figs, eggplant, spinach, and avocados.
  • The most aggravating cause of acne rosacea is spicy and hot food (both in temperature and taste). Spices such as cayenne pepper, chillies, cinnamon, curry powder, and paprika can trigger and increase rosacea.
  • Alcohol is a common culprit for rosacea. It causes inflammation and is high in histamine.

Acne Rosacea affects more fair-skinned people than any other complexion.  If you are suffering from Acne Rosacea, visit your local dermatologist and follow these simple rules to keep your skin healthy and glowing.

Previous articleLaser Hair Removal At Home Vs Laser Clinics – Which Is Better?
Next articleHow To Remove Pigmentation From Face – Treatment Options
Dr TN Rekha Singh is an MBBS, MD in Dermatology, Venerealogy and Leprology from Andhra Pradesh with over 10 years of experience in the areas of dermatology and trichology. Working as a Senior Consultant Cosmetic Dermatologist and Trichologist with Oliva Clinics for 8 years now, she has trained over 60 Doctors in the areas of skin and hair care. One of the pioneer dermatologists with Oliva, she has been exemplary in bringing clinical marvels in addition to mentoring MD dermatologists and therapists. She was awarded for her research at the AP state conference, and has participated and presented papers at many national and international dermatology conferences. She is dedicated in bringing beauty and wellness through real science of transformation, giving real results. She enjoys reading, travelling and cooking. She lives with her husband and two kids in Hyderabad.