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Rosacea is a common skin disorder of the face. A red, flushed face may be the first sign of rosacea, a disease that affects an estimated 13 million adults in the United States.

Rosacea usually affects fair-skinned people aged 30 to 50 who tend to blush or flush easily. The first signs of rosacea include redness on the cheeks, nose, and forehead and possibly a gritty feeling in the eyes. In later stages, rosacea can cause pimples, increasing redness, and small, visible blood vessels. In advanced stages, the nose may become red, bumpy, and permanently swollen from excess tissue.

No one really knows for sure. But there are certain "triggers" that can cause the disease to get worse. These triggers vary from person to person, but common ones include heat, sun, certain foods, strenuous exercise, stress, and alcohol. Sometimes, lifestyle changes may be necessary to avoid rosacea flare-ups.

If you answer "yes" to these questions, you may have rosacea...

  • Do you blush and flush easily?
  • Do you have fair skin?
  • Have you noticed pimples?
  • Have any close relatives been diagnosed with rosacea?
  • Does your skin get red when you drink alcoholic or hot beverages or eat spicy food?
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Rosacea is not curable, and if not treated, it generally gets worse. But the good news is that there are effective medications for rosacea, and they can keep the disease under control. Often, the person with rosacea needs to use medicine for years.

There are effective therapies for rosacea that can help you put your best foot forward. Your doctor is the expert on skin disorders -- make an appointment to start controlling your rosacea and to find the therapy that's right for you.

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