Goodskin Dermatology

Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment for Rosacea

Something’s different with your face.

Your cheeks are red and puffy, and there are a few pus-filled pimples here and there. Not only are they painful — they’re downright embarrassing.

But what can you do?

Whether you’re wondering if what you’re seeing on your skin is rosacea or you know you have it and are looking for treatment options, we can help.

Find out more about the signs and symptoms of rosacea and where to go for treatment for rosacea that can help restore your complexion and your confidence.

treatment rosacea

Table of Contents

What Is Rosacea?

Rosacea (roe-ZAY-she-uh) is a skin condition that makes your skin look red and flushed. 

A person suffering from rosacea may appear to be always blushing or flushed and has visible blood vessels on their face. Their skin may also have small, pus-filled bumps. 

Rosacea may often be mistaken for acne and other skin problems. That’s why, if you think you may be suffering from rosacea, please visit your dermatologist or medical professional. 

4 Types of Rosacea

#1: Erythematotelangiectatic Rosacea

An individual suffering from erythematotelangiectatic rosacea has persistent facial redness. The small blood vessels just below their skin get larger and become more visible. 

With this type of rosacea, the symptoms often come and go. If left untreated, erythematotelangiectatic rosacea can get worse or even become permanent.

#2: Papulopustular Rosacea

Papulopustular rosacea results in pus-filled “whiteheads” and swollen red bumps that look a lot like acne. They frequently show up on the forehead, cheeks, and chin, but they may also be present on the scalp, chest, or neck. The person’s face may also appear red or flushed.

#3: Phymatous Rosacea

Phymatous rosacea is a rare skin condition. It most often affects the nose, causing the skin to become thick, scarred, swollen, bumpy, and sometimes discolored.

#4: Ocular Rosacea

Ocular rosacea affects the eyes. 

Someone suffering from this condition has eyes that feel irritated and look bloodshot or watery. They may become dry and sensitive and cysts may form on the eyelids.

Someone suffering from rosacea may have symptoms of more than one type at the same time.

What Are the Symptoms of Rosacea?

The signs and symptoms of rosacea may include:

  • Facial flushing or blushing – An individual with rosacea may always appear to be blushing or flushing in the middle part of their face. This sign of the condition is obvious on white skin, but can often be difficult to see on black or brown skin.
  • Visible facial veins – The tiny blood vessels in the nose and cheeks break and become visible. This is also commonly referred to as spider veins.
  • Swollen bumps – Many individuals who suffer from rosacea also develop acne-like pimples that sometimes contain pus.
  • Burning sensation – Rosacea may cause the skin of the affected area to feel hot and tender.
  • Eye problems – Often, someone with rosacea may experience irritated, dry, swollen eyes and eyelids. Known as ocular rosacea, the eye symptoms of rosacea sometimes precede the skin symptoms.
  • Enlarged nose – Over time, rosacea can result in the thickening of the skin on the nose, causing the nose to appear bulbous. This is known as rhinophyma and is more commonly found in men than in women.

The signs and symptoms of rosacea may flare up for weeks, or even months, and then go away for a  period of time. 

At Goodskin Dermatology, we understand how skin conditions can affect a person’s daily life and well-being. 

That’s why we focus on accurately diagnosing and creating effective treatment plans that get the desired results. 

Schedule your appointment today.

What Causes Rosacea?

The exact cause of rosacea is unknown. Theories surrounding the cause include:

  • Overactive immune system
  • Heredity
  • Hot drinks 
  • Spicy foods
  • Red wine and other alcoholic beverages
  • Temperature extremes
  • Sun or wind
  • Emotional factor
  • Exercise
  • Drugs that dilate blood vessels, such as some blood pressure medications
  • Some cosmetic, skin, or hair care products
  • Heightened sensitivity to naturally occurring skin mites
  • Environmental factors; or 
  • A combination of all of these

It is important to note that rosacea is not caused by poor hygiene and is not contagious

While anyone can develop rosacea, you may be more likely to experience it if you:

  • Are female
  • Are Caucasian
  • Have light blonde hair and blue eyes
  • Are over age 30
  • Have skin that burns easily in the sun
  • Had severe acne
  • Smoke
  • Have a family history of rosacea
rosacea treatment

How Is Rosacea Diagnosed?

There is no specific diagnostic test for rosacea. 

Dermatologists base a rosacea diagnosis on the appearance of the skin and eyes and on the individual’s medical history. They may also order tests to rule out other conditions that look like rosacea.

What Is the Treatment for Rosacea?

If you experience persistent symptoms or rosacea on your face or eyes, see your dermatologist for a diagnosis and proper treatment.

Rosacea treatments generally focus on controlling the symptoms and most often include a combination of methods we mention below.

The duration of treatment for rosacea depends on the type and severity of your signs and symptoms, and recurrence of symptoms is common.

Please note that treatments may vary depending on the condition and individual patient. Always consult with your healthcare provider to see which treatment is recommended.


The type of medication a doctor prescribes for the treatment of rosacea depends on the patient’s signs and symptoms. It is common to try several different options or combinations of medications to find the best treatment for each individual.

The dermatologist or doctor may suggest the following medications:

  • Gels or foams to relieve bumps, swelling, and redness and tighten blood vessels: Azelaic acid and Brimonidine (Mirvaso) 
  • Antibiotics to kill bacteria: Sodium sulfacetamide and sulfur (Avar, Sulfacet, Clenia, Plexion), Clindamycin (Cleocin, Clindagel, ClindaMax), Erythromycin (Erygel), Metronidazole (Flagyl) Doxycycline 
  • Acne drugs: Isotretinoin (Amnesteem, Claravis, and others) 
  • Antiparasitic: Ivermectin (Soolantra)
  • Alpha-1A receptor agonist to narrow blood vessels: Oxymetazoline (Rhofade)
  • Topical C calcineurin inhibitors: Pimecrolimus and Tacrolimus 

Always talk with your doctor or dermatologist about the best course of action for your specific needs — and about any medications you are taking. 

Medications may come with certain risks, so always discuss the benefits and risks of these medications with your practitioner. It is also important to note that it can take a few weeks or months of using one of these medicines for rosacea to improve.

Laser Therapy

Laser therapy may be used to make enlarged blood vessels less visible. 

Since laser therapy specifically targets visible veins, it is most effective on pale skin, as opposed to tanned, brown, or black skin. 

Discuss the risks and benefits of laser therapy as a treatment for rosacea with your dermatologist or doctor. 

Side effects may include swelling and bruising that can last for several days. Applying ice to your skin may be helpful for speeding healing following laser therapy. 

The full effect of laser treatment for rosacea may not be noticeable for several weeks. Repeat treatments may be needed periodically to maintain the skin’s appearance.

Sun Protection

Those suffering from rosacea often find their skin is particularly sensitive to the sun and will need to use added sun protection and precautions. This includes:

  • Applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF 30 (or higher) each day before heading outdoors 
  • Avoiding the midday sun
  • Seeking shade when outdoors
  • Wearing a wide-brimmed hat when outside to protect the face and neck from sun exposure
  • Wearing sun-protective clothing, including sunglasses

Skin Care

People with rosacea may find that many skin care products irritate their sensitive skin. This is why they will want to have a specialized rosacea-friendly skin care routine. 

Everyday habits, such as scrubbing the skin clean with a washcloth, can cause rosacea to flare. Cleansers and creams that contain alcohol, fragrances, witch hazel, and other harsh ingredients may also cause symptoms to flare. 

Using extra-mild skin care products and being gentle with the skin — ie: blotting your skin dry with a soft washcloth after washing your face — can help prevent flare-ups. 

If you have trouble finding mild, rosacea-friendly skin care products, check with your dermatologist for recommendations.

treatment for rosacea

Rosacea Treatment FAQ

What Are the Best Ways To Get Rid of Rosacea?

If you have a sudden rosacea breakout that you need to get calmed down asap, try these remedies: 

What Is the Best Thing To Get Rid of Rosacea?

While each person is different, your medical professional may recommend antibiotics and medications as treatment for rosacea. 

Dermatologists and doctors often prescribe tetracycline to their patients with rosacea, since it can quickly reduce acne-like breakouts and decrease redness.

Goodskin Dermatology Provides High-Quality, Patient-Based Treatment for Rosacea

At Goodskin Dermatology, we care about your skin as much as you do. If you’re struggling with rosacea — or another skin condition — our experienced professionals can help.

With locations in Hillsboro, Troutdale, Clackamas, and Aloha, our mission is to help our patients obtain healthy, vibrant, beautiful skin. 

We offer the most current clinical, surgical, and cosmetic dermatology services to address various skin conditions, cancers, and aesthetic imperfections.

We’re proud to be known as a practice our patients can truly rely on — a place where they know they’ll feel respected, heard, and understood each and every time they walk through our door. 

Your health, wellness, and comfort are always our top priorities. we look forward to helping you keep your skin looking — and feeling — its best.

Schedule your appointment at Goodskin Dermatology online today!

The content in this blog should not be used in place of direct medical advice/treatment and is solely for informational purposes.