What is Rosacea?

Rosacea is a common skin condition that causes redness and visible blood vessels on the face. It typically affects middle-aged and older adults, particularly those with fair skin. Though it can be a symptom of various conditions, rosacea is often exacerbated by triggers such as sun exposure, stress, and certain foods. Topical steroids on the face may also worsen rosacea.

  • Increased sensitivity and discomfort: Rosacea causes itchiness and burning sensations on the skin.
  • Cosmetic concerns: This can be due to worsening facial redness and inflammation, as well as the development of visible, pus-filled bumps or pimples.
  • Thickening of the skin: Mostly observed around the nose area, resulting in a bulbous appearance.

Symptoms and Diagnosis


If you’re experiencing any of these common symptoms, consult a dermatologist for proper diagnosis and treatment:

  • Facial redness: Persistent redness on the cheeks, nose, chin, or forehead that may resemble a sunburn or blush.
  • Swollen, red bumps: Small, pus-filled bumps (papules and pustules) that may resemble acne and can be accompanied by a burning sensation.
  • Enlarged nose: Thickening of the skin around the nose (rhinophyma), causing it to appear larger and more bulbous over time.
  • Eye irritation: Watery or bloodshot eyes, itching, and sensitivity to light which may lead to more serious complications if left untreated.


A proper diagnosis of rosacea is needed for effective treatment and management of the condition.

  • Physical examination: Your dermatologist will conduct a thorough examination of your skin, noting areas of redness, swelling, and the presence of any bumps or pimples. They will also consider your medical history and any potential triggers you’ve encountered.
  • Skin biopsy or laboratory tests: In some cases, your dermatologist may perform a skin biopsy or order laboratory tests to rule out other skin conditions that may have similar symptoms.

Types Of Rosacea

Characterised by facial redness, flushing, and visible blood vessels, ETR typically presents with sensitive skin and a tendency to flush easily.

Often mistaken for acne, this type features red bumps (papules) and pus-filled pimples (pustules), along with facial redness and swelling.

Results in the thickening of the skin, most commonly on the nose (rhinophyma), and may also affect the chin, forehead, cheeks, or ears.

Affecting the eyes and causes redness, irritation, and swollen eyelids. May lead to more serious complications if left untreated.


  • Sunprotection and avoidance of other potential rosacea triggers: Sunscreen of high sunprotective factor (SPF) of 30 -50 should be used regularly. Other triggers such as alcohol, spicy food and application of topical steroids on the face should be avoided.
  • Topical treatment: You may be prescribed topical treatment in the form of topical antibiotics (metronidazole or erythromycin), topical ivermectin, or topical azelaic acid
  • Oral antibiotics: These may be helpful for moderate to severe rosacea including doxycycline or erythromycin and may be prescribed for several months. Repeated courses may also be required depending on the frequency of flares and recurrences.
  • Oral isotretinoin: This is an option for refractory cases.
  • Laser therapy: Vascular lasers may be useful for reducing the prominent blood vessels and persistent redness. For those with skin thickening on the nose (rhinophyma), CO2 lasers may help to reduce the bulkiness and improve the overall appearance.

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Risk Factors

Understanding the risk factors of rosacea is essential for early detection and effective management.

  • Fair-skinned individuals
  • Ages from 30 to 60 years old.
  • Family history
  • Gender, as women are more likely to develop rosacea
  • Prolonged sun exposure
  • Smoking

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We are dedicated to your skin health and well-being. Our results-oriented approach is suitable for a wide range of hair, skin and nail conditions. Consult our MOH-accredited dermatologist for a personalised treatment plan.


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Honest & Ethical Practices

Dr. Lee Hwee Chyen

Medical Director & Consultant Dermatologist

MBBS (S'pore) MRCP (UK) FAMS (Dermatology)

Special Interests In:
  • Paediatric Dermatology
  • Women’s Dermatology
  • Procedural Dermatology & Lasers

Dr. Lee Hwee Chyen is an accredited Adult & Paediatric dermatologist managing a wide range of skin, hair and nail conditions. The clinic provides services for medical, surgical, cosmetic, women’s and paediatric dermatology.

  • MBBS (National University of Singapore, Singapore)
  • MRCP (Royal College of Physicians, United Kingdom)
  • Specialist Accreditation Board, Dermatology (Singapore)
  • FAMS (Academy of Medicine of Singapore, Singapore)
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    Frequently Asked Questions

    Consult a dermatologist who can recommend appropriate treatment options such as topical medications, oral antibiotics, or laser therapy, along with lifestyle changes to avoid personal triggers and maintain a gentle skincare routine.

    Rosacea triggers vary between individuals but may include sun exposure, emotional stress, hot or cold weather, wind, spicy foods, alcohol, hot beverages, strenuous exercise, and certain medications.

    The exact cause of rosacea is not fully understood, but it is believed to be a combination of genetic, environmental, and immune system factors, along with a dysfunction of the blood vessels and skin barrier.

    Individuals who are most prone to rosacea include those with fair skin, aged 30 to 60, with a family history of the condition, or women.

    No, it cannot be cured, but long-term treatments and avoidance of rosacea triggers will help to control the condition and symptoms.