Because of the potential complexity of rosacea, it has been classified into four (4) subtypes according to signs and symptoms that often occur together. It is possible to have the characteristics of more than one subtype at the same time.
If you think you have rosacea, it’s important to get medical care. Why? Because not only can this vascular, inflammatory condition get worse and potentially cause permanent damage to your skin, but it also has the ability to psychologically and emotionally impact your life. From avoiding social events to not feeling as self-confident as you once did, rosacea can affect life choices.
SUBTYPE 1. FACIAL REDNESS
- Medical name: Erythematotelangiectatic rosacea
- Symptoms: flushing and persistent redness, may include visible blood vessels, stinging, burning, and swelling.
- Erythema—the medical term for redness in rosacea—is associated with just about every subtype of rosacea, and for many people, the only symptom they may ever experience.
- In erythematotelangiectatic rosacea, the primary symptom of the disease is persistent facial redness. Visible blood vessels (telangectasia) can also occur with this subtype.
- People with these signs of rosacea tend to have very sensitive skin, and may feel as if their skin stings or burns at times.
SUBTYPE 2. BUMPS AND PIMPLES
- (with some redness, sometimes with swelling and visible blood vessels)
- Medical name: Papulopustular rosacea
- Symptoms: bumps (papules) or pimples (pustules) that come and go, includes red patches.
- Rosacea can often be confused with acne. However in rosacea, blackheads (oil-clogged pores) are not usually present and a burning or stinging sensation of the skin can be more common. Rosacea is also primarily found on people’s faces, while acne may also affect the back, shoulders, and chest.
- This type of rosacea occurs most commonly in middle age and affects more women than men.
SUBTYPE 3. SKIN THICKENING
- Medical name: Phymatous rosacea
- Symptoms: excess tissue often results in enlargement of the nose and irregular surface nodules (bump-like lesions).
- This form of rosacea is defined by thickened skin, typically around the nose. Many times this type of rosacea is mistakenly identified as “alcoholics’ nose” due to the thick, red skin around the nostrils.
SUBTYPE 4. EYE IRRITATION
- Medical name: Ocular rosacea
- Symptoms: watery or bloodshot eyes, tearing and burning, swollen eyelids, recurrent styes.
- Ocular rosacea is characterized by any one of many eye symptoms, including a watery or bloodshot appearance, foreign body sensation, burning or stinging, dryness, itching, light sensitivity, and blurred vision.
Dr. Lawrence Jaeger of New York is an expert in the diagnosis and treatment of skin conditions and is board certified in dermatology and dermatologic surgery; provides treatment for those patients suffering from Rosacea at Advanced Dermatology Associates in New York and the Bronx.