Feature Article

Triggers and treatment of rosacea

Shien-Ning Chee, Patricia Lowe



Rosacea is a common chronic inflammatory skin condition that can lead to significant facial changes, ocular involvement and decreased quality of life. Its cause is multifactorial and not completely understood. Treatment aims to control, but not cure, the disease.

Key Points

  • Rosacea is a common condition characterised by flushing, erythema, inflammatory lesions and telangiectasia.
  • The cause is multifactorial and not completely understood: genetics, neurovascular dysregulation and infections may be involved.
  • Diagnosis of rosacea is based on clinical findings, although investigations may be required to exclude differential diagnoses.
  • Treatment is tailored to the individual and aims to control symptoms and signs, but not cure the disease.
  • Referral of the patient to a general dermatologist is recommended when rosacea does not respond to conventional therapy.
  • Referral of the patient to an ophthalmologist is recommended if eye involvement is suspected.

    Picture credit: © Corbis/Michael Prince/Diomedia.com. Model used for illustrative purposes only.