Rosacea is a chronic skin condition that flares up intermittently and typically affects the face.


Rosacea is a chronic skin condition that flares up intermittently and typically affects the face. The skin is red and produces small, pus-filled bumps. The pores get larger over time. The cause is unknown. Flares are presumably triggered by everyday events such as stress, alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, UV light, etc. Rosacea sufferers are advised to avoid the triggers.


Intermittent flares over many years

  • Stage 1
    • Red facial skin, in particular on the cheeks, nose and chin
    • Superficial and enlarged blood vessels (telangiectasia)
  • Stage 2
    • Flare ups with pus-filled blisters and bumps
    • Difference to acne: no pimples (blackheads), pustules don't originate in hair follicles
  • Stage 3
    • Cushion-like swelling of the skin
    • Skin is thickened and permanently red with large pores
    • Overactive sebaceous glands, nose appears bulbous (rhinophyma, almost exclusively in men)


Causes and treatment


  • The cause of rosacea is unknown
  • Expansion of blood vessels in the face in reaction to everyday triggers
    o Stress, medication, spicy food
    o Alcohol, nicotine, caffeine
    o UV light (sun), temperature extremes
  • Bacterial infection of hair roots
  • Enlargement of sebaceous glands

Further treatment by your doctor / in hospital

Possible tests
  • Examination of the skin
  • Biopsy for histological examination
Possible therapies
  • External application: antibiotic ointment or acne medication
  • Internal application: antibiotics or acne medication
  • Laser therapy

What can I do myself?

  • Avoid triggers and factors making it worse
    • Stress and conflict situations
    • Spicy food
    • Hot food and beverages
    • Alcohol, nicotine
    • Intensive sun exposure
  • Skin care
    • Wear breathable clothing whenever possible
    • Lukewarm water and mild skin cleansing lotions
    • Don’t use creams containing alcohol or perfume

When to see a doctor?

  • Facial redness that flares up intermittently or is chronic
  • Pus-filled blisters and bumps in the face
  • Changes in skin condition (enlarged pores, swollen, etc.)
  • Eyes
  • Foreign body sensation, burning, infection
  • Routine for rosacea: check-ups by eye doctor


rosacea, couperose, acne rosacea

Exclusion of liability

CSS offers no guarantee for the accuracy and completeness of the information. The information published is no substitute for professional advice from a doctor or pharmacist.