Acne rosacea is a common, chronic skin condition that affects both men and women. There are four main types of rosacea:
- erythro-telangiectatic (redness with dilated blood vessels)
- phymatous (thickening of the nose (rhinophyma) or chin (gnatophyma, and
- ocular (involving the eyelids)
Rosacea usually presents in fair skinned adults after the age of 30. Typically, a person may have had parents or grandparents with the same symptoms. It may begin with intermittent flushing of the medial cheeks, nose, or chin. One or any combination of these areas may be involved. Over time the flushing becomes a persistent redness with many small permanently dilated blood vessels known as telangiectasia. It can also progress to include full-blown acne with papules (small, red, solid bumps), pustules (white heads), and cysts. More severe or advanced cases of acne rosacea can also cause thickening of the skin on the chin (gnatophyma) and/or nose (rhinophyma). Examples of individuals with rhinophyma are W.C. Fields and Jimmy Durante. The eyes may also be affected in up to one third of patients. This is manifested by redness on the eyelids and/or white part of the eyes.