Skip to main content
Read about

Acne Rosacea

Tooltip Icon.
Last updated June 11, 2022

Acne rosacea quiz

Take a quiz to find out what's causing your acne rosacea.

Care Plan

1

First steps to consider

  • You can usually treat mild to moderate rosacea at home.
  • Try to limit triggers like spicy food, mint, alcohol, sun exposure (wear sunscreen), heat, and harsh cosmetic products.
  • Use a gentle moisturizer that repairs the skin barrier. Look for products that contain ceramides.
2

When you may need a provider

  • You’ve tried home treatments for 4–6 weeks with no improvement in the rosacea.
  • You have lots of pimples or pus-filled bumps (pustules) on your face.
  • Your skin hurts or is constantly red.
  • You have eye pain or grittiness (feels like there is sand in your eye), which may be a sign of ocular rosacea.

Emergency Care

Arrow Icon.

Go to the ER if you have any of these symptoms:

  • Severe skin or facial pain along with a fever

Acne rosacea quiz

Take a quiz to find out what's causing your acne rosacea.

Take acne rosacea quiz

What is rosacea?

Rosacea (also called acne rosacea) is a skin condition that causes red pimples and pus-filled bumps on the face, especially the cheeks and forehead. Your skin looks red or flushed or may look and feel sunburnt. It can also affect the eyes. With severe cases, the glands of the nose may grow, which increases the size of the nose.

For the vast majority of people with rosacea, emotional stress is a trigger for flare-ups. Stress triggers the inflammatory system, causing blood vessels to open up, or dilate. This makes the skin red and inflamed. Stress hormones also trigger inflammation that leads to pimples. Rosacea flare-ups can also be triggered by certain foods (red wine, spicy foods) and irritating skin products (like glycolic acid).


Rarity: Acne rosacea is very common. About 16 million Americans have rosacea. It is more common in women and fair-skinned people. It most often affects middle-aged and older adults.

Symptoms

Treatment

  • Use gentle, non-irritating skin products.
  • Avoid acidic products (like glycolic acid).
  • Reduce alcohol, spicy foods, chocolate, and mint.
  • Use OTC or prescription sulfur-based washes.

A dermatologist may prescribe:

  • Topical antiinflammatory medication (metronidazole, ivermectin)
  • Oral antibiotics (like doxycycline)
  • Laser treatments for redness

Ready to treat your acne rosacea?

We show you only the best treatments for your condition and symptoms—all vetted by our medical team. And when you’re not sure what’s wrong, Buoy can guide you in the right direction.
See all treatment options
Illustration of two people discussing treatment.
Share your story
Once your story receives approval from our editors, it will exist on Buoy as a helpful resource for others who may experience something similar.
The stories shared below are not written by Buoy employees. Buoy does not endorse any of the information in these stories. Whenever you have questions or concerns about a medical condition, you should always contact your doctor or a healthcare provider.
Dr. Rothschild has been a faculty member at Brigham and Women’s Hospital where he is an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. He currently practices as a hospitalist at Newton Wellesley Hospital. In 1978, Dr. Rothschild received his MD at the Medical College of Wisconsin and trained in internal medicine followed by a fellowship in critical care medicine. He also received an MP...
Read full bio

Was this article helpful?

Tooltip Icon.