The Different Types of Rosacea


Updated August 4, 2023

If you've been left red-faced by how your skin looks, it's time to talk about rosacea. It's a skin condition affecting millions of people worldwide. April is Rosacea Awareness Month. So it's the perfect time to shed some light on this often-misunderstood disorder. We'll help you navigate the four types of rosacea and their respective treatments.

Rosacea is a chronic skin condition. It's characterized by facial redness, thickening of the skin, and acne-like breakouts. Symptoms sometimes even include eye issues. But, don't fret! Understanding the different forms of rosacea can lead to the best treatment.

In our journey through dermatology, we'll discover the various subtypes of rosacea. These include erythematotelangiectatic, papulopustular, phymatous, and ocular. Each has its unique set of symptoms and causes. Moreover, we'll explore the arsenal of treatments available in dermatology. These range from topical treatments to more advanced options. Collectively, they ensure patients with rosacea receive the best possible care.

Remember that early diagnosis is essential in managing rosacea. Detecting it quickly allows us to avoid more severe forms of rosacea. This includes rhinophyma, occurring around the nose. So, join us as we dive into the phenomena of different rosacea types. We'll explore the mysteries behind their causes (some of which are still unknown). And then we'll get into the dermatological treatments designed to send rosacea packing!

We'll debunk misconceptions. We'll discuss risk factors for rosacea. We'll even share valuable tips on maintaining healthy skin. So let's increase awareness of this chronic skin condition and make our faces a happier place!

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These Four Types of Rosacea Are More Common Than You Think

Rosacea on woman's cheek

Per the National Rosacea Society, Rosacea affects over 16 million people in the US. That's only a small part of the over 415 million globally. NRS surveys show 92% of rosacea sufferers report burning, stinging, or itching skin on different parts of the face.

Each of the four type of Rosacea is distinguished by a unique set of symptoms and treatment options.

Type 1: Erythematotelangiectatic Rosacea (ETR)

ETR Rosacea

Let's begin with the first type of rosacea, known as Erythematotelangiectatic Rosacea (ETR). The name comes from two Latin words. "Erythema," means redness of the skin on the surface. "Telangiectasia," meaning enlarged blood vessels below the skin surface.


Facial redness: ETR may cause persistent redness across the cheeks, nose, forehead and chin. A burning or stinging sensation can often occur with rosacea. The skin may also develop bumps, pimples, and thickened areas.

Visible blood vessels: With ETR, tiny blood vessels near the skin's surface may become visible. This can give the appearance of a flushed complexion. This occurs because the blood vessels dilate and expand in response to triggers. These can include emotional stress, hot temperatures, exercise, or spicy foods. Blood vessels can also become permanently dilated and visible on the face. This is especially evident on the cheeks and nose. It's due to persistent inflammation that damages the skin. This condition is known as telangiectasia, commonly seen in individuals with ETR.

Flushing: A temporary increase in facial redness, or flushing, can be common for those with ETR. The redness may also be accompanied by a feeling of warmth or burning in the affected areas. While flushing can be uncomfortable or embarrassing, it is generally not harmful. It can also be managed by avoiding triggering factors and proper skincare.

Common Triggers:

Common triggers for Rosacea

The specific cause of rosacea is unknown. Some factors may prompt or worsen the condition. Common triggers for ETR include:

  • Sun exposure: Sunlight can cause blood vessels in the skin to dilate. This can trigger flushing and redness in people with rosacea.

  • Heat: Hot weather, hot showers, or hot beverages can also cause blood vessels to dilate. This can worsen rosacea symptoms.

  • Alcohol: Alcohol causes blood vessels to dilate. This can trigger flushing, redness, and inflammation in those with rosacea. This is especially true in the facial area.

  • Spicy foods: Spicy foods often contain compounds that increase blood flow and heat. This can exacerbate rosacea symptoms.

  • Stress: Stress can cause the body to release certain hormones. These can lead to inflammation and worsen rosacea symptoms.

  • Exercise: Intense physical activity can cause flushing and sweating, triggering rosacea symptoms.

  • Skincare products: Harsh skincare products can irritate sensitive skin and worsen rosacea symptoms. This is particularly true of those products that contain alcohol or fragrances.

By identifying and avoiding these triggers, those with rosacea can manage their symptoms. Be mindful that triggers can vary for different people. It's essential to find the unique mix of factors that can cause your rosacea symptoms.

Treatment Options:

There's no cure for rosacea. But identifying the type of rosacea a person has can help determine the best treatment. Often, treatments focus on managing symptoms. These include facial redness and visible blood vessels. Essential practices to follow are gentle skincare, sun protection, and avoiding triggers.



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For those looking for fast relief from the uncomfortable side effects of Rosacea, Dermeleve® is an excellent solution. This medication provides fast and effective relief for the itching, burning, and stinging that come with rosacea. Dermeleve® starts working almost immediately, providing long-lasting comfort that can last for hours. It's safe for long-term, frequent use. This makes it an excellent option for those seeking consistent relief from rosacea symptoms.

Topical treatments or laser and light therapies can be effective in reducing redness. In severe cases of ETR, a dermatologist may recommend more advanced treatment options. This depends on the extent of the condition and the presentation of symptoms.

Untreated rosacea is most likely to progress. This makes early intervention and proper management essential to maintaining clearer, healthier-looking skin. Consult with a dermatologist to ensure the best treatment plan.

Type 2: Papulopustular Rosacea

Papulopustular Rosacea

Papulopustular Rosacea – also known as acne rosacea – is known for causing acne-like breakouts. We'll explore its symptoms, triggers, and treatments. This will help you better manage this uncomfortable form of rosacea.


• Acne-like breakouts: Papulopustular rosacea can cause numerous small, pus-filled lesions. This looks similar to acne.

• Swollen, sensitive skin: Sufferers may also experience skin inflammation and sensitivity. , adding to the overall discomfort.

Common Triggers:

Understanding the triggers for papulopustular rosacea is vital to managing the condition effectively. These triggers may vary among individuals. Here's a brief rundown of why some common factors can cause or worsen the condition:

  • Stress: Stress has been linked to various skin disorders, including rosacea. It can trigger inflammation and cause the blood vessels to dilate. This leads to increased redness and flare-ups.

  • Alcohol: Consuming alcohol can cause blood vessels to expand, triggering facial flushing. This can worsen rosacea symptoms. Alcohol may also dehydrate the skin, making it more sensitive and prone to irritation.

  • Spicy foods: Eating spicy foods can increase body temperature and stimulate blood circulation. This can lead to facial redness and inflammation. Those with rosacea may be more sensitive to this response and experience flare-ups.

  • Temperature extremes: Both hot and cold temperatures can stress the skin. This is especially true for those with rosacea. Intense cold can cause blood vessels to constrict. They then dilate rapidly when returning to warmth. This increases the likelihood of redness and irritation. Hot environments, such as saunas or hot showers, can cause flushing. This can exacerbate rosacea symptoms.

  • Sun exposure: Ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun can damage the skin and trigger inflammation. Sun exposure can also cause facial redness and increased sensitivity. This in tern can lead to more severe rosacea symptoms.

It's essential to be aware of your unique triggers to avoid aggravating the skin further. Identifying and minimizing exposure to these triggers is critical to managing papulopustular rosacea. It is also key to maintaining healthier-looking skin.

Treatment Options:

As they say, the best treatment is personalized to the type of rosacea and its unique symptoms. In the case of papulopustular rosacea, treatment typically focuses on managing breakouts. Other focuses include soothing the skin. A few options include:

Topical treatments: Your dermatologist may recommend over-the-counter or prescription creams, gels, or lotions. These can help reduce inflammation, control breakouts, and lessen the redness. Dermeleve® is an excellent option for relief from rosacea itching, burning, and stinging.

Oral medications: Oral antibiotics or anti-inflammatory drugs may be used to manage rosacea symptoms.

Skin care routine: A gentle skincare routine with mild products can make a big difference for rosacea.

Lifestyle adjustments: Identifying and avoiding triggers can contribute to better rosacea management. Additionally, adopting stress management techniques can also help.

Working with your dermatologist is crucial to receive the best treatment plan. for your papulopustular rosacea. They can provide expert advice on different treatments. These can improve the look of your skin while providing optimal care.

Type 3: Phymatous Rosacea

Phymatous Rosacea

Stepping into the realm of Type 3 Rosacea, we'll be tackling Phymatous Rosacea. This specific kind of rosacea is identified by its thick, uneven skin texture. Interestingly, it appears to be more prevalent in men compared to women.


Thickened, bumpy skin: Phymatous rosacea causes the skin to thicken and develop a bumpy texture over time. This makes it distinct from the other rosacea types.

Enlarged nose: Known as rhinophyma, this feature occurs when the skin on the nose thickens and enlarges. This primarily affects the lower half of the nose. This is more common in men, and can cause discomfort and emotional distress in severe cases.

Common Triggers:

The exact causes of phymatous rosacea remain unknown. However, certain factors may contribute to its development or aggravate the condition. Some common triggers include:

Hormonal imbalances: Hormonal fluctuations, particularly in men, may contribute to phymatous rosacea.

Genetics: A family history of rosacea may also be a risk factor for developing this type of rosacea.

Inflammatory skin conditionsSkin conditions can often lead to inflammation. Individuals who previously suffered from acne or seborrheic dermatitis are particularly at risk. They may be more likely to develop a condition known as phymatous rosacea.

Treatment Options:

Managing phymatous rosacea typically aims to minimize symptoms and treat the underlying inflammation. Some treatment options include:

Topical creams and gels: Your dermatologist may recommend over-the-counter or prescription topical treatments. These can reduce inflammation, improving skin texture and appearance. Dermeleve® is a steroid-free medication that provides long-lasting relief. It works on the burning, itching, and stinging sensations of rosacea. Best of all, Dermeleve® starts working almost instantly. This ensures a quick reprieve from the pain and irritation brought on by the condition.

Oral medications: Prescription oral medications may be recommended for severe cases of phymatous rosacea. These include antibiotics or isotretinoin.

Laser or light therapy: Dermatologists can use lasers or intense pulsed light (IPL) treatments to reduce redness. They an also smooth the skin's texture and minimize the appearance of blood vessels.

Surgical options: If the nose becomes significantly enlarged, a dermatologic surgeon can perform surgical procedures. These can reshape and improve the nose's appearance.

Type 4: Ocular Rosacea

Ocular Rosacea

Last but not least, we're exploring the world of Type 4 Rosacea, also known as Ocular rosacea. As the name implies, this type of rosacea affects the eyes. It also makes it crucial to recognize its symptoms and address them promptly. Let's unveil the common symptoms, triggers, and treatments to combat this ocular invader!


Eye redness and irritation: Symptoms of ocular rosacea usually presents as persistent redness and irritation in the eyes. This can make them appear bloodshot and uncomfortable.

Swollen eyelids: This type of rosacea is distinguished by inflammation and swelling of the eyelids. This is often accompanied by a burning or stinging sensation.

Vision problems: In some cases, ocular rosacea can lead to vision complications. These include sensitivity to light, blurry vision, or potentially even corneal damage.

Common Triggers:

Recognizing and understanding the triggers for ocular rosacea is vital for proper management. Some potential triggers include:

Allergens: Exposure to allergens can aggravate ocular rosacea symptoms.

Environmental factors: Wind, dry climates, and air pollution can all contribute to worsening symptoms.

Stress: Emotional stress can trigger or exacerbate ocular rosacea symptoms. This can cause inflammation and immune system imbalances.

Treatment Options:

Early intervention is essential for managing ocular rosacea and avoiding more advanced complications. Here are some potential treatment options:

Eye care routine: A daily eye care routine can help maintain eye health and alleviate symptoms. These include using artificial tears or lubricating eye drops.

Prescription eye drops or ointments: Your doctor or optometrist may prescribe specialized eye drops or ointments. These can reduce inflammation and treat dryness or infections.

Oral medications: In some cases, oral antibiotics or other medications may be necessary. These are generally for more severe ocular rosacea symptoms.

Behavioral changes: Identifying and avoiding triggers and managing stress can help minimize ocular rosacea flare-ups. Additionally, they can help maintain overall eye wellness.

It's important that patients with ocular rosacea receive the best treatment. Ocular rosacea's symptoms can significantly impact one's quality of life.

Diagnosing Rosacea

Getting Rosacea diagnosed by a dermatologist

The first step towards effective management of rosacea is an accurate diagnosis. Dermatologists play a significant role in diagnosing rosacea. They can asses the severity of the condition, and recommending suitable treatments.

Early diagnosis can lead to better outcomes. It's crucial to seek professional help at the first sign of rosacea symptoms. Rosacea is often misdiagnosed as acne or other skin conditions. This illustrates the importance of consulting a dermatologist to confirm the diagnosis accurately.

Dermatologists typically rely on present symptoms in identifying the type or types of rosacea. As discussed earlier, there are four main types, each with a unique set of symptoms.

Sometimes, additional testing may be recommended. This can include a skin biopsy to rule out other potential skin conditions or infections.

Once a diagnosis is confirmed, customized treatment plans can be formulated. Your dermatologist can determine the best treatment plan for your unique situation.

Managing Rosacea Triggers and Symptoms

If you have rosacea, learn about the various triggers that can worsen symptoms. Identifying and avoiding these can help manage symptoms and prevent the condition worsening.

Identifying personal triggers:

People with rosacea often have personal triggers that worsen the symptoms. Common triggers include sun exposure, alcohol, spicy foods, caffeine, stress, and extreme temperatures. It's important to identify and avoid your personal triggers as much as possible.

Lifestyle changes:

Specific lifestyle changes can help manage the symptoms of rosacea. Use sunscreen regularly, avoid hot and cold temperatures, and minimize alcohol and caffeine.

Skincare routines:

Developing a consistent skincare routine can also help manage rosacea symptoms. This should include gentle cleansing with a mild cleanser. Apply a fragrance-free moisturizer, and use only non-comedogenic makeup and skin care products.

Diet and exercise:

There is no specific diet for rosacea. However, some people find that reducing their intake of spicy and acidic foods can help. Maintaining an exercise routine can reduce stress, also a significant trigger for rosacea.

Stress management techniques:

Stress Management can help with Rosacea

Stress is one of the most common triggers of rosacea. Stress management techniques can help reduce stress levels and manage rosacea symptoms. These include yoga, meditation, deep breathing, and other relaxation techniques.

Managing triggers and symptoms through lifestyle changes is only part of the battle. Medical treatments can also help manage rosacea symptoms. These may include prescription creams and oral medications to reduce redness and inflammation.

Treatment for papulopustular acne may be similar to treating rosacea. In severe cases of rosacea, laser treatments and light therapy may be recommended.

Treating phymatous rosacea may require surgery in addition to medication. This option could include laser or electrocautery methods.

Ocular rosacea can be managed with eye drops and medications. These can help to reduce dryness and inflammation.

Work with a dermatologist to recommend treatments to improve your symptoms of rosacea. They can recommend treatments specific to the type and severity of symptoms.

Rosacea can be challenging to manage, but you can reduce symptoms and complications. With proper care, you can manage triggers to avoid more advanced complications.

Support and Awareness For This Skin Condition In The Dermatology Community

Living with rosacea can be challenging. Developing a support network to raise awareness is essential. By sharing experiences, knowledge, and resources, we can improve lives of those affected.

The Importance of Sharing Experiences and Knowledge

People may develop rosacea at different stages of their lives. Also, the condition affects more men than women. As discussed, there are 4 types of rosacea. Each has its unique set of symptoms and causes. Sharing knowledge and experiences can provide valuable insight and support to others.

Understanding that rosacea is a common disease can help people feel less isolated. Sharing knowledge can improve quality of life for those impacted by the various types of rosacea.

Developing a Support Network for People with Rosacea

Support Network for rosacea

For those living with rosacea, a support network can make all the difference. Friends, family, and medical professionals are often key components of this network. Connecting with others who share the challenges associated with rosacea is equally essential.

Joining support groups or rosacea-related events can provide emotional support and practical advice. It's important to remember that others face similar challenges. You are not alone.

Joining Online Forums and Communities

Online forums and communities are invaluable resources for people affected by rosacea. They can offer crucial information, advice, and shared experiences.

They can offer knowledge about the many types of rosacea, their symptoms, and the various treatments available. People can share their experiences and discuss the kind of rosacea they have. They can describe the severity of their symptoms, and discover strategies to manage their condition .

Joining online forums and communities can help those seeking answers. They can also provide a sense of community for those living with rosacea.

The National Rosacea Society (NRS) is the world's largest organization dedicated to rosacea. It has helped to increase awareness and understanding of it for over 25 years.

The NRS offers information about the condition, tips for managing symptoms, and access to support groups. They also sponsor research to better understand rosacea's causes and potential treatments.

The NRS also educates the public, medical professionals, and policymakers about rosacea. This helps ensure that the condition receives the recognition and support it deserves. The NRS is a valuable resource for anyone interested in learning more about rosacea.

Increased support and awareness can make a difference in the lives of those with rosacea. Understanding and sharing our collective experiences, we create a helpful community. Together, we can strive for better treatment and management strategies. We can foster a world where rosacea doesn't hold anyone back from living their best life.

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Wrap Up

Different Types of Rosacea

As we've seen, rosacea is a complex skin condition affecting millions worldwide. We have investigated various types that contribute to most cases of rosacea. Interestingly, men are more prone to experience it compared to women. The four most common types of rosacea are erythematotelangiectatic, papulopustular, phymatous, and ocular. Apart from the differing symptoms, each type of rosacea also has specific recommended advice to patients. This is to ensure the best treatment and avoid more advanced symptoms.

You might be getting tired of reading this, but early diagnosis and treatment are crucial. Not only in managing rosacea effectively, but also in avoiding more advanced complications. The exact cause of rosacea is unknown, but understanding the triggers can significantly improve life.

Raising awareness about rosacea is vital to fostering better understanding and empathy. We have the power to establish a supportive community. This community can empower individuals to seek the best treatment. Additionally, it can help them to lead a confident and fulfilling life.

So let's use Rosacea Awareness Month to continue the conversation about rosacea. Let's support those affected by it, and work towards more effective treatments.

In the meantime, give Dermeleve®. In the meantime, why not try Dermeleve®? It can help manage a variety of symptoms associated with the condition.


Q: What are the different types of rosacea?

A: There are four different types of rosacea: erythematotelangiectatic rosacea, papulopustular rosacea, phymatous rosacea, and ocular rosacea.

Q: What are the symptoms associated with rosacea?

A: Symptoms of rosacea include facial redness, visible blood vessels, swelling, acne-like breakouts, thickening of the skin, and eye irritation.

Q: Is rosacea more common in men or in women?

A: Rosacea is more commonly seen in women, but men can also develop the condition.

Q: What causes rosacea?

A: The exact cause of rosacea has not been determined yet, but it is believed to be a combination of genetic and environmental factors.

Q: Can rosacea be treated?

A: Yes, rosacea can be managed and treated. It is important to visit a dermatologist who can provide suitable treatment options based on the type and severity of rosacea.

Q: Can severe papulopustular rosacea cause permanent skin damage?

A: Yes, severe papulopustular rosacea can cause permanent skin damage if not properly treated. It is important to seek medical attention for effective management.

Q: What are the risk factors for developing rosacea?

A: Some of the risk factors for developing rosacea include fair skin, family history of rosacea, being between the ages of 30 and 50, and having a history of acne.

Q: Can phymatous rosacea cause changes in the appearance of the nose?

A: Yes, phymatous rosacea can cause thickening of the skin on the nose, resulting in a bulbous or enlarged appearance, commonly referred to as a "bulbous nose".

Q: Are there any treatments available for ocular rosacea?

A: Yes, there are treatments available for ocular rosacea. It is important to ensure patients with ocular rosacea are properly diagnosed and receive suitable treatment to manage symptoms.

Q: Can I have rosacea and another skin condition at the same time?

A: Yes, it is possible to have rosacea and another skin condition simultaneously. It is recommended to consult a dermatologist for accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.