23.November 2022

What is rosacea?

Gesundheit  - Hautgesundheit  - Hautkrankheit  - Hautpflege 

What is rosacea?

Rosacea is a chronic inflammatory facial dermatosis characterized by progressive reddening of the face (flushing). In addition to the progressive reddening of the face, there are other typical signs of the disease: increased blood flow to the skin, dilated blood vessels, stabbing pain, itchy and burning spots and dry skin. The nose, cheeks, chin and forehead area are particularly affected by the symptoms.

Who is affected?

Rosacea is a chronic hereditary disease that usually breaks out after the age of 30 and reaches its peak between the ages of 40 and 50, so that children and adolescents are only affected in exceptional cases. In addition, light-skinned people in particular suffer from the disease and women are affected more often than men. 

How is rosacea triggered?

Causes and triggers of the disease are just like that of the Acne  vulgaris very individual. The first symptoms are often non-specific stimuli  triggered. These include exposure to sunlight, temperature changes, heat, stressors, alcohol and spicy foods.

Acne or Rosacea?

Rosacea can easily be confused with acne, since acne symptoms such as papules, pustules or nodules can also appear in later stages. However, there are open and closed blackheads in acne, which do not occur in rosacea. In addition, teenagers in particular suffer from acne, whereas rosacea patients are usually older. 

What phases of rosacea are there?

In general, three phases of the disease can be distinguished: rosacea erythematotelangiectatica, rosacea papulopustulosa and rosacea hypertrophica.


Stadium I:  Rosacea erythematoteleangiectatica

The first stage is characterized by permanent facial redness. The connective tissue loses strength, so that even small veins become visible. In addition, the irritability of the skin increases and those affected suffer from other symptoms such as stinging, burning or itching.


Stage II: Rosacea papulopustulosa

At this stage, there are more pustules and papules, so that the disease resembles acne more and more. The face can also appear swollen because lymphatic fluid can accumulate under the skin. 


Stage III: Hypertrophic Rosacea

In the most severe form of rosacea, large, inflamed lumps appear, which are particularly evident on the cheeks and nose. In addition, the connective tissue cells are significantly enlarged and the sebaceous glands thickened, so that patients have very large pores and inflamed skin. 

How is rosacea treated?

The type of treatment depends on the severity of the disease. With an adapted lifestyle and medical treatment, symptoms can be relieved and relapses can be delayed and reduced. But there is no ultimate cure. Local therapy is usually sufficient for the treatment of rosacea with temporary or permanent redness or papules and pustules, i.e. stage I and sometimes stage II. If the disease is only mild, it is usually sufficient to avoid the corresponding risk factors and a high one sun protection  to use. Avoiding foods that cause vasodilatation (such as alcohol, spicy foods, hot foods and drinks) is recommended. New findings also indicate that foods rich in biogenic amines, such as wine (especially red wine) or cheese, can promote worsening of rosacea. For severe cases, you should contact a dermatologist.

The right care:

Although the disease cannot be completely cured, the skin condition can improve significantly, especially with the right care routine. active ingredients  such as mallow and horse chestnut extract, wild rose oil and hyaluron help to alleviate the corresponding symptoms. Horse chestnut extract has an anti-inflammatory effect and promotes blood circulation, so that painful swellings go down quickly. Mallow extract has a strong anti-irritant and calming effect. Redness and feelings of tension are reduced by using the mallow extract. Wild rose oil has protective, moisturizing and skin-regenerating functions and helps the skin to regenerate after an attack. The hyaluron complex has a water-binding effect and protects sensitive rosacea skin from water loss.


Melnik, B., & Chen, W. (2018). Acne and Rosacea. In Braun-Falco's dermatology, venereology and allergology (pp. 1305–1336). Springer.

Plewig, G. (2005). Acne and Rosacea. In Dermatology and Venereology (pp. 885–909). Springer.

S2k guideline "Rosacea" (AWMF register no. 013-065). 2022