Common rosacea symptoms include small red lines on the skin, constant redness, a swollen nose, inflamed eyelids, and thicker skin. Very few people have all of the signs and symptoms of this disease. Therefore, people who have a family history of rosacea will usually be able to receive a diagnosis even if only a few symptoms are present.
When diagnosing rosacea, dermatologists need to examine a person's symptoms, because there are no tests that definitively diagnose this disease. However, very few people have all of the rosacea symptoms, which can make the condition hard to diagnose. If a person has family members with rosacea, doctors will usually make a rosacea diagnosis, even if there are only a few apparent symptoms.
Many symptoms are associated with this condition. Common symptoms of rosacea include:
- Frequent flushing of the center of the face occurs in the earliest stage of rosacea. This flushing is caused by swelling of blood vessels under the skin, and can last as little as a few minutes to as long as a few hours. In most cases, the blood vessels stay dilated and a sunburn-like redness becomes a permanent feature on the central areas of the face. This "red mask" can serve as a red flag for attention.
- Facial flushing is often accompanied by a burning sensation, particularly when creams or cosmetics are applied to the face. The face may also be slightly swollen.
- Small red lines appear under the skin. These lines show up when blood vessels become larger. This area of the skin may be somewhat swollen, warm, and red.
- Constant redness, along with bumps on the skin. The bumps may have pus inside (pimples), and solid bumps may later become painful.
- Inflamed eyes and eyelids.
- A swollen nose. For some people (mostly men), the nose becomes red, larger, and bumpy.
- Thicker skin. The skin on the forehead, chin, cheeks, or other areas can become thicker.