Rosacea is a common skin condition that often begins with a tendency to blush or flush more easily than other people. The redness can slowly spread beyond the nose and cheeks to the forehead and chin and even to the ears, chest, and back. Some people develop little bumps and pimples or acne-like breakouts on the red parts of their faces and may experience burning and soreness in the eyes. The skin may also get coarser and thicker with a pebble-like texture and the eyes become dry, red and irritated. Rarely, rosacea can cause knobby bumps on the nose, called rhinophyma.
Experts are not sure what causes rosacea. While something is irritating the skin, it does not seem to be an infection caused by bacteria. Rosacea tends to affect people with fair skin or who blush easily and seems to run in families. It flares when something causes the blood vessels in the face to expand, which causes redness. Things that cause a flare-up are called triggers and may include diet, exercise, sun and wind exposure, hot weather, stress, spicy food, alcohol and hot baths. Swings in temperature from hot to cold or cold to hot can also cause a flare.
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