Types of Rosacea

Vascular (flushing/blushing) Rosacea

Since rosacea results from growth of broken (extra) blood vessels on the sun-exposed skin of the face in susceptible individuals; the most common form of rosacea is ‘vascular’ rosacea, which consists of facial redness with flushing and blushing in response to a bunch of stimuli such as wine, coffee, exercise, changes in temperature and exercise.  Since blood vessels are quite good at making more blood vessels in response to sun-exposure, once vascular rosacea starts, it tends to worsen surprisingly rapidly.

Papulopustular (acne-type) Rosacea

Since enlarged oil glands, or sebaceous hyperplasia, is one of the 5 key signs of skin aging from the sun, it’s no surprise that people with rosacea develop over-active oil glands resulting in acne-type bumps. The difference is that with the pimples of rosacea, blackheads are typically absent. Stinging and burning often accompany the acne bumps.  Usually, if you have one type of rosacea, it tends to stay that type of rosacea. Most patients with vascular rosacea do not progress to acne-type rosacea; however, two-thirds of people with acne-type rosacea had vascular rosacea first.

Rhinophyma (nose-enlargement)

Rhinophyma refer to the nose (rhino) becoming enlarged with growths (phyma) from long-standing rosacea. This is a particular sub-type of rosacea more common in men and usually develops after vascular types of rosacea in a small percentage of people. Enlargement of the oil glands occurs, most commonly on the nose where oil glands are the largest, but can also occur on other areas of the face.

Ocular (eye) Rosacea

Rosacea involving conjunctiva, or lining of the eyes, happens on some level in as many as one-third to one-half of people with rosacea. Watery or blood shot eyes, stinging and broken blood vessels on the white of the eye or inner eyelid can occur. Although most commonly associated with other forms of rosacea, ocular rosacea can occur by itself.