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The signs and symptoms of rosacea can be classified in
primary or secondary features

Primary features (the presence of one or more of the following signs with a central face distribution indicates rosacea):

  • Flushing: transient redness. The patients suffer from a history of frequent blushing or flushing.
  • Persistent redness: non-transient erythema. It is one of the most common signs of rosacea.
  • Papules and pustules: they look like normal bumps and pimples and might be confused with acne.
  • Telangiectasia: this is the name that is given to the superficial visible veins that sometimes can be seen in rosacea patient.


Secondary features (they often appear in combination with one or more of the primary features of rosacea, but in some patients can occur independently):

  • Burning and stinging: feeling that the patients have in their skin: itching, burning and stinging.
  • Plaques: elevated red areas.
  • Dry appearance: the central facial skin may be rough and look dry
  • Swollen areas: it can accompany or follow prolonged facial redness or flushing. Sometimes it may last for days.
  • Ocular manifestations: they range from symptoms of burning or itching to signs of conjunctivitis and lid inflammation.
  • Phymatous changes: thickening and enlargement of the skin in one area, normally in the nose (rhinophyma).

In most cases a combination of primary and secondary features is seen in a patient, but rarely appear all together.

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