Diagnosing Rosacea, a Not So Rosy Skin Disorder

Most commonly triggered by sun exposure, stress, and extreme temperatures, rosacea is a skin condition that currently affects two million Canadians

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Don’t let rosacea get you down. If you notice persistent redness or flushing, see your doctor

Characterized by sudden red inflammations of the face, rosacea affects a large group of Canadians

Rosy cheeks are usually seen as a sign of health, but for two million Canadians living with rosacea, the sudden flush of red cheeks is actually a symptom of a chronic, sometimes life-disrupting skin disorder.


Rosacea involves an inflammation of the face, producing episodes of intense redness on the cheeks, nose, chin and forehead. Over time the redness can become more persistent, sometimes accompanied by visible dilated blood vessels. It can also lead to the development of bumps and skin eruptions. In severe cases, the skin of the nose can become thick, swollen and bumpy (rhinophyma). 

Rosacea is seen more often in women than in men, although men often have more severe symptoms. It usually develops in people between the ages of 30 and 60 and is most commonly found in adults with fair skin. As rosacea affects the face, it can be a source of social discomfort.

While the cause of rosacea is unknown and there is no cure, its effects can be minimized with the right therapy and lifestyle choices.

The Most Common Rosacea Triggers

Sun exposure
Extreme heat or cold
Intense exercise

  • Stress
Cosmetic products

  • Hot foods or beverages, spicy foods or alcohol
Hot baths or saunas

  • Medications

Treating Rosacea

The key to managing rosacea lies in avoiding triggers, plus there are oral and topical medications that can be prescribed to help minimize the inflammation and redness. If needed, laser treatment can be used to remove visible blood vessels, reduce redness or correct skin-related deformity of the nose. If you suspect persistent redness or flushing may be rosacea, see your doctor.

Originally published in Wellness Matters, Canada Wide Media’s quarterly newsletter on health and wellness.