The first signs are the flushing and blushing, but there are other symptoms of rosacea too.
There are red spots, called papules, which can sometimes turn into pustules – these exude pus. They are different to pimples or acne because they are dome-shaped rather than pointed. There are no blackheads at all, nor whiteheads, and no nodules. These spots appear on the nose, forehead, cheeks and chin, but can appear on the abdomen and back (trunk) and on the arms.
Scaling and swelling
Rosacea may come with red skin, and scaling. The scaling is known as rosacea dermatitis. This scaling may also arrive with swelling to the area. The swelling is due to the build-up of fluid from the blood vessels – it’s not blood, but fluid that comes and goes from our blood vessels naturally. This is how swelling occurs in any part of your body – fluid comes out of blood vessel walls, and into the area between blood vessels. This is called your interstitial spaces. (Read more about how this swelling occurs here)
The skin on the face may be dry and flaky, and the swelling may escalate until the upper face becomes firm.
Telangiectasia may occur, which is caused by prominent blood vessels. This is the first stage of rosacea. (Find out more about the four different types here and read up on telangiectasia here)
Triggers and aggravating factors
There are some things that are known to aggravate rosacea, in particular the sun, and hot/spicy food and drinks.
Rosacea can cause your skin to become very sensitive, and it may burn, sting and have negative reactions to creams like make-up or sunscreen.
Eyes and eyelids are affected
Your eyes might get red, sore, or feel gritty. There may be an increase in styes and papules, with the result overall being sore, tired eyes. Infections may become more frequent (conjunctivitis). The eyelids may swell quite firmly.
Lumpy, thick nose
The nose may become lumpy, thickened, and very red, known as rhinophyma. (Read more about rhinophyma here)