Rosacea /roʊˈzeɪʃiə/ is a chronic condition characterized by facial erythema (redness) and sometimes pimples. Unless it affects the eyes, it is typically a harmless cosmetic condition. Treatment in the form of topical steroids can aggravate the condition.
It primarily affects Caucasians of north western European descent and has been nicknamed the 'curse of the Celts' by some in Britain and Ireland. Rosacea affects both sexes, but is almost three times more common in women. It has a peak age of onset between 30 and 60.
Rosacea typically begins as redness on the central face across the cheeks, nose, or forehead, but can also less commonly affect the neck, chest, ears, and scalp. In some cases, additional symptoms, such as semi-permanent redness, telangiectasia (dilation of superficial blood vessels on the face), red domed papules (small bumps) and pustules, red gritty eyes, burning and stinging sensations, and in some advanced cases, a red lobulated nose (rhinophyma), may develop.