Is there a test for rosacea?

There is no specific test for rosacea. Doctors will look at your skin and eyes, and take your medical history. Your doctor may order tests to rule out other conditions.

How is rosacea treated?

There is no cure for rosacea, but there are ways to make your skin look and feel better. Most people respond well to a mix of medications and self-care measures. It can take 3 months or longer to see results.

The goals of treatment are to:

  • Control symptoms.
  • Prevent rosacea from getting worse.
  • Improve quality of life.

Your treatment may include:

  • Medications, such as creams or ointments to treat redness and flushing, and oral medications in more severe cases. People with eye irritation also may need eye drops or ointments for the eye.
  • Laser and light-based therapies to help shrink blood vessels, making them less noticeable, and to help thin out skin that has gotten too thick.
  • Surgery, if thickened skin needs to be removed.

Who treats rosacea?

Rosacea is primarily treated by:

  • Dermatologists, who specialize in conditions of the skin, hair, and nails.

Other health care providers who may be involved in your care include:

  • Mental health professionals, who can help people cope with difficulties in their social and professional lives that may result from their medical conditions. 
  • Ophthalmologists, who specialize in treating disorders and diseases of the eye. 

Living with rosacea

Besides going to your doctor regularly, there are a number of things you can do to relieve the discomfort of rosacea and prevent flare-ups. The following tips can help make living with the condition easier.

Learn what your triggers are. Many people with rosacea find that certain factors, or triggers, make their symptoms worse. Write down what seems to make your rosacea worse.

Some common triggers are:

  • Being in the sun.
  • Feeling emotional stress.
  • Being out in hot or cold weather or strong winds.
  • Doing strenuous (hard) exercise.
  • Drinking alcohol.
  • Taking hot baths.
  • Eating spicy foods or foods or beverages that are hot in temperature.

Treat your skin gently. Wash your face with cleansers made for sensitive skin, and moisturize regularly.

Protect your skin from the sun. Use an SPF 30 or higher sunscreen made for the face on a daily basis.

Watch for eye redness or burning. If you develop eye irritation, see your doctor right away.

Get support. Having a long-term condition like rosacea can be hard, and can raise the risk of anxiety and depression. Many people with rosacea, especially those with skin changes, report that it affects their social lives. Visit a mental health professional or join an in-person or online support group if you experience emotional problems.