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JOURNAL ARTICLE

Rosacea: Diagnosis and Treatment

Linda K Oge', Herbert L Muncie, Amanda R Phillips-Savoy
American Family Physician 2015 August 1, 92 (3): 187-96
26280139
Rosacea is a chronic facial skin condition of unknown cause. It is characterized by marked involvement of the central face with transient or persistent erythema, telangiectasia, inflammatory papules and pustules, or hyperplasia of the connective tissue. Transient erythema, or flushing, is often accompanied by a feeling of warmth. It usually lasts for less than five minutes and may spread to the neck and chest. Less common findings include erythematous plaques, scaling, edema, phymatous changes (thickening of skin due to hyperplasia of sebaceous glands), and ocular symptoms. The National Rosacea Society Expert Committee defines four subtypes of rosacea (erythematotelangiectatic, papulopustular, phymatous, and ocular) and one variant (granulomatous). Treatment starts with avoidance of triggers and use of mild cleansing agents and moisturizing regimens, as well as photoprotection with wide-brimmed hats and broad-spectrum sunscreens (minimum sun protection factor of 30). For inflammatory lesions and erythema, the recommended initial treatments are topical metronidazole or azelaic acid. Once-daily brimonidine, a topical alpha-adrenergic receptor agonist, is effective in reducing erythema. Papulopustular rosacea can be treated with systemic therapy including tetracyclines, most commonly subantimicrobial-dose doxycycline. Phymatous rosacea is treated primarily with laser or light-based therapies. Ocular rosacea is managed with lid hygiene, topical cyclosporine, and topical or systemic antibiotics.

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