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Rosacea (rose-AY-sha) is a chronic (long-term) skin disease that causes redness and swelling, primarily on the face. Other areas that can be affected are the scalp, neck, ears, chest and back. Sometimes, rosacea affects the eyes.
Those afflicted with rosacea may first notice a tendency to flush or blush easily. The condition can occur over a long period of time and often progresses to a persistent redness, pimples and visible blood vessels in the center of the face that can eventually involve the cheeks, forehead, chin and nose.
Since rosacea causes facial swelling and redness, it is easily confused with other skin conditions, such as acne and sunburn. For this reason, rosacea is known as the “great pretender,” and often incorrectly referred to as "adult acne".
The best advice for anyone who thinks that he or she may have rosacea is to see a dermatologist as soon as possible. Early diagnosis and treatment can control the signs and symptoms of rosacea so that rosacea is usually not visible or uncomfortable. Early treatment also may stop rosacea from progressing. If allowed to progress, rosacea may become more difficult to treat.