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Is it Rosacea or Something Else?


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is it rosacea or something else / skin redness/ acne bumps / rosacea skincare / rosacea tips / sensitive skin / green beauty

Today I’m going to help those of you who are wondering if your skin concerns are rosacea or something else! People can often confuse rosacea with acne, dermatitis (allergic reactions, rashes from irritants, etc) and even facial dandruff! So let’s set the record straight so you can make sure you’re creating a facial routine that targets the right thing!


Basic characteristics of rosacea

  • Women between the ages of 30-50 and fair skin are most commonly diagnosed  (although all skin tones can be affected)
  • Rosacea is an inflammatory condition
  • Can involved non-facial areas of the skin like neck and chest.
  • There are several sub-types of rosacea which are classified by the location and pattern of the inflammation but they all experience the following…..
      • Persistent redness of any or all rounded areas of the face (such as cheeks, nose, chin, and mid-forehead)
      • The skin looks red, hot and inflamed but infection is not a factor.
      • Waxy yellow bumps with a central pore (known as sebaceous hyperplasia papules) are present and often misidentified as milia.
  • It’s possible to have more than one type of rosacea
  • Many people (especially those with the erythematotelangiectatic type) can also have facial dandruff (known as seborrheic dermatitis)
  • Subtypes (see image below):
      • 1 – Erythematotelangiectatic
      • 2 – Papulopustular (often confused with acne)
      • 3 – Glandular
      • 4 – Ocular

Rosacea types / rosacea subtypes / skincare concern / sensitive skin


Areas commonly affected by rosacea

Where rosacea commonly shows up
Where rosacea commonly shows up. Dark pink – most severe areas. Light pink – less severe areas.


How rosacea is different from acne

  • Look for blackheads, not just enlarged or clogged pores. Blackheads are more common in acne.
  • Hormonal acne usually manifests as big, painful cysts along the jaw which is not a common site for rosacea.
  • Bacteria often plays a role in acne, where it doesn’t with rosacea. (bacteria test)


Areas commonly affected by adult acne

Areas commonly affected by adult acne. Purple - most common areas for breakouts (pimples, etc). Blue - most common areas for blackheads
Purple – most common areas for acne breakouts. Blue – most common areas of blackheads.


How rosacea is different from the rashes of dermatitis and facial dandruff

  • If the irritation is located only where a product is being applied it could be the condition is caused by a potential product allergy or irritation (making it dermatitis and not necessarily rosacea) 
  • Itching is often experienced with allergic reactions and many ingredients in common skin care products be can allergens that cause itching/dermatitis. Rosacea is not commonly associated with itching.
  • There is often a dry, chapped appearance plus stinging in irritant reactions  (not the case with rosacea). Common examples of this are from the use of alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) or harsh acne products.
  • Dandruff usually involves eyebrows, hairline, ears, and along the sides of the nose – areas uncommonly affected by rosacea.


Areas most commonly affected by facial dandruff

Areas that facial dandruff shows up
Areas that facial dandruff shows up


Hopefully, this clears up some common misconceptions about Rosacea. If you’re looking for more rosacea resources, CLICK HERE.

Until next time,

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Jamie Sabot, Author, Grounded Sage Skincare

Jamie Sabot

Jamie Sabot is the founder of Grounded Sage Skincare. Since she started in 2009, Grounded Sage Skincare has helped thousands of customers with their skin by creating handcrafted skincare products, online workshops, and this blog, which has been a trusted resource for straightforward natural skincare information to over 2 million readers and counting.

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