Difference between rosy cheeks and rosacea

Updated February 21, 2017

Redness of the cheeks is one of the main symptoms of the skin condition rosacea. Because this condition begins with periodic flushing or mild persistent redness, it's difficult to tell the difference between rosy cheeks and rosacea.


Unlike healthy rosy cheeks, rosacea may require treatment. If misdiagnosed with rosacea, you may be wrongly put on antibiotics. Conversely, if you don't care for rosacea-affected skin properly, the condition may worsen.


Rosy cheeks may feel warm occasionally, but don't cause pain. Rosacea flushing often causes a stinging or burning sensation. Rosy cheeks are smooth. Rosacea, however, may be accompanied by rough, dry skin or small red bumps and acne-like pimples.


In healthy facial skin, redness appears primarily on the cheeks. Rosacea also affects the nose, chin and forehead. Rosy cheeks have an even, pinkish glow. The redness of rosacea is more often patchy and rash-like.


Rosacea flare triggers, such as heat, cold, alcohol and spicy food, can also increase redness in healthy ruddy cheeks. Flushing caused by these factors does not conclusively indicate rosacea.


If you feel pain or itching, consult a GP, who may refer to you a dermatologist. Redness in the cheeks can indicate illnesseses besides rosacea, such as adult acne, eczema or lupus.


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