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Health A-Z

Medical Content Created by the Faculty of the
Harvard Medical School

What Is It?

Rosacea (rose-ay-shah) is a common, long-lasting skin condition that causes inflammation and redness of the face. It usually starts with redness on the cheeks and nose, and also can affect the forehead and chin. The late comedian W.C. Fields, who was known for his wicked wit and red, bulbous nose, had an advanced case of rosacea.

Rosacea usually affects fair-skinned adults between ages 30 and 50 who have "peaches and cream" complexions and a history of blushing easily. Women develop rosacea more often than men, but men are more apt to develop lumpy, enlarged noses, a condition called rhinophyma. Rosacea often is mistaken for sunburn and often goes undiagnosed. It is a very treatable condition.

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From Health A-Z, Harvard Health Publications. Copyright 2007 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved. Written permission is required to reproduce, in any manner, in whole or in part, the material contained herein. To make a reprint request, contact Harvard Health Publications. Used with permission of StayWell.

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