Rosacea is a chronic inflammatory skin disorder characterised by the appearance of erythema, telangiectasia, papules and pustules affecting the central area of the face. Its aetiology is unknown, although various factors such as abnormal vascualr reactivity and immune responses to microorganisms such as demodex folliculorum and helicobacter pylori have been suggested to play a role (Barco & Alomar, 2008). Rosacea is a condition mainly affecting individuals aged between 30 and 50 years. It is thought that there is a genetic predisposition to rosacea, since a third of patients report a family history of the disease (Barco & Alomar, 2008). Risk factors include chronic actinic damage, use of topical corticosteroids, a spontaneous tendency for flushing, genetic factors and northern or eastern european origin. Since the condition usually affects the face, there is considerable psychological, social and occupational impact. According to Barco and Alomar (2008), there are four rosacea subtypes:

1. Erythematotelangiectasia rosacea: characterised by persistent erythema, telangiectasia, and odema of the central facial region.

2. Papulopustular rosacea: characterised by papules, and pustules in the central facial region, or in the perioral, perinasal or periocular areas.

3. Phymatous rosacea: mostly affecting men, characterised by nodules, swelling of the chin, swelling of the forehead, ears and eyelids.

4. Ocular rosacea: is centred on the eyelids, conjunctiva and cornea. It tends to be accompanied by skin lesions, and may include the onset of blepharitis.

Barco, D. & Alomar, A. 2008. Rosacea. Actas Dermosifiliogr, 99, 244-256.

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