Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical and family history. A physical exam will be done, including a thorough examination of your skin. The diagnosis can usually be made based on the typical appearance of the rash. In some situations, you may be referred to a doctor specializing in skin problems (a dermatologist) or eye problems (an ophthalmologist). There are no specific tests to detect rosacea, but some testing may be done to rule out other disorders with similar symptoms. These may include blood tests or a skin biopsy.
The National Rosacea Society's experts have created a system for diagnosing rosacea that includes specific symptoms being present for 3 months or more.
The diagnosis will include identification of the subtype. Knowing the subtype of rosacea can help with a treatment plan. There are 4 subtypes:
Symptoms can vary in severity. It is also possible to have symptoms that fall into more than one subtype.
Do not try to diagnose and treat yourself because certain over-the-counter medications can make rosacea worse.
All about rosacea. National Rosacea Society website. Available at: http://rosacea.org/patients/allaboutrosacea.php. Accessed December 28, 2015.
Questions and answers about rosacea. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) website. Available at: http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Rosacea/default.asp. Updated September 2013. Accessed December 28, 2015.
Rosacea. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T116224/Rosacea. December 10, 2015. Accessed October 4, 2016.
Rosacea: Diagnosis and treatment. American Academy of Dermatology website. Available at: https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/acne-and-rosacea/rosacea. Accessed December 28, 2015.
Last reviewed December 2015 by Michael Woods, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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