Patient Care


What is Rosacea?

Rosacea is a chronic inflammatory disorder primarily of the facial skin. The exact cause of Rosacea is unclear. There is no permanent cure for Rosacea. However, medical therapy is available to control or reverse its signs and symptoms.

What are the signs & symptoms of Rosacea?

Rosacea typically begins as redness on the cheeks, nose, chin or forehead that may come and go. Over time, the redness tends to become more persistent, skin swelling and visible tiny blood vessels appear and small bumps often develop. In some patients the eyes are also affected and may be watery or bloodshot, and even cause gritty discomfort.

Rosacea is characterised by flare-ups and remissions. In long standing and severe cases the nose may grow swollen and lumpy from excessive tissue (rhinophyma).

There are four types of Rosacea, and patients may experience characteristics of more than one type at the same time.

Erythemato-telangiectatic Rosacea

Characterised by flushing and persistent redness, with multiple visible tiny blood vessels.

Papulopustular Rosacea

Characterised by persistent redness with transient bumps and pimples.

Phymatous Rosacea

Characterised by skin thickening, often resulting in an enlargement of the nose from excessive tissue build-up.

Ocular Rosacea

Characterised by dry eyes, tearing and burning, swollen eyelids, and potential vision loss from corneal damage. Referral to the ophthalmologist may be required for severe cases.

Consult your doctor if:

  • You're so uncomfortable with the condition that it affects your quality of life
  • There is widespread involvement
  • Self-care methods have not been effective
  • There is eye involvement
What are the treatment options for Rosacea?
Treatment applied to the skin

Patients with mild Rosacea usually respond well to topical treatments. These include antibiotics (metronidazole and clindamycin gel and lotions) and vitamin A derived creams or gels (adapalene and tretinoin).

Oral Antibiotics

In more severe cases, a course of oral antibiotics (usually doxycycline or erythromycin) may be prescribed to control symptoms. These oral antibiotics may exert an anti-inflammatory effect and are usually taken for several months. However, repeated courses may be necessary for patients with frequent recurrences.


In patients unresponsive to oral antibiotics, oral isotretinoin may be prescribed with good result. Adverse effects of isotretinoin include dry lips and skin, muscle aches, hair loss, abnormal liver function tests and raised lipids, muscle inflammation and depression. Female patients should not become pregnant while on therapy as it can affect the developing fetus.

Laser and Light Therapies

The Pulsed Dye Laser machine can be useful in reducing persistent redness and treating the prominent blood vessels of rosacea. For patients with an enlarged swollen nose (rhinophyma), the Carbon Dioxide Laser can be used to reduce the thickness of the skin.

Find A Doctor

Click here to access our Find A Doctor directory for a list of doctors treating this condition across our NUHS institutions.

You can search by -
  • Condition name 'Rosacea' AND
  • Institution
1E Kent Ridge Road, NUHS Tower Block, Singapore 119228
Last updated on
Best viewed with Chrome 79.0, Edge 112.0, Firefox 61.0, Safari 11
National University Health System
  • National University Hospital
  • Ng Teng Fong General Hospital
  • Alexandra Hospital
  • Jurong Community Hospital
  • National University Polyclinics
  • Jurong Medical Centre
  • National University Cancer Institute, Singapore
  • National University Heart Centre, Singapore
  • National University Centre for Oral Health, Singapore
  • NUHS Diagnostics
  • NUHS Pharmacy
  • Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine
  • Faculty of Dentistry
  • Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health
Back to Top