Difference Between Rosy Cheeks & Rosacea

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

Rosy cheeks don't always indicate rosacea
Rosy cheeks don't always indicate rosacea (Image: Thinkstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images)

Significance

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.

Rosacea may require treatment
Rosacea may require treatment (Image: Digital Vision./Digital Vision/Getty Images)

Features

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.

Features
Features (Image: Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images)

Location

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.

Location
Location (Image: Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images)

Misconceptions

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.

Alcohol can trigger rosacea flare-ups
Alcohol can trigger rosacea flare-ups (Image: Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images)

Warning

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

Consult a dermatologist
Consult a dermatologist (Image: Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

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