Rosacea and couperosis, which is a form of rosacea, most often cause redness and visible vessels to appear on the face. But these aren’t the only causes. Certain dermatological diseases that cause dilated blood vessels stimulate couperosis and flushing can correspond to underlying diseases that must be explored. In addition, certain medications can cause vascular dilations to appear on the face or increase those already present. A dermatological consultation is therefore warranted if there are doubts.

Couperosis is a dilation of small superficial skin vessels in the superficial dermis. The medical term corresponding to this vascular dilation is telangiectasias.

The network of superficial vessels forms a "capillary system" made of reddish linear lines on the face. Some of this network’s parameters may vary, depending on the person and his/her skin type, the age of the process, and the internal or external temperature or changes in temperature. The vessels are more or less wide and their colour ranges from bright red to purple or even bluish.

The topography varies but is usually relatively symmetrical. Sometimes only the nostrils are affected, but the cheekbones or the cheeks, more generally, are the most common area affected. However, the whole face may be affected.
When the tree branches in telangiectasias are difficult to see with the naked eye and redness dominates, this is called erythrosis.

Woman looking at her skin in the mirror

Logically then, the general term describing the condition mid-way between the two variants is erythro-couperosis.
A spider angioma may be observed with couperosis. This is a star-shaped vascular tree containing a more or less raised central red spot.


In most cases, couperosis is not related to any underlying disease; it appears slowly and progressively. It is a form of rosacea.

Flushes may occur before couperosis appears. The other signs of rosacea are erythrosis and possibly red papules (small spots) or pustules. Alcohol consumption does not cause couperosis or rosacea.

Who is affected by couperosis?

People with fair, thin skin are more often affected. 

 

What are the symptoms of rosacea?

Rosacea is a common dermatological condition that only affects the face, particularly the nose, cheeks, forehead and chin. The eyes may be affected (ocular rosacea) but this is rarer. Rosacea is not acne, and the term “acne rosacea” which is sometimes used, is being phased out. This visible skin condition is often psychologically challenging because it causes disfiguration and is frequently mistaken for a sign of chronic alcoholism.

Rosacea is a common dermatological condition that only affects the face, particularly the nose, cheeks, forehead and chin. The eyes may be affected (ocular rosacea) but this is rarer. Rosacea is not acne, and the term “acne rosacea” which is sometimes used, is being phased out. This visible skin condition is often psychologically challenging because it causes disfiguration and is frequently mistaken for a sign of chronic alcoholism.

 

3 different forms, 3 symptom types

What causes rosacea?
Who is affected by rosacea?

Rosacea is three times more common in women than in men, and people with fair skin are the most affected.
Symptoms often appear around the age of 30, but it has a peak age of around 50.
A frequent characteristic of rosacea is that it occurs in sensitive skin.

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