You've seen it before, a person with perpetual ruddy cheeks and no real good reason why they should be like that. At first glance, you might suppose it's due to inclement weather conditions, a strong sun or driving winds or biting cold. In the absence of that, the unfortunate person is often assumed to be a bit overindulgent, or even assumed to be a very shy and bashful creature prone to blushing. It could be any of those things, or it could be none of them. It might just be a condition called Acne Rosacea.
Acne rosacea, or simply rosacea, is a skin disorder that results in ruddy, red and pimply skin on the face, typically across the nose and cheekbones, but can also show up on the chin and forehead.
When you examine it closely, it resembles regular old-fashioned acne, but the difference is that you won't find any blackheads (which crop up only in very rare cases). Believe it or not, about 5% of the population is affected by rosacea, with it occurring most often in middle-aged women, and the majority of them tend to be the type who easily blushes. While it does happen to men, it usually is much more severe, resulting in a nose that often becomes quite red and enlarged (hence the reason why people might believe the overindulgence theory).
Without treatment, rosacea may become worse. While the actual cause of rosacea is still uncertain, it is thought that the people who are most susceptible, namely, fair-skinned individuals who tend to easily blush make it worse simply because they're unaware that they have the condition. They may attempt to tan their skin, but the sun damage causes the blood vessels beneath the skin's surface to stretch further then they should, and in some instances, even swell. With repeated tanning and exposure to the sun or cold, biting Irish winds and rain, the redness and swelling may become permanent. At some point, the capillaries will be visible beneath the surface.
And even if you shun the sun, wind and rain, you might find that your own lifestyle is a danger to your facial skin. A person flushes for many reasons, not just because they're shy; prescription drugs, mental or physical stress, certain hot and spicy foods or drinks, hot saunas or baths, weather extremes, etc., all of those can make a person's skin flush.
Treatment for Rosacea ranges from prescription topical creams to IPL (intense pulsed light) and other skin treatment lasers. Treatment is dependent on the level of 'blush' in the skin, and on the extent of broken veins present. Your acne clinic will assess your skin for the appropriate treatment for you and guide you through managing and improving your acne rosacea.