Korean J Dermatol.  2021 Sep;59(8):624-633.

A Study of the Clinical Features of Rosacea and a Comparison of Its Classifications

  • 1Department of Dermatology, Konyang University College of Medicine, Daejeon, Korea


Rosacea is a common chronic inflammatory skin disease, which primarily affects the central face. In 2002, the National Rosacea Society (NRS) committee developed the first diagnostic criteria for rosacea, based on its subtypes. The revised classification in 2017 prompted a proposal to transit from a subtyping to a phenotyping approach, reflecting current insights into rosacea pathogenesis, pathophysiology, and management.
This study aimed to elucidate the clinical features of rosacea and compare two diagnostic criteria in rosacea patients.
We performed a clinical study on 100 patients with rosacea diagnosed according to the 2002 NRS criteria. The age, sex, clinical features, subtypes, severity, and predisposing factors were evaluated using the questionnaire. In addition, we compared the 2002 and 2017 criteria, and evaluated patients if they met the revised criteria.
According to the 2002 NRS classification, the erythematotelangiectatic type (88.0%) was the most frequent, followed by the papulopustular (43.0%), ocular (13.0%), and phymatous (6.0%) types. There were 44 overlapping cases, including 38 cases with 2 subtypes mixed and 6 cases with three subtypes. Six patients were diagnosed with rosacea using the 2002 NRS criteria but they did not satisfy the revised 2017 criteria.
We found that the diagnostic features of the 2002 criteria are too ambiguous for the diagnosis of rosacea. Therefore, we recommend that dermatologists recognize the necessity of a transition from a subtyping to a phenotyping approach, according to the 2017 criteria for the diagnosis of rosacea.


Criteria; National Rosacea Society; Phenotype; Rosacea; Subtype
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