Rosacea Review - Newsletter of the National Rosacea SocietyRosacea Review - Newsletter of the National Rosacea Society

Q&A: Contagious? & Chlorine

Q. Is rosacea contagious?

A. No. Rosacea is not considered an infectious disease, and there is no evidence that it can be spread by contact with the skin or through inhaling airborne bacteria. The effectiveness of antibiotics against rosacea symptoms is believed to be due to their anti-inflammatory effect, rather than their ability to destroy bacteria.

Although the cause of rosacea is unknown, it tends to occur more often in people with fair skin who flush or blush easily. There is also evidence that rosacea can be inherited, and a National Rosacea Society survey found that 40 percent of rosacea sufferers could identify a relative with similar symptoms.


Q. Can the chlorine in swimming pools aggravate rosacea? My face seems to get very red after swimming.

A. It's quite possible that chlorine may be aggravating your rosacea, particularly if you notice a stinging or tingling sensation on your face after exposure. If you are also doing a considerable amount of swimming, don't forget sun and heavy exercise can sometimes cause flushing and redness. You can try a couple things to help reduce the redness. Keep a spray bottle of fresh, cool water on hand to rinse your face frequently. Also use a waterproof sunscreen and protect your face from the sun. And swim at a slower pace or take frequent breaks to avoid overexertion.