Adolescent Rosacea in Peer-Reviewed Publications and Use of the National Rosacea Society’s 2017 Updated Guidelines

In 2017, the National Rosacea Society (NRS), the world’s largest organization dedicated to improving the lives of the approximately 16 million Americans who suffer from this widespread but poorly understood disorder, proposed updated diagnostic criteria for rosacea. The guidelines included the transition from subtype classification to phenotype classification. It was unclear whether these new guidelines could now also apply to patients under the age of 19.

Olive Osuoji, MD Department of Dermatology, University of California, San Diego, CA; Elana Kleinman, BS, department of dermatology, Rady Children’s Hospital, San Diego; Helen Park, BS, Department of Dermatology, University of California, San Diego; Margaret M. Appiah, BS, Rady Children’s Hospital, San Diego; and George Hightower, MD, PhD, Rady Children’s Hospital, San Diego, compared photographic documentation in peer-reviewed publications of adolescents diagnosed with rosacea with the National Rosacea Society‘s updated diagnostic criteria to see if the new criteria were applicable to the pediatric population.

The investigators performed a PubMed search using the terms “rosacea (and pediatric OR adolescent)” and limited the search to peer-reviewed publications between October 2017 and March 2022. All articles were reviewed by one or more members of the team to identify the presence of facial photos with a written description including ages between 12 and 19 years old. The identified photos, along with the text descriptions, were then assessed using a rubric comprising phenotype description terms that matched the diagnostic criteria for rosacea defined by the National Rosacea Society in 2017.

The search terms yielded 106 articles. Six of the articles were not publicly available and 2 articles were not in English. Of the remaining items, there were a total of 76 images. Only 2 articles included facial photographs of patients aged 12 and 19. Only 1 of these articles met the 2017 National Rosacea Society diagnostic criteria.

The researchers concluded that there were very few peer-reviewed articles with photos of teenagers diagnosed with rosacea. Additionally, research indicated that the 2017 National Rosacea Society diagnostic criteria are not widely used in peer-reviewed studies of adolescent patients. Researchers have determined that age-targeted publications showing appropriate use of diagnostic criteria in adolescent patients can help dermatologists make an accurate diagnosis of rosacea for this population.


Osuoji O, Kleinman E, Park H, Appiah MM, Hightower, G. Adolescent rosacea in peer-reviewed publications and use of the National Rosacea Society’s 2017 updated guidelines. SPD 2022 47th Annual Meeting . Poster presentation. July 7 and 8, 2022. Indianapolis, India

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