Common Causes of Rosacea

Mature woman with angry face

September 18, 2016

Rosacea is a chronic and frustrating skin condition. What makes this disease so frustrating for millions of sufferers is that it usually attacks the skin on the face. It is a disease that progressively gets worse, especially if it goes untreated or if it goes misdiagnosed. Unfortunately, many people accidentally think that this condition is acne or eczema, or they might think that they have a skin allergy. So they try to use treatments for these skin conditions and are left with negative results.

Although rosacea can affect people of any skin color, it primarily affects individuals who have light skin. Individuals who are prone to facial flushing or blushing are more likely to get it than other groups. Unfortunately, there is no known way to cure rosacea. Research has focused on finding ways to minimize the symptoms and provide sufferers a measure of relief.

Interestingly, while rosacea primarily affects individuals of European ancestry, researchers are noting that a larger number of individuals from Asia and the Middle East are developing the condition. This growth is being seen primarily in areas that have undergone social-economic improvements over the past few years. So researchers are starting to look to see if there is a link between lifestyle factors and rosacea in addition to a patient’s skin color.

Experts are not 100 percent sure as to what causes this condition. However, they believe that there are certain factors that most rosacea patients have in common. One is an abnormality in their facial blood vessels. Medical professionals believe that these abnormalities, which cause a person to have persistent flushing or persistent redness as well as visible blood vessels, play a role in developing rosacea. Still, researchers are looking to better understand what it is that causes the blood vessels in these individuals to become inflamed in the first place.

On the human skin, there is a microscopic mite that lives peacefully with people and causes no problems. However, researchers have noted that individuals who have rosacea have a larger quantity of these mites on their skin than other people do. What researchers are still trying to understand is if it is the mites that cause the condition or if it is the fact that the patient has the condition that leads to them having an overpopulation of skin mites. What is certain is that there is a correlation between the mites and the skin disorder.

Genetics also plays a large role. Researchers have noted that up to 40 percent of rosacea sufferers have a close relative who has the same condition. Still, scientists are not clear on which genes lead to the condition.

Many rosacea sufferers understand that there are triggers that can make their condition worse. The majority of these triggers are factors that increase the flow of blood to their skin, like drinking hot beverages or eating hot foods. Other factors include eating spicy foods that make the face flush or being exposed to extreme temperatures and sunlight. Increased stress, exercise and anxiety have also been linked to this condition.

At Torrey Pines Dermatology & Laser Center in La Jolla, we have a wide variety of treatment options for rosacea. Our team of experienced medical professionals will be happy to come up with a customized treatment plan that is perfect for you. We proudly serve the San Diego area. Contact us today to request a consultation at our office.

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