Rosacea

  • Medical Author:
    Gary W. Cole, MD, FAAD

    Dr. Cole is board certified in dermatology. He obtained his BA degree in bacteriology, his MA degree in microbiology, and his MD at the University of California, Los Angeles. He trained in dermatology at the University of Oregon, where he completed his residency.

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Quick GuideRosacea, Acne, Shingles: Common Adult Skin Diseases

Rosacea, Acne, Shingles: Common Adult Skin Diseases

What are causes and risk factors of rosacea?

The exact cause of rosacea is still unknown and remains a mystery. The basic process seems to involve dilation of the small blood vessels of the face. Currently, it is believed that rosacea patients have a genetically mediated reduction in the ability to dampen facial inflammation that is incited by environmental factors such as sunburn, demodicosis (Demodex folliculorum in the hair follicles), flushing, and certain medications. Rosacea tends to affect the "blush" areas of the face and is more common in people who flush easily. Additionally, a variety of triggers are known to cause rosacea to flare. Emotional factors (stress, fear, anxiety, embarrassment, etc.) may trigger blushing and aggravate rosacea. A flare-up can be caused by changes in the weather, like strong winds, or a change in the humidity. Sun exposure and sun-damaged skin is associated with rosacea. Exercise, alcohol consumption, emotional upsets, and spicy food are other well-known triggers that may aggravate rosacea. Many patients may also notice flares around the holidays, particularly Christmas and New Year's holidays.

Rosacea risk factors include fair skin, English, Irish, or Scottish heredity, easy blushing, and having other family members with rosacea (called "positive family history"). Additional risk factors include female gender, menopause, and being 30-50 years of age. Continue Reading

Reviewed on 5/2/2016
References
REFERENCES:

Del Rosso, James Q. "Advances in Understanding and Managing Rosacea: Part 1 & 2: Connecting the Dots Between Pathophysiological Mechanisms and Common Clinical Features of Rosacea With Emphasis on Vascular Changes and Facial Erythema." J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 5.3 Mar. 2012.

Margalit, Anatte, et al. "The Role of Altered Cutaneous Immune Responses in the Induction and Persistence of Rosacea." Journal of Dermatological Science 82 (2016): 3-8.

Two, Aimee M., and James Q. Del Rosso. "Kallikrein 5-Medicated Inflammation in Rosacea." The Journal of Clinical Aesthetic Dermatology 7.1 Jan. 2014: 20-25.

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