All About the Causes of Rosacea


Rosacea is a condition that tends to affect all those typical areas of the face that tend to color during blushing. This is something that is much more common in all those people who tend to flush easily. Additionally, there are a variety of triggers too that can cause rosacea to flare. There are several emotional factors including stress, fear, even anxiety or embarrassment that can trigger blushing and may aggravate rosacea. This flare up can be a result of changes in the weather. This may include strong winds or even some change in humidity levels. Sun exposure may damage the skin and is associated with rosacea. Other triggers include exercise, consumption of alcohol, besides emotional upsets, and consumption of spicy food that can aggravate rosacea. In certain patients, there can be flares around the holidays too, particularly during the Christmas and New Year holidays.

There are various theories behind the underlying causes of rosacea. Even though the fact remains that these have not been scientifically proven. But it is being hoped that very soon the research in these areas will help in the prevention as well as management of this condition.

Rosacea appears to be a vascular disorder. The reason behind this is its association with flushing leading to redness. Some physicians even believe that the nervous system may be involved as one of these causes of rosacea. This is because rosacea often gets triggered or even aggravated when patients are undergoing some kind of emotional stress.

Another theory about the causes of rosacea is that there is an increase in blood flow during flushing. This can lead to increase in the tissue fluid. This tends to accumulate much faster than the rate at which the lymphatic system is able to remove it. This kind of swelling may even contribute to skin thickening as the tissue tends to accumulate.

Besides these vascular factors, there is a microscopic mite known as Demodex folliculorum that is also being considered as a probable cause of rosacea. This is a mite that is a normal inhabitant of human skin. It helps the human body by consuming those cells that have been cast off. These mites have been found to be substantially more in the case of rosacea patients. But the fact remains that it is still unclear whether this remains as a cause or perhaps; a result of rosacea.

Other causes of rosacea include the bacterium Helicobacter pylori. This may be playing a role in raising gastrin levels that tend to stimulate flushing. This theory is yet to be scientifically proved, though.

Even though experts are not really sure of the exact cause of rosacea, but there are various related factors that are believed to contribute. These have been detailed below.

A major cause can be the abnormalities present in the facial blood vessels. Many skin specialists suggest that the major causes of rosacea include the abnormalities that may be in blood vessels present in the face. These can lead to the flushing, besides the persistent redness as well as the visible blood vessels. Now the cause behind this inflammation of these blood vessels still remains a mystery.

Other causes of rosacea include a light skin color. There percentage of fair skin people who develop rosacea is much higher when compared to various others.

D. folliculorum refers to the name of the microscopic mite that tends to live on the human skin. Usually it causes no problems. But it has been observed that those who have rosacea tend to have a much higher number of these mites that various other people do. Experts are yet to confirm if these mites are the cause behind rosacea, or whether it is rosacea that leads to the overpopulation of these mites.

H. pylori is the name of a bacteria that is found in the human gut. It helps to stimulate the production of a protein known as bradykinin. This protein is known to cause dilating of various blood vessels. Experts have suggested that this bacterium can also be one of the causes of this condition.

Even family history may be responsible for this condition. A large number of patients having rosacea are known to have some close relative also having this condition. But the scientists still do not know about the genes involved and how these get passed on.

In addition to these causes of rosacea, there are some trigger factors that can aggravate rosacea by increasing the flow of blood to the skin surface. A few of these factors are detailed below.

Hot foods besides hot drinks and spicy foods can make this condition worse. Next are caffeine and dairy products. Next are the extremes of temperature besides sunlight, wind and humidity are responsible for triggering this condition. Stress, anxiety, besides anger and embarrassment can make rosacea worse. Vigorous exercise and hot baths are the other trigger factors. Corticosteroids and certain medications including the ones used for treating conditions such as high blood pressure can aggravate this condition. Acute medical conditions including cold, cough and fever can make this condition worse. The chronic medical conditions like hypertension are the other trigger factors. Even though alcohol may not be causing rosacea, but this may certainly be a trigger factor for people who are suffering from this condition.

All this indicates that there are certain risk factors for rosacea. This includes fair skin, easy blushing, and other family members having this condition. The other risk factors include being of the female gender, going through menopause, as well as being in the 30-50 age band. Even though the exact cause of rosacea is unknown, but researchers do believe that it may be due to a combination of hereditary as well as environmental factors.

It is very important to ascertain the causes of rosacea. There are many reasons for this. The most important reason is that knowing the exact causes will help in the formulation of the right treatment that will be quick and effective too. Besides, this will also help in founding out ways for preventing the onset of this condition in the first place itself.

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