November 28, 2015

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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, demodecosis (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 2/18/2015
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