Rosacea Causes and Treatment

Since rosacea primarily affects light to fair-skinned people, prevention is more essential to them. Therefore, it is best to avoid long-term exposure to the sun or any activity which may damage, irritate, or inflame the skin.

Rosacea and its causes

It is unknown what the root cause of rosacea is, but there seem to be several contributing factors that may contribute to its development.

In many cases, rosacea has been associated with declining blood vessel density and responsiveness. However, it isn’t clear what leads to these vascular changes. Chronically inflamed and/or irritated skin, as well as UV damage, may play a role too. Rosacea is also attributed to the degradation of vital components of the skin such as collagen and elastin though it isn’t clear whether rosacea is a cause or a result.

Other causes may include environmental damage by sun, cold, and wind and diet (spicy food and alcohol consumption); skin irritants such as acne medication and chemical peels; and inflammation caused by skin conditions like eczema and dermatitis.

Another contributing factor may be mites or Demodex, which naturally occur in human hair follicles. It is unclear what kind of role these mites play, but they appear to accumulate in larger numbers on rosacea-affected skin.
Finally, there is heredity; rosacea is most commonly seen in fair-skinned people of European descent.

Rosacea treatments

There is no known cure for rosacea, but several treatments may yield varying degrees of success.

  • One of the best ways to treat rosacea is to avoid triggers, leading to a rosacea outbreak. Therefore, most skin experts will advise a sufferer to keep a log of possible rosacea triggers. Knowing and avoiding triggers is an effective way to avoid outbreaks, but further diligence is necessary to drive it into remission.
  • Protecting the skin is very important. Avoiding UV radiation and environmental, chemical, and dietary irritants is critical for effectively controlling and treating rosacea. Therefore, it is good to find dermatologically tested not to cause skin irritation when choosing a sun-blocking product.
  • Certain antibiotics such as orally administered tetracyclines and topically-applied metronidazole effectively treat bacterial infections associated with papulopustular rosacea. Another antibiotic, doxycycline hyclate, seems to be beneficial in inhibiting the breakdown of essential skin components, keeping the skin healthier, and lessening its degradation.
  • Laser and light-based treatments are some of the most widely-used and effective treatments of rosacea. Over the course of several treatments, the skin’s redness can disappear almost completely. However, it is important to understand that this only helps the problem, so if any underlying causes remain untreated, the redness will likely reappear after a short time.
  • There are several other forms of treatment for rosacea, such as azelaic acid, oral retinoids, non-vascular lasers, and angiogenesis inhibitors, which inhibit new blood vessel growth. However, these treatment methods are limited and haven’t met with the same scientific research as other treatments.