Rosacea is a skin condition that may cause facial redness or flushing, as well as pimples and tiny bumps. Some may even develop eye irritation. Patients often wonder what may have caused them to develop this skin disease and what risk factors they should avoid to prevent future flare ups of symptoms.
An Unidentified Cause
Medical experts do not fully understand what causes rosacea, so risk factors cannot be identified. However, there are some theories regarding possible causes of rosacea.
Some believe that oversensitive facial blood vessels are to blame, while others point to tiny mites on the face. It was previously believed that alcohol abuse and poor hygiene were contributing factors, although these myths have been debunked, although alcohol consumption may lead to symptom flare ups.
Patients with fair complexions or those who blush easily are affected most often. Certain hereditary factors may also be to blame, as the condition tends to run in families. As none of these possible contributing factors can be avoided, there is no known way of preventing rosacea.
Risk Factors for Flare Ups
While the cause of rosacea is unknown, certain triggers have been associated with causing flare ups of symptoms. Common triggers include alcohol, sun exposure, wind exposure, hot baths, warm temperatures, stress, temperature swings and spicy foods. Fortunately, most of these are environmental factors that may be avoided.
Individuals suffering from rosacea are encouraged to track their behavior, eating habits, activities and environments before or during symptoms to determine what may be triggering flare ups. Once they believe they have established a possible cause, they should make the proper adjustments to avoid this activity or environment.
For example, individuals who notice that their symptoms flare up when they eat spicy foods should avoid eating these foods in the future. Patients who notice flare ups on hot days may find it helpful to stay indoors or find other ways of staying cool. Avoiding triggers may also be helpful in keeping the condition from worsening.
Those with rosacea may take solace in knowing that although the exact cause of the skin condition remains a mystery, risk factors that may lead to symptom flare ups can be identified.