Several factors may contribute to the development of rosacea. Rosacea development and the causes of outbreak vary among patients. A specific cause remains undetermined. Research has indicated certain groups of people may be predisposed to the condition, and these individuals may share similar traits.
Some research suggests that the condition is caused by the dilation and swelling of blood vessels. Small blood vessels of the face lie very near the surface of the skin. It is not understood why this occurs in some individuals and not others. Some research has focused on the possibility that individuals carrying greater numbers of skin mites or bacteria may be more susceptible to rosacea; however, findings do not support these theories.
The characteristic of rosacea is the blushing or flushing appearance of the face. In most cases, it is apparent on the cheeks, chin and nose. The severity of the condition also varies between individuals.
Some patients experience only a mild redness, while others may develop red bumps that mimic the appearance of acne. Some patients report burning and stinging sensations. In rare cases, the eyelids and region around the eyes may be affected.
Risk Development Factors
The medical community agrees that certain individuals have a higher risk of developing rosacea. These factors cannot predict that any individual will develop the condition.
People with greater risk include:
- fair skin
- northern European ancestry
- family member with the condition
- between 30-60 years of age
- males with a larger bulb shaped nose
A genetic marker has not been identified; however, some families have an increased number of members suffering from rosacea. Researchers have not concluded whether or not hereditary plays a role in the development of rosacea.
Situations that Increase the Development of an Outbreak
Many factors affecting outbreak are unique to the individual; however, rosacea sufferers do share some common factors. It is possible to reduce the severity and duration of outbreaks, by avoiding factors that provoke rosacea.
Behavior induced outbreaks are brought on by:
- excessive sun exposure
- strenuous exercise
- changes in climate or temperature
- ultraviolet rays, like those found in tanning beds
- hot showers or baths
- use of certain skin care products or make-up
Changes within the body that can cause outbreaks include:
- hormonal fluctuations in the menstrual cycle
- post menopause
- physician prescribed hormonal treatments
Foods and beverage induced outbreaks are triggered by:
- hot beverages
- foods containing capsaicin, such as hot chile
- dairy products
The above list contains only the most common factors of outbreaks. Many patients report certain outbreaks after eating specific foods, ingestion of particular beverages and the use of certain medications.
Rosacea is not a life threatening disease. In some individuals, it is mistaken for blushing. It may also come and go in cycles. Most people report that the flushing and blushing characteristic of the condition is the most embarrassing. Persons who suffer from very mild rosacea often do not seek medical treatment.
In some individuals with persistent rosacea, small pustules may develop on the skin. This requires medical treatment, as the pustules increase the risk of contracting a secondary infection. There is no cure for rosacea. Many people find it helpful to keep a diary, in which they can track events that trigger their rosacea.