CAUSES OF ROSACEA

Although no one knows the exact cause of rosacea, a number of potential factors are thought to be possibilities.  Usually a combination of some of these factors are responsible.  Our doctors in Houston, Texas can help you understand the potential causes of your rosacea.  Often times these factors are influenced by one or some of the many triggers of rosacea to result in worsening of rosacea symptoms.

Blood vessel abnormalities:

Many experts believe that abnormalities in the blood vessels of the face may play a role in the development of rosacea.  It is not really know what causes these abnormalities, but environmental factors such as sun damage may be responsible for the degeneration of the elastic tissue of the skin and the dilation of the blood vessels.  This may explain the symptoms of flushing, persistent redness, and visible vessels in many patients.

 

Skin peptides:

Scientists and research physicians have found that certain external triggers can result in overexpression and production of certain peptides, known as anti-microbial peptides (AMPs).  These are important for the immune system to protect the skin, but too much of a good thing can cause problems.  In particular, overexpression of a peptide called cathelicidin, which has a direct effect on blood vessels, causing them to dilate in an abnormal way.  This will result in visible vessels, redness, and inflammation.

 

Microscopic mites:

Tiny mites called demodex folliculorum typically live harmlessly on the skin of all individuals.  However, people with rosacea may have large numbers of these mites, which may play a role in the condition.  It is not known whether the mites are a cause or effect of rosacea.  One topical treatment is aimed at this concept.

 

Helicobacter pylori bacteria

This bacteria is found in the digestive system and is a leading cause of peptic ulcers.  Some researchers believe there is a link between this bacteria overgrowth and rosacea.  However, other studies have not supported this theory, so a link has not been consistently proven.

 

Genetics:

Rosacea definitely has a genetic predisposition.  If your mother or father have rosacea, you are much more likely to develop it.  The exact genes, if any, which cause this tendency are unknown.

 

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