Is Rosacea Genetic?
Rosacea is a skin condition that affects about 16 million Americans, and while it’s not curable, it is controllable. The causes aren’t completely understood, but it has a genetic link. In this blog, the dermatologists at Florida Academic Dermatology Center in Coral Gables, FL explain more about rosacea and its genetic link:
What is rosacea?
Rosacea is a skin condition that anyone can have, although it most commonly affects middle-aged women with fair skin. Symptoms may flare up, improve for a period of time, and then return. While the condition can be treated, there’s no cure.
What are the symptoms of rosacea?
Rosacea can cause the following symptoms:
- Redness on your cheeks, nose, chin, and forehead, and less commonly on your neck, head, ears, or chest
- Visibly swollen blood vessels on your nose and cheeks
- Eye problems including irritation, redness, swelling, and pain
- Swollen red bumps that can contain pus
- Hot, stinging, and tender skin
- Bumps on your eyelids
- Enlarged nose appearance caused by thickening of the skin
What are the causes?
It’s not completely known what causes rosacea, but it’s been linked to the following:
- Genetics: Rosacea can run in families.
- Immune system: People who have acne-like rosacea react to a particular type of bacteria, which in turn cause their immune system to overreact.
- Bacteria: H. pylori is a type of bacteria that’s normally found in your stomach. It can raise the levels of the hormone gastrin, which may make your skin look flushed.
- Mites: People who have rosacea may have a large number of a particular type of mite that lives on everyone.
- Blood vessel issues: Blood vessels can get wider and appear more noticeable with sun damage.
Is there a genetic component for developing it?
Experts believe that there can be a genetic link to rosacea. In one study, researchers studied people who were fair-skinned and of European descent, since this group is more likely to have it.
They discovered that people who had been diagnosed with rosacea had two unique regions located near genes that are associated with inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. As a result, the researchers believe that rosacea may be a symptom of an inflammatory or autoimmune disorder.
What are common treatments for rosacea?
Rosacea can’t be cured, but treatments such as the following can help manage symptoms:
- Medication to reduce redness: such as brimonidine (Mirvaso), azelaic acid and metronidazole
- Antibiotics: to reduce some types of bacteria and fight inflammation. Doxycycline is often used.
- Isotretinoin: and oral acne medication that can clear up bumps, but don’t use it if you’re pregnant since it can cause birth defects
- Laser therapy: reduces the redness of enlarged blood vessels
- Dermabrasion: removes the top layer of skin
- Electrocautery: uses an electric current to zap damaged blood vessels
What is the long-term outcome if you’ve been diagnosed with rosacea?
Although this condition can’t be cured, it can be treated. In the long term, you can find what treatment or treatments work best for you. You can also take steps to recognize what makes your rosacea more likely to flare up. These triggers can include stress, sunlight, or specific foods and beverages. It may also help to treat your skin gently by using a non-soap cleanser and moisturizing frequently.
If you have symptoms of rosacea, make an appointment today with Florida Academic Dermatology Center in Coral Gables, FL. We’re home to some of South Florida’s top dermatologists and are dedicated to providing world-class care.