Rosacea Caused Half by Nature, Half by Lifestyle, Winter/Spring 2016 Newsletter

Patients who suffer from rosacea often have a myriad of symptoms including facial redness, pustules, bumps and blood vessels. Uncontrolled, disease can often be embarrassing and lead to a diminished quality of life. The National Rosacea Society estimates over 16 million Americans suffer from rosacea. The actual cause of the disease has been elusive to researchers. Therefore, there is no cure for rosacea. However, dermatologic treatments exist to control the symptoms of the disease.

A new study was performed to help identify the actual cause of rosacea. The study was developed to determine whether environmental factors or genetics are to be blamed for causing rosacea. In this study, twins were used since they share their genetic makeup. Investigators performing the study concluded that genetics appeared to contribute to 46% of rosacea risk. The remaining 54% of the risk was attributed to environmental factors. These factors include excess sun exposure, older age, higher body mass index (BMI), smoking, drinking alcohol, heart disease and cancer.

This new data can be used to develop better treatment plans for patients with rosacea. Since genetics cannot be altered, it is important to focus on life style modifications while treating the disease. All patients with rosacea can benefit from moderating UV exposure, using SPF 30 or higher with zinc oxide daily, reducing alcohol intake, smoking cessation, consuming a healthy diet and exercising regularly.