Rosacea is a fairly common medical condition in adults, which causes a discomforting hot flushed face appearance and some swelling. While rosacea is not life-threatening, it is often embarrassing for those who suffer from it, as it can be mistaken for acne. The exact cause of rosacea is unclear, but many physicians have put forth theories on the root origins of the disease.
While rosacea is not acne, it is fairly typical for those who suffer from it to also have adult acne. Unlike acne, however, the redness and swelling associated with rosacea does not simply disappear with time. Some doctors believe that there is a connection between the two, with acne being a predecessor that triggers rosacea.
The most commonly accepted theory at this time involves the capillaries of the face. These tiny blood vessels are very close to the surface, and dilating them can cause the redness that accompanies the condition. There may be a genetic condition that makes people more susceptible to the flush, and environmental factors can trigger the reaction.
Other physicians believe that rosacea is caused by malformations and deformities of the blood vessels in the face. They explain this by saying that these deformities may cause irritation, which in turn causes the vessels to swell and redden. Many doctors believe that this explanation lacks important information, such as the reason that the vessels are deformed to begin with.
Microscopic mites are thought to be the culprit in some circles of the medical community. These mites are extremely common throughout the human population, but it is believed that some people may have a higher sensitivity to them, or that there may be larger numbers of the mites on people with rosacea. You may well want to research these if you saying to yourself ‘help, there’s a red rash on my face and it’s awful’.
Certain bacterium found in the stomach could be the main trigger for the condition. H. pylori is known to be able to cause blood vessel dilation through development of specific proteins, which would result in a reddening of the face. Physicians have not yet determined why this would be localized to the facial reason, though this could be the result of the proteins being stored in the facial area.
Genetic factors appear to be very important in the development of rosacea, and roughly a third of people who have it will end up passing it to their children. Scientists have not yet isolated which gene carries the condition, so it is unsure if the gene has the actual disease or just a predisposition to it. Isolating the gene could help doctors treat or even cure the disorder.
While the cause of rosacea is still to be determined, many of the triggers have been identified. Some foods that can set off the swelling include spicy foods, caffeine, and dairy. Environmental triggers include high winds, sunshine, high humidity, and temperature extremes.
Suffering from rosacea can be an embarrassing secret that many hide from their friends and families. The cause is still unknown, but many people can prevent triggering their symptoms by avoiding certain factors. Rosacea can be easier to live with than it seems.