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What causes acne rosacea?

Acne rosacea usually presents in the second or third decade of life and is a common disorder with a prevalence of up to 10%. Women are more often affected than men. The pathogenesis (cause) of rosacea is unclear, and various hypotheses have been proposed. Unlike in acne vulgaris, it does not appear to involve excess or abnormal grease, blocking of the pores

(blackheads) or follicular bacteria.

Doctors do not know the exact cause of rosacea but believe that some people may inherit a tendency to develop the disorder. People who blush frequently may be more likely to develop rosacea. Some researchers believe that rosacea is a disorder where blood vessels dilate too easily, resulting in flushing and redness.

Factors that cause rosacea to flare up in one person may have no effect on another person. Although the following factors have not been well-researched, some people claim that one or more of them have aggravated their rosacea: heat (including hot baths), strenuous exercise, sunlight, wind, very cold temperatures, hot or spicy foods and drinks, alcohol consumption, menopause, emotional stress, and long-term use of topical steroids on the face. Patients affected by pustules may assume they are caused by bacteria, but researchers have not established a link between rosacea and bacteria or other organisms on the skin, in the hair follicles, or elsewhere in the body.

One theory is that it may be the result of highly reactive blood vessels as well as inflammation and infection. Because rosacea causes increased warmth in the skin, bacteria might be encouraged to grow, causing the pimples and bumps. Tiny mites (Demodex folliculorum) that normally live on our skin may also play a role: People who have rosacea have more of these mites on their faces than those who don't have the disease.

Flare-ups of rosacea are caused by triggers that stimulate the blood vessels in the face to dilate, which causes facial flushing. Common triggers are sun, exercise, hot weather, emotional stress, spicy foods, alcohol, and hot baths.

There may be some relationship between rosacea and Helicobacter pylori bacteria, which causes an infection in the gastrointestinal tract, although studies are conflicting. It is unclear whether treatment for this bacteria improves the symptoms of rosacea. Rosacea is not caused by alcohol or poor hygiene, as was once believed. However, alcohol is considered one of the triggers for facial flushing and can cause symptoms to get worse.

More information on acne

What is acne? - Acne is an inflammatory skin disease which affects the tiny pores which cover the face, arms, back and chest and the oil glands attached to them.
What causes acne? - One important factor does seem to be rising levels of the hormones called androgens (male sex hormones) that are found in both boys and girls at the time of puberty. Another factor is heredity or genetics.
What's the treatment for acne? - Acne treatments include killing the bacteria that are caused by the blocked follicles, reducing the secretion of oils from the glands, normalizing the follicle cell lifecycle, and exfoliating the skin.
Acne medicine and medications - Topical acne medications may contain benzoyl peroxide, sulfur, resorcinol, salicylic acid or tretinoin, or retinoic acid. There are numerous non-prescription acne cleansers, astringents, moisturizers and pimple creams available.
Acne scars and treatments - Acne scars occur when spots become inflamed or don't heal properly. Acne scars are very hard to treat and it is unusual for the scars to be successfully removed completely.
What is acne rosacea (adult acne)? - Acne rosacea is a chronic skin condition of the forehead, cheeks, nose, and chin. Rhinophyma may also develop in association with inflammatory rosacea.
What causes acne rosacea? - Flare-ups of rosacea are caused by triggers that stimulate the blood vessels in the face to dilate, which causes facial flushing. There may be some relationship between rosacea and Helicobacter pylori bacteria.
What are the symptoms of acne rosacea? - Symptoms of acne rosacea include frequent flushing, vascular rosacea, inflammatory rosacea, and several other conditions involving the skin, eyes, and nose.
What're the treatments for acne rosacea? - The goal of treatment for rosacea is to reduce or eliminate symptoms and stop the condition from getting worse. Presently, there is no cure for rosacea. 
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All information is intended for reference only. Please consult your physician for accurate medical advices and treatment. Copyright 2005, health-cares.net, all rights reserved. Last update: July 18, 2005