What Causes Rosacea? Genetics or Environmental Factors?

Blog  |  September 28th, 2015

Rosacea is a common facial skin disorder that is estimated to affect more than 16 million Americans, and many of those affected by the disorder don’t know they have it.

Rosacea causes a red-faced, acne-like appearance and can have psychological, social, and occupational implications. Although there is currently no cure for rosacea, the good news is that signs and symptoms of the skin disorder can be controlled with medication.

What causes rosacea?

There is not a definitive cause for rosacea, however, research has linked the disorder in part to genetics, as well as environmental and lifestyle factors.

According to a study done by The National Rosacea Society and Dr. Nely Aldrich of the University Hospitals Case Medical Center, data collected at the Twins Day celebration in Twinsburg, Ohio suggests that genetics contribute 46 percent of an individual’s chance of developing rosacea. Other primary contributions to the skin disorder include age, UV exposure, and body mass index, with weaker correlations between years of smoking and alcohol consumption.

What are the symptoms of rosacea?

According to the National Rosacea Society, signs and symptoms of rosacea include:

  • Redness on the cheeks, nose, chin, or forehead
  • Small visible blood vessels on the face
  • Bumps or pimples on the face
  • Watery or irritated eyes

Any one of these signs is a signal to see a dermatologist or physician who is knowledgeable in skin disorders for diagnosis and appropriate treatment. Without treatment, the symptoms will become increasingly severe.

Because rosacea may be the result of environmental factors, controlling those factors (losing weight, avoiding alcohol and tobacco, etc.) may help prevent flare-ups. Common treatments for rosacea include antibiotics, which are used to ease swelling and inflammation. Creams and gels may also be used on the face to reduce symptoms. If rosacea does not respond to these treatments, other medications, such as isotretinoin may be used, although this is typically seen as a last resort.

If you think you may have rosacea, see your dermatologist today for a proper diagnosis and treatment. Rite Care Pharmacy is the nationwide pharmacy of choice for dermatological medications.