Skin Conditions

What Causes Rosacea?

What Causes Rosacea?

Rosacea is a very common condition that affects your skin, particularly the facial skin. It causes redness and bumps similar to pimples on your cheeks, nose, and forehead. It gives a very similar appearance of an acne breakout, and therefore, commonly misdiagnosed.

The cause of rosacea is not known. Although there are many theories trying to explain rosacea, the underlying causes are not yet scientifically proven. Some of these theories have been explained below.


Risk factors:

Anyone can develop rosacea. But you may be more likely to develop it if you:

  • Are a woman
  • Have a fair skin, particularly if it has been damaged by the sun.
  • Are over the age of thirty
  • If you smoke
  • Have a family history of rosacea.

Genetic factors

Clearly, genetic factors play a role in the development of rosacea due to the fact that it tends to run in families, although it is not clear what genes are responsible for the condition, and how they are passed on to the next generation.


Skin type: Rosacea is more commonly seen in people with fair skin that others. Around 5 Percent of the population in America suffer from this. The reason for this is still unknown. Also, it is very common to attract people who have an extremely sensitive skin. Again, if you have an oily or sticky face, it can cause you rosacea. Though, it is not necessary the all the people having the above skin type will necessarily attract this.

Certain changes in texture of skin are signs of rosacea. The skin around your nose, chin, cheek or forehead tend to become thick. Also the pores get larger.

Abnormalities of the blood vessels

Due to the redness and flushing of the face in patients suffering from rosacea, many experts believe that it could be a vascular disorder. However, some physicians say that flushing can be due to the involvement of the nervous system, as many cases of rosacea are triggered by emotional stress.

The cause of these vascular abnormalities is not known, but exposure to the sun seems to contribute. It has been found that sun damage to the skin causes degeneration of the elastic skin tissues and dilatation of the blood vessels.

One of many theories behind the facial swelling is that it is a result of the dilated blood vessels, which causes an increased fluid leakage. This accumulation of the tissue fluid is faster than the rate of fluid removal by the lymphatic system.

Demodex folliculorum: A microscopic mite

Demodex folliculorum, a tiny mite that lives harmlessly on our skin, is also considered to be a contributory factor to rosacea, as this mite has been identified in large numbers to those people with rosacea. However, it is not quite clear if this mite is the cause or a result of rosacea. Some researchers have proposed that the symptoms of rosacea could be due to the reaction of the skin against the organisms' faeces.

Activation of skin peptides

The exposure to external triggers such as UV light, exercise, stress, cold, heat, and red wine lead to the activation of skin peptides. Increased levels of the activated peptides affect the immune system, nerves, and blood vessels. This results in the dilatation of the blood vessels owing to the redness and inflammation of the skin.

Helicobacter pylori bacteria

Although a clear link between Helicobacter pylori and rosacea has not been found, some experts believe that it produces a protein known as bradykinin, which is known to cause the blood vessels to dilate. Other theories suggest that an increased gastrin level is responsible for the flushing of the face. However, recent studies show that Helicobacter pylori is commonly found in rosacea patients than those without the disease.

The Common Triggers of Rosacea

Even though there is no exact cause of rosacea, several triggering factors have been identified. Triggers are those factors that make your rosacea symptoms worse. Different people have different triggers, but the common triggers that have been reported include:

  • Exposure to sunlight
  • Spicy foods
  • Cold or hot weather
  • Alcohol
  • Strenuous exercises
  • Menopause
  • Dairy products
  • Humidity
  • Cosmetics
  • Emotions
  • Drugs that dilate blood vessels, including some blood pressure medications.


There are a lot many substances which could trigger rosacea. We do not say you completely avoid these substances. But, you could limit the consumption or use of these substance. We have listed some of the most common triggers for rosacea.


In case of food, it is:


Sour cream

Cheese (off course except the cottage cheese)



Yeast extract (bread is fine)



Citrus fruits, bananas and tomatoes

Soy sauce

Red plums, raisins or figs

Foods high in histamine.



Alcohol especially the red wine, beer, vodka, gin and champagne.

Hot drinks, including hot cider

Hot chocolate, coffee or tea.


Emotional influence

Stress and anxiety


Medical condition


Chronic cough

Caffeine withdrawal syndrome


Physical exertion:


Lift and load jobs


Skin care products:

Some cosmetics and hair sprays, especially those containing alcohol, witch hazel or fragrances.

Hydro alcoholic or acetone substances.

Any substance that causes redness or stinging.



Strong wind





Temperature related


Hot baths

Simple over heating

Excessively warm environment


Symptoms of Rosacea:

Facial redness:Rosacea usually causes redness in the central part of the face. It becomes very persistent. This often leads to the swelling of the small blood vessels of the nose and cheek. Due to this, the blood vessels become visible.

Swollen red bumps:Many people who suffer from rosacea also develop pimples on their face that resemble acne. These bumps sometimes contain pus. Your skin may feel hot and tender.

Enlarged nose:This is a very rare symptom. In this, the skin of the nose thickens. This makes the nose look bulbous. This occurs more often in men than in women.

Eye problems: About half of the people, suffering from rosacea also experience eye dryness, irritation and swollen, reddened eyelids. In some people, rosacea's eye symptoms precede the skin symptoms.

In order to deal with the problem of Rosacea effectively and efficiently, it becomes vital and crucial to seek advice from a medical professional.