Explore the causes, triggers, symptoms, and treatments of Rosacea.
What is rosacea?
Rosacea is a chronic, common inflammatory skin condition that presents as redness of the face.
Diagnosing Rosacea cannot be done through a medical test, however they can be used to rule out other skin conditions and narrow down on rosacea.
The skin condition is most often developed in fair-skinned, blonde and blue-eyed women between the ages of 30-50 years. Those with Celtic or Scandinavian backgrounds also heightens risk of rosacea. A genetic history of acne and rosacea also contributes to the possibility of developing it.
Males can also develop rosacea, but often have more severe exterior symptoms.
There are four main rosacea subtypes which present different symptoms. Learn more about the types of rosacea.
What causes rosacea?
While the exact cause of rosacea is unknown, researchers have identified some numerous causes such as genetics, a dysfunctional immune system, bacterial imbalance, a defective peptide, and the new research on naturally occuring mites on the skin.
The critter culprits
We all have an ecosystem made up of bacteria on our skin, this is what contributes to our unique microflora.
Two new fields of research have opened up into the links of Helicobacter Pylori (H. Pylori) bacteria and Demodex mites playing a major role in the development and vicious cycle of rosacea skin. Mounting research suggesting that H. Pylori and Demodex can cause and trigger rosacea has encouraged more research to be conducted in understanding how these interplay with finding a cure.
The bacterial imbalance
H.pylori is a common group of bacteria found in our gut that may play a role in triggering and treating rosacea.
When H.pylori are prevalent, levels of the hormone gastrin can increase, which causes an imbalance in acid regulation. This can lead to the flushing on the skin we see so often with rosacea.
When treated for H.pylori overabundance, rosacea sufferers experienced a reduction in symptoms, with papulopustular rosacea sufferers noticing the greater positive effects in remission.
As rosacea is a multi-triggered disease it’s possible H. pylori imbalance plays a significant role in aggravating rosacea.
Gastrointestinal symptoms are commonly present when there are high levels of H.pylori. These symptoms include stomach inflammation and ulcers as well as irritable bowel syndrome.
There are many links between bowel imbalances and skin issues, so assessing and improving gut health often helps with skin condition management. Learn more about the link between your gut and skin health here.
Demodex mites are naturally occurring on the skin. There are two types; Demodex folliculorum that live in hair follicles, commonly on the face, and in the meibomian glands of the eyelids; and Demodex brevis that live in the sebaceous (oil) glands on the skin.
An overabundance of demodex critters on the skin can aggravate the skin to show rosacea-like symptoms. Mounting research suggests that those with rosacea carry more demodex than a person without rosacea, and they are found in the regions that rosacea flares up.
Mites can be found inside pustules (small fluid-filled bumps on the skin) and papules (skin lesions) on the skin further disrupting the skin, or for some causing the skin to develop rosacea.
The peptide link
Rosacea sufferers experience a faulty peptide called the cathelicidin peptide; this is responsible for controlling blood flow and inhibiting bad bacteria.
The peptide for rosacea sufferers is present at much higher concentrations and has a different molecular structure, making it no longer function normally. It causes rosacea’s trademark bright red cheeks as well as sensitive skin.
The sensitive skin is in a hyper-reactive state so it is more affected by sun, food, drink, and temperature. These cause flare-ups of redness, swelling and even pain.
The faulty peptide also means that the Demodex mites have a better chance of attacking the skin, as it isn’t properly protected.
The mites and their bacteria then further aggravate the sensitive skin and trigger the immune system to overreact – and a vicious cycle of rosacea skin is perpetuated.
Gain control over rosacea
It’s important to understand that the different types of rosacea are not caused by a single issue but actually a combination of gut microbial imbalance, skin microflora, Demodex mites and potentially a genetic defect in the peptide cathelicidin.
While there is no known cure for rosacea, and researchers can’t put their finger on the exact cause – we have a few tips on how you can manage it.
- Food: Starting with diet. Many believe that starting with the gut has promising affects on rosacea. Cutting out dairy, alcohol, spicy foods, and junk foods works for most people with rosacea. These foods are all known to affect H. pylori population numbers. Keeping a journal on food can help link you to what can trigger rosacea for yourself.
- Weather: Protect the skin from harsh weather such as direct sun and cool winds. Sunscreen is very important especially in summer when UV is stronger, and in winter a scarf can lighten the impact the cold has.
- Moisturise: Keep the skin hydrated by moisturising daily.
- Prescription: Topical steroids work in the short-term but long-term use triggers steroid rosacea. Meaning, steroids pull you into a harsh life-long cycle. If you are to use them, then it is best to do so only for a short-term to calm the flare-up.
- Skincare: A good skincare product for rosacea should work with your sensitive skin and enhance the skin health. Bringing in skincare that can deal with the faulty peptide, offer skin repair and protection can significantly improve day-to-day quality of life.
Recommended products for rosacea
Thoroughly Gentle Cleanser
Clears dirt and toxins, unblocking skin pores. Removes bad bacteria, while supporting good bacteria and skin microflora.
Gently cleans and calms the skin leaving it protected.
Contains kiwifruit seed oil and natural extracts to protect and restore the skin lipid barrier.
Atopis Toner gently closes pores, locks in moisture to boosts collagen and help heal. It acts as an anti-inflammatory to reduce redness and even skin tone.
Radiant Balance Cream
Radiant Balance promotes clear, calm and hormonally balanced skin. Clinically shown to reduce visible redness and flushing on sensitive skin, even skin tone and revitalise dull skin while reducing acne breakouts.
Scientifically formulated for normal to combination hormonal skin types.
Recommended reading for rosacea skin type
Milia – Those Bumps aren’t Acne! If you haven’t heard of Milia it looks like small bumps that commonly form around sensitive skin places such as the eyes. It is not rare to develop a singular milium or a crop of Milia at some stage in our life, but the appearance of...read more
Our face is home to a whole ecosystem of microscopic creatures! These critters are mostly harmless. In fact, they are actually quite helpful - generally speaking their job is to eat dead skin cells, helping to rid the face of waste. However, a growing body of medical...read more
Identifying and understanding the type of rosacea you or your loved one has is crucial to learning how to effectively manage it. Our answer to healing rosacea-affected skin is the Atopis Radiant Balance Cream – a steroid-free and 100% organic cream that...read more
Experiencing a skin condition like Rosacea can often have a significant impact on social and emotional wellbeing. It’s important to remember that you are not alone, and there are many things you can do to regain control of your skin. Explore the key known causes...read more
We carry around a vast array of microbes in our gut that are completely unique to us, and these dictate how we digest food, maintain weight, and fight off disease among the many other jobs the microbes have. Our skin is triggered when the gut is at an imbalance and...read more
Exploring the needs of different skin conditions We’re on a mission to help everyone achieve beautiful, healthy skin. Education is key to gaining control of your skin condition - if you are equipped with the correct knowledge on what’s behind your skin...read more
When summer rolls around, there is nothing better than hitting the beach and soaking up the sun to get that Instagram-worthy golden tan. When you're young, it's easy to forget about skin-protection, and sunburn just seems like temporary damage. However, the...read more
Learning what is in your natural plant extracts As the consumer demand for more natural products has grown, there has been an ever-increasing trend to use whole plant extracts in skin creams and dietary supplements, instead of highly purified single molecule...read more
What are Fillers? A filler is used as a bulking agent or carrier to fill out a capsule or bulk up a skin cream or food item. Fillers are like the dietary supplement equivalent of candy – they fill you up but have no health benefits. A cheaply priced dietary supplement...read more