Bacteria and Mites That Could Be Causing Rosacea?January 27th, 2019
There are 4 definite types of rosacea, and sometimes the symptoms overlap with each other. Acute redness in the cheeks, nose and forehead can spread to other areas of the body. The redness can become pus-filled bumps and broken blood vessels appear. Eye irritation, thickening and inflamed skin can develop as well. 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.
WHAT ARE THE 4 TYPES?
- Erythematotelangiectatic rosacea (ETR), symptoms include facial redness, flushing, and visible blood vessels (especially on the cheeks).
- Papulopustular (or acne) rosacea, looks like acne breakouts, and often affects middle-aged women.
- Rhinophyma, is a more rare form of rosacea with symptoms such as thickening of the skin on your nose. Men get this more than women and is often accompanied by another subtype of rosacea.
- Ocular rosacea, is mainly on the eye area with symptoms focused here.
WHO DEVELOPS ROSACEA?
Some people are more likely to develop rosacea if there is a family history with serious acne or rosacea, you are fair-skinned, have blond hair, and blue eyes. DNA links with Celtic or Scandinavian backgrounds also puts you at a more likely risk. It is more commonly developed between the ages of 30-50. Rosacea is found more in women than men, however men often have more severe exterior symptoms.
A common causal link that has been found with rosacea is associated with bacteria in the gut and a mite living on the skin. Helicobacter Pylori bacteria and Demodex mites are increasingly linked to rosacea with more research being conducted to understand how these interplay with finding a cure.
- pylori is a common bacteria found in our gut that may play a role in triggering and treating of Rosacea. There are many strains of these bacteria so when we talk about H. pylori we refer to the strains as one species. Links to rosacea have been studied with numerous results neither confirming nor denying the role this bacteria has in treating rosacea. When H. pylori are prevalent it can raise levels of the hormone gastrin, which causes an imbalance in acid regulation. This can lead to the flushing on the skin we see so often with rosacea. Gastrointestinal symptoms are commonly present when there are high levels of H. pylori. Symptoms include stomach inflammation and ulcers as well as irritable bowel syndrome. In studies, rosacea sufferers have experienced a reduction in rosacea when treated for H. pylori with papulopustular rosacea being the most effective form in multiple studies that went into remission. As rosacea is a multi-triggered disease it’s possible H. pylori imbalance plays a significant role in causing rosacea. There is continuing controversy however with studies giving varying results. There are many links between bowel imbalances and skin issues so assessing your gut can help manage rosacea.
Demodex mites are naturally occurring on the skin. There are only 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 and papules on the skin further disrupting the skin, or for some causing the skin to develop rosacea. In rosacea sufferers, they experience a faulty peptide called the cathelicidin peptide; this is responsible for inhibiting bad bacteria and controlling blood flow. When this peptide faults the blood flow over-dilates, causing rosacea’s trademark blood vessel cheeks. With rosacea the peptide does not function normally and cannot protect the skin so well against bacteria. Demodex mites have a better chance of attacking the skin due to this faulty peptide. These mites and their bacteria then further aggravate the sensitive skin and trigger the immune system to overreact and thus a vicious cycle is perpetuated.
It’s important to know how this peptide affects rosacea. The normal function of the cathelicidin peptide is to control vasodilation (blood flow) of the skin and to inhibit the growth of bad bacteria.
For those with rosacea, the peptide is present at much higher concentrations and has a different molecular structure, meaning the peptide no longer functions normally. It causes the bright red cheeks and sensitive skin. When the skin is sensitive this is because it is in a hyper-reactive state of being. Sun, food, drink, and temperature all affect the skin causing flare-ups of redness, swelling and even pain.
Knowing all of this, it is essential 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. These varying issues help to determine what type of Rosacea is occurring .
Although there is no known cure, and researchers can’t put their finger on what exactly it is that causes it. Let’s talk about how we can manage rosacea instead.
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.
Atopis Radiant Balance inhibits the bad bacteria on your skin, is prebiotic – as in supports your good bacteria, calms redness and inflammation and works with the immune system to control its hypersensitive overreaction to the environment. Radiant Balance contains an equivalent peptide to normal functioning cathelicidin, meaning that the faulty peptide in rosacea skin can function normally again. When repairing this peptide, the redness associated with rosacea is reduced.