What Is Rosacea?

Redness or Rosacea Image - Masterfile

Rosacea is a disorder of the follicles and surrounding skin that usually occurs on the forehead, nose, and chin. It involves reddening, acnelike lesions, and broken blood vessels. Rosacea improves and worsens in unpredictable cycles. The exact cause is unknown.

Rosacea Causes and Risk Factors

Although rosacea can appear at any age, it is most prevalent between 30 and 60 years old. It occurs about equally in men and women, although severe cases are more common in men. Rosacea seems to have a genetic component. Individuals whose family members have rosacea have a higher incidence of the disorder.

Emotional and physical stress, windy conditions, heat, and sun exposure can exacerbate rosacea. Dietary triggers include dairy products, certain spices, hot liquids, and alcohol.

Some people with stomach ulcers are prone to develop rosacea. The cause of a high percentage of stomach ulcers is infection with the bacterium Heliobacter pylori (H. pylori). While studies are still inconclusive, eradication of H. pylori in ulcer patients can lead to improvement in rosacea. There is increasing evidence that this bacterium causes a variety of systemic disorders. However, rosacea appears without H. pylori and vice versa.

Publication Review By: Stanley J. Swierzewski, III, M.D.

Published: 31 Aug 2000

Last Modified: 02 Oct 2015