What is the root cause of Rosacea? 

Does your face have reddish swollen areas around the nose and cheeks? You are at the right place if you are trying to rectify this “permanent blush” and the acne-like bumps on the cheeks, chin, and nose. 

Plenty of people are often struggling with this medical condition called Rosacea, where there is prominent acne on their nose and enlarged blood vessels across their face. Though this condition is non-contagious and starts as facial flushing, it is more commonly found in women. If left untreated, this inflammatory condition can quickly progress into a more severe skin condition.

A dermatologist who has undergone proper functional medicine training can help you understand “what is the root cause of Rosacea” and teach you the best way to deal with this challenging situation.

At a glance:

Signs and symptoms of Rosacea 

Studying and understanding Rosacea at each stage helps provide the proper treatment:

  1. Flushing, redness, sensitivity and visibly broken blood vessels in some cases.
  2. Pus-filled spots, yellow-red bumps and facial redness that is often mistaken for acne vulgaris.
  3. Bumps on the nose area and thickening of the skin.
  4. Sometimes people suffer from ocular Rosacea in which there are no evident skin symptoms, but there is swelling of the eyes and eyelids. 
  5. .Permanent flush on the nose and cheeks
  6. Frequent tingling, burning or itching on the skin

The symptoms vary from individual to individual, and before you can provide functional treatment, you need to be aware of “what is the root cause of rosacea“?

  1. Peptides: People suffering from Rosacea have increased cathelicidin, a peptide, in the facial skin, causing an aggravated inflammatory immune response showing up as red and inflamed skin.
  1. Microorganisms:

The Skin microbiome is the hosting ground for fungi, bacteria or viruses. Demodex folliculorum, or Demodex mites, commonly called, are an overgrowth of skin microbes found on the skin of Rosacea patients. These microorganisms live around the hair follicles, and most Rosacea patients show a hypersensitive response to them. 

  1. Food sensitivities: Plenty of people suffer from food sensitivities, and these include a reaction to spicy foods, chocolates, alcohol, citrus fruits, tomatoes, wine, cheese, processed meats, hot drinks, and other cinnamaldehyde-rich and histamine-rich foods! Many rosacea patients report that their Rosacea symptoms worsen whenever they eat some of the foods mentioned.
  1.  Impaired gut and digestive health: Earlier, we explained the skin microbiome, and now we talk about the effect of the gut microbiome imbalance in the body. Gut health is connected to skin health and, to a great extent, is responsible for Rosacea and its impact on the skin. Many researchers have noted the inflammatory response of the body to gut bacteria. 
  1. SIBO or small intestinal bacterial overgrowth: Numerous studies and research has shown a connection between the pathogenic effect of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth and its impact on the skin. People with Rosacea are more likely to suffer from this condition. When patients suffering from SIBO were treated with rifaximin, there was a dramatic improvement in the Rosacea symptoms. 
  1.   H. Pylori bacteria, are common contagions residing in the gastrointestinal tract of almost 50% of people. Its high prevalence is also said to play a part in the development of Rosacea. Research shows that in some random cases, eradicating these bacteria resulted in skin improvement. Also, reduction of the gastrointestinal symptoms reduced, and the Rosacea decreased dramatically. 
  1. Nutritional deficiencies are also known to be responsible for Rosacea. Get a micronutrient test to ensure adequate quantities of your body’s minerals, vitamins and nutrients. Micronutrient deficiencies can affect the skin and the body. To protect your skin barrier integrity! 
  1. Stress and Sun: Several reasons and triggers may lead to the development of Rosacea. But, emotional distress and other stressful situations act as a trigger. Sun exposure and emotional stress can aggravate Rosacea greatly, so take care!

Dermatologists practicing Functional medicine suggests specific tests can help detect Rosacea, and one of the most important ones is stool testing for evaluation of the gut microbiome, checking for leaky gut and inflammation markers, along with the skin microbiome for Rosacea. You can get this done by scheduling a comprehensive stool test. 

Bacterial overgrowth needs to be checked to keep Rosacea under control, and a SIBO breath test is a great way to do that. 

Functional Medicine Treatment for Rosacea includes using gels and topical ointments with antibiotics. If the facial blood vessels are injured severely, dermatologists may choose laser therapy with a combination of antibiotics and some other acne drugs. 

But, first and foremost, it is essential to understand the root cause of the problem. Gut imbalance, nutritional deficiency and food sensitivity may be a part of the individualized treatment. Meanwhile, it is also imperative to avoid foods that encourage inflammation. 

Overall, diet plays a vital role in Rosacea. Once the intestinal inflammation starts to heal with healthy and nurturing foods and appropriate medication, the skin barrier will also repair itself. Probiotics, Omega 3 Fatty acids, Zinc, Vitamin C, Vitamin B, spirulina, etc., must be a part of your daily life!