What Causes Rosacea?


Quick Answer

It is not known what causes rosacea, a reddening of the skin on the face, neck, chest, scalp or ears, according to the National Rosacea Society. It could be caused by a combination of hereditary and environmental factors, notes Mayo Clinic. The most common triggers include exposure to sunlight, emotional stress, hot weather, wind, heavy exercise, alcohol consumption, hot baths, cold weather, spicy foods, humidity, indoor heat and certain cosmetics.

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Full Answer

Rosacea can be managed by avoiding triggers, which vary from one individual to another. Mayo Clinic suggests wearing sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher, protecting the face in winter with a scarf or ski mask, avoiding irritation by not rubbing or touching facial skin, washing problem areas with a gentle soap and not using facial products that contain alcohol or other irritants.

The American Academy of Dermatology maintains that rosacea becomes more difficult to treat as it worsens. Nonprescription treatments can cause flare-ups with the characteristic itching and burning. Not all rosacea cases respond to the same treatment, and therapy must be tailored to the individual patient. In severe cases, oil glands in the nose and cheeks can become enlarged, which results in a condition called rhinophyma. This condition develops gradually and is more common in men than in women.

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