Rosacea Home > Rosacea Causes

Although researchers have been trying to determine the causes of rosacea for more than a century, none have been definitely proven. One theory suggests that people who have Irish, English, or Eastern European ancestry may be more susceptible to the condition. The condition may also be inherited. Some people believe that certain triggers, such as spicy foods, wind, or irritating products, can cause symptoms to flare up.

What Causes Rosacea?

Doctors do not know the exact rosacea causes. However, they believe that the condition may be inherited. Another theory suggests that people who blush frequently may be more likely to develop rosacea, as are people with Irish, English, or Eastern European ancestry. Although rosacea can occur among adults of any age and of any skin color, it is more prevalent among people between the ages of 30 and 50 who have fair skin.
 

Current Research on Rosacea Causes

Although rosacea research scientists have been speculating about the causes of rosacea for more than a century, none of them have been definitively proven. Some scientists believe that rosacea is a disorder in which blood vessels dilate too easily, resulting in flushing and redness. Others researchers believe that rosacea is caused by a microscopic mite.
 
(Click Rosacea Research for more information about these possible rosacea causes.)
 

Know the Triggers

Although not proven, some people claim that one or more of the following factors have aggravated their rosacea symptoms:
 
  • Heat (including hot baths)
  • Heavy exercise
  • Sunlight
  • Winds
  • Very cold temperatures
  • Hot or spicy foods and drinks
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Menopause
  • Emotional stress
  • Long-term use of steroids on the face (see Steroid Rosacea)
  • Make-up, moisturizers, sunscreens, or other skin products used on the face that contain alcohol or other irritating ingredients.
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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