Exploring the Root Causes of Rosacea
In this blog post, we’ll explore the root causes of rosacea and the underlying factors that may contribute to its development. Please note that this is not a deep dive but an overview.
Rosacea is characterized by redness, visible blood vessels, and sometimes small, red, pus-filled bumps. While the popular approach is to “treat” rosacea with pharmaceutical creams, antibiotics and other drugs, this approach never actually results in healing.
To fully heal rosacea, we need to understand and address the root causes. (There is never just one root cause, if there was, healing rosacea would be easy.)
Genetics as a root cause of rosacea?
A quick Google on the topic of the root causes of rosacea will reveal that a factor influencing the onset of rosacea is genetics. Research suggests a hereditary component, with individuals having a family history of rosacea being more predisposed to developing the condition. Specific genetic markers may play a role in determining an individual’s susceptibility to rosacea, highlighting the importance of understanding one’s family medical history.
However, in my work with clients, I have seen that genetics was rarely a factor as clients reported not having anyone in the family with rosacea. (I know this was the case for me.)
More recently, research has shown that genetics only account for 10% or less of an outcome, while epigenetics (influencing factors over the genetic component) accounts for over 90%. So to say that we have no control over the genetic expression of rosacea would be false. Nutrition, lifestyle and identifying the root causes while greatly affecting your skin.
Dysregulation of the Immune System as a root cause of rosacea
The immune system’s role in rosacea is a subject of growing interest among researchers. Some studies propose that an abnormal immune response may contribute to the development of rosacea. Inflammation plays a key role, and the immune system’s overreaction to environmental triggers may lead to the characteristic redness and swelling associated with the condition.
So what can trigger the immune system? Food sensitivities, pathogens such as viruses, parasites and bacteria, candida or bacterial overgrowth and an unhealthy, leaky gut.
Fix the gut and a big part of what triggers rosacea is taken care of.
Vascular Abnormalities in Rosacea
Vascular abnormalities are another aspect of rosacea’s complex puzzle. Blood vessels near the skin’s surface may dilate excessively, leading to increased blood flow and redness. Factors such as sun exposure, spicy foods, and alcohol, known triggers for many individuals with rosacea, can exacerbate these vascular changes.
Understanding and managing these triggers are important components of effective rosacea care but are only part of the puzzle, they are not getting us to the root causes. To fully heal rosacea, we need to look deeper than the skin.
Cathelicidin LL-37 and rosacea
Research has shown that cathelicidin LL-37 is strongly increased in the affected area of skin in rosacea. This peptide has proinflammatory action and an “alarm” function, affecting vascular growth, thus leading to angiogenesis and neovascularization.
Although this helps us understand a bit more about the physical manifestation of rosacea, we still need to dig deeper as to WHY cathelicidin LL-37 is increased in the first place.
Microscopic Demodex Mites and Bacteria
Another possible root cause of rosacea is Demodex mites. In recent years, researchers have explored the role of microscopic organisms in the development of rosacea. Demodex mites, tiny arachnids that inhabit human skin, have been found in higher concentrations on the skin of individuals with rosacea.
Additionally, certain bacteria, particularly Helicobacter pylori, have been studied for their potential connection to rosacea.
While these associations are not definitive causes (we still need to ask WHY are there an overabundance of Demodex on rosacea skin?!), they provide valuable insights into the intricate relationship between the skin and its microscopic inhabitants.
Learn more about a natural treatment for Demodex mites and rosacea here.
Environmental Triggers (not a root cause of rosacea IMO)
Sensitivity to environmental factors or triggers are not, in my opinion, root causes but influencing factors. Ex: sensitivity to sunlight, extreme temperatures, spicy foods, and certain skincare products that can trigger flare-ups. Identifying and avoiding these triggers is an important aspect of “managing” rosacea, yes, but will not bring about full healing as to do so, we have to dig deeper.
I am mentioning it here because it’s important to know and manage triggers so that you can at least feel better temporarily WHILE doing the deeper healing work.
Environmental toxicity is different than a trigger as it can be a root cause of rosacea. Examples of environmental toxicity could be exposure to mold, chemicals and heavy metals just to name a few.
This brings us to gut healing…
Gut dysbiosis & pathogens as a root cause of rosacea
Other possible root causes of rosacea to consider are food sensitivities, leaky gut, SIBO, parasites and candida. All of these affect the gut microbiome which affects the skin. Addressing gut dysbiosis is crucial in healing rosacea. Gut healing is therefore the first step in the bio-individual rosacea healing blueprint I create for my clients.
More on gut health and rosacea here.
If you’d like to dive deeper into the topic of gut dysbiosis and the multiple rosacea root causes, watch the free rosacea masterclass.
Hormonal Imbalances and Rosacea
Hormones play a crucial role in regulating various physiological processes, including those related to the skin. Fluctuations or imbalances in hormone levels can influence the development and exacerbation of skin conditions, including rosacea.
Emotional root cause of rosacea
The emotional root cause of rosacea is not often talked about yet, traumas that were established in childhood can manifest later in life as rosacea, acne, eczema or psoriasis. This is a complex topic that Nadeije and I explore in our program Self-Heal.
Rosacea’s root causes are undoubtedly intricate and multifaceted, involving a delicate interplay of genetic, immune, vascular, and environmental factors. The sooner you shift from fixing the skin (rosacea is not a skin issue but an internal inflammatory issue) the faster you can see progress on your journey to glow.
For an extensive library of resources on healing rosacea naturally and holistically, please visit healrosaceanaturally.com
Never give up, there is ALWAYS hope. With the right support and guidance, you will regain clear skin.
Caroline Dalia Kaliani
Get FREE access to a 30-minute masterclass where you’ll explore 9 misconceptions about rosacea and how to create momentum on your healing journey.
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