Rosacea is most common among Caucasians of Celtic or Northern European descent. It affects three times as many women than men and arises between the ages of 25-35, or during menopause
Over 17 million people in North America and over 46 million people worldwide are estimated to have rosacea. However, this disease is significantly under diagnosed as many sufferers attribute symptoms of redness, bumps, and pain to lifestyle, acne, or general skin sensitivity.
Chantal Ward, RN and owner of Clarity MedSpa & Laser Centre in Toronto consults regularly with patients who suffer with Rosacea:
“Many patients have hyper-irritability of the skin; creams, cosmetics, and ointments can cause their skin to burn and sting. This cosmetic intolerance and ‘sensory irritation’ hinders treatment, as even physician prescribed topical medications and their bases can produce discomfort. For these individuals, the first step is to move towards gentle skin care that begins to calm and soothe. In many instances, simply changing what one does at home can bring relief.”
Rosacea Prevalence Statistics:
16 million in USA: 9.6% in al women, regardless of ethnic background; 16% in Caucasian women. 14% in Ireland 10% in Sweden: 14% in women and 6% in men.
Identifying Rosacea Triggers
For most who suffer with rosacea, the number of flare-ups can be reduced by avoiding environmental and lifestyle factors that trigger their symptoms. What causes a rosacea flare-up in one person may not affect another. Thus, understanding and avoiding your personal triggers is an important step in managing rosacea symptoms.
The triggers most commonly identified include:
- Sun Exposure
- Emotional Stress
- Hot weather
- Intense Exercise
- Spicy foods
- Skin Care
One method of discovering your personal rosacea triggers is to keep a daily journal; take note of environmental and lifestyle factors while observing your rosacea symptoms on a daily basis. Track and record weather conditions, medications, foods and beverages consumed, exercise, stress level, etc.
Pay special attention to products used on the face, watching for signs of even the slightest tingle or slightest redness. Experiment with dermatologist developed products that are known to be free of irritants, and make your observations.
There are even tracking apps available for smartphones.
Suspected Causes of Rosacea
The underlying cause of rosacea is unknown. Part of the reason for this is the varied expression of the condition and multiple components that contribute to rosacea in any one person.
There are several popular theories including genetic factors, dermodex mites, overgrowth of intestinal bacteria, and cathelicidins.
There is increasing evidence of a genetic component to rosacea. Not only is rosacea more prevalent in certain ethnic populations including Irish, Scottish, English, German, Scandinavian, French, Polish, Russian, Lithuanian, Hungarian, and Czech, but it also appears to run in families. While specific genetic factors or “rosacea” genes have not been conclusively discovered, a majority of people with rosacea also it in their immediate family. In a survey of 600 rosacea patients by the National Rosacea Society, nearly 52% of respondents said someone else in their immediate family had rosacea, Additionally, new research is pointing to genetic changes in some cases of rosacea.