Cause of Rosacea Discovered by UCSD Researchers
Rosacea skin disease cause
Doctors can describe the symptoms of rosacea, a common inflammatory skin disease that causes facial redness and affects nearly 14 million Americans. They can tell patients what triggers can worsen their condition: spicy foods, heat, alcohol, even embarrassment. But until now, they could not explain what caused rosacea.
A team of researchers, led by Richard L. Gallo, M.D., Ph.D., professor of medicine and chief of the Division of Dermatology at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine and the Dermatology section of the Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System, has determined that it is not one, but a combination of two abnormal factors, that result in rosacea.
"It's like having lots of gasoline... and a match," said Gallo, principal investigator of the study which will be published in the August 5 online edition of Nature Medicine. In essence, the researchers found that over-production of two interactive inflammatory proteins results in excessive levels of a third protein that causes rosacea symptoms, "a trifecta of unfortunate factors in people with rosacea," according to Gallo.
Rosacea, which has been called adult acne, usually affects people with fair skin, between the ages of 30 and 60. Unlike acne, rosacea isn't associated with a skin infection by one type of bacteria, although antibiotics are sometimes prescribed to treat its symptoms. A chronic condition, it gets worse over time and is generally cyclic, flaring up for a period of weeks to months, and then subsiding for a time. Current treatments are often not effective.
Gallo and his colleagues first observed in the laboratory that anti-microbial peptides