If you suffer from rosacea, you may have been told that the cause for your condition is still unknown, and that finding a treatment that works for you is largely a trial-and-error process. These statements are true for most patients. However, recent studies have shed some light on a possible cause or contributing factor to rosacea: bacteria carried by skin mites. More research is needed, and there are no drugs specifically designed to target this potential cause yet. However, knowing a little bit about this research can help you treat your rosacea more wisely.
Mites, Bacteria, and Rosacea
A study conducted at the National University of Ireland and published in the Journal of Medical Microbiology in 2012 spoke about the relationship between skin mites, bacteria and rosacea. In this study, researchers found that a worm-shaped, microscopic mite known as Demodex folliculorum was present in the hair follicles of many individuals' faces. When these mites die, bacteria that are usually found in their digestive tracts are released. As they make their way into the skin tissues, they cause the symptoms associated with rosacea: red, itchy and burning bumps on the face.
It's important to note that rosacea sufferers were not the only ones who had these mites and bacteria on their faces. They were simply the ones whose skin responded to the presence of the bacteria. Many people have these bacteria on their skin and simply do not react.
Designing Treatments to Target The Mites and Bacteria Associated with Rosacea
Pharmaceutical companies have begun exploring treatment options for rosacea that target this cause. However, there is still a lot of research and work needed before these treatments reach the market. For one, researchers must determine whether it's best to design medications that target the mites themselves, or ones that target the bacteria.
The fact that some patients have these mites and bacteria on their faces and don't have rosacea also adds another layer of complexity. Perhaps drugs to target the immune system's response to the bacteria are the best choice. Likely, there are new rosacea treatments on the horizon because of this study, but nobody knows yet when they'll be fully developed and released.
Using Recent Research to Improve Your Current Treatment Methods
While you're waiting for pharmaceuticals to catch up with new research, you can use the results of this study to improve upon your current treatment methods. Talk to your dermatologist before making any changes in your treatment routine, but consider these suggestions:
Concentrate on bacteria-eliminating treatments.
Since this study indicated that bacteria are to blame for rosacea symptoms, you can focus on treatments and home remedies that reduce bacteria on your skin. Use a prescription or over-the-counter antibacterial wash on a regular basis. Many of these products are primarily marketed for acne treatment, but if you read the fine print, they will say they're effective for rosacea, too. Talk to your dermatologist about keeping an oral antibiotic on hand to take when you have a serious flare-up.
Work on boosting your immune system.
Since not everyone who has the offending bacteria on their skin develops rosacea, this study makes it pretty clear that it's the immune system's reaction to the bacteria, not the bacteria themselves, that cause rosacea. Thus, you might find relief from the condition if you work on strengthening your immune system.
Harvard Health recommends strengthening your immune system by:
Many people who suffer from rosacea find that certain behaviors, such as drinking alcohol or eating a poor diet, trigger a breakout. Could it be that these behaviors simply inhibit their immune systems, causing their body to react to the bacteria on their skin? More research is needed to know for sure, but this possibility looks pretty promising and could mean that better treatments for rosacea are about to arrive.Share
3 April 2015
I was always very healthy throughout my childhood, but when I became a teenager, I was diagnosed with a chronic illness. Thankfully, I had the support of my loving family to help keep me upbeat during a time that could have led to me experiencing the depression that some do after they first learn they will have an illness for life. I am very grateful for the advice I have gotten throughout my life, so I decided to create a blog where I can share all of the advice that has helped me live a happy, healthy life, despite having a chronic illness. Since I am on a medication that suppresses my immune system, I have also studied up on many other illnesses and tips for avoiding them and treating them. I plan to post health tips for people of a variety of ages and suffering with various illnesses!