While it came and went incredibly fast (much like the entirety of 2022 so far!) April was Rosacea Awareness Month. We advocate highly for any national occasions or awareness campaigns that aim to improve education around skin and health topics. And for such a complex condition, it’s no surprise it needs an entire month to itself! We wanted to end Rosacea Awareness Month on a high by putting together a little summary of what the latest research suggests about rosacea, its causes, and its management.
Unfortunately, despite being such a common condition, the exact etiology and mechanisms of rosacea are still not completely understood. It is believed to be a highly complex and multifactorial inflammatory skin condition, and this combined with our lack of detailed understanding is what makes it incredibly difficult to treat. Researchers speculate that rosacea causes could be any one or combination of genetics, environmental factors, or the Demodex mite (D. folliculorum). However, some studies have shown that, after observing elevated epidermal Lipocalin 2 (LCN2) levels which indicate impaired barrier function and permeability, this may also play a larger role than we once thought. And then there are the dietary implications.
There are still many inconsistencies in reports of dietary triggers of rosacea. The general consensus among the scientific research community has historically been that skin will function normally when a person is following a healthy, nutritionally-complete diet. However, we know now that it is much more complex than just nutritional deficits. There is also contradictory evidence around the dietary triggers of heightened rosacea symptoms. For example, tea, coffee, hot drinks, alcohol and spicy foods are commonly known to flare up rosacea. However, this is not consistent in all rosacea sufferers, and several studies have been carried out showing that the inverse was true for coffee drinkers. If it is generalised improved barrier function and a reduction in inflammation we are trying to achieve, in the hopes that this may alleviate rosacea symptoms, several foods and nutrients that have demonstrated abilities in this area could be used, such as omega fatty acids and zinc.
And of course, not to be forgotten is stress. We know that psychological stress and the resultant hormonal cascade can lead to an upregulation of inflammatory agents. Being a chronic inflammatory condition, rosacea may be reduced by reducing systemic inflammation, so stress reduction should always play a major role in rosacea treatment plans. And so too should antioxidants to neutralise oxidative stress caused by said inflammation!
And lastly, there is the skin’s microbiome -another relatively new segment of research that we are yet to completely understand the mechanisms behind. Though currently, it is thought that the bacterial composition and balance greatly contributes to barrier function and that disruption can lead to inflammatory skin conditions. This has led to the creation of skincare brands such as Meder Beauty who are dedicated to the health of the skin through optimised function of its microbiome. Founded by dermatologist Dr Tiina Meder, the brand started from a passion for new and innovative ingredients, evolving into a range that would be truly inclusive and supportive of microbiome health. Beginning from its creation in a Swiss laboratory, Meder quickly spread globally and is now loved by skin clinics all over the world. Its products are suitable for all ages, all skin types and at any stage of life, including during pregnancy, breastfeeding and menopause, and is always science-based, cruelty-free and sustainable.
Contact the Meder team to find out more.