The causes of rosacea remain unknown. However, research is ongoing. A faulty immune system is one of the pathways thought to be involved. Here’s why:
The body’s immune system defends against infection through various inflammatory mediators – molecules that are released by the immune system cells when the body is under ‘attack’.
Researchers believe one of these mediators, cathelicidin, part of the innate immune system – the first line of defence – may be involved in causing rosacea.
The innate immune system responds immediately to ‘attacks’ through the following inflammatory reactions in the skin:
- Dilation (opening) of blood vessels causing visible redness
For rosacea sufferers, this inflammatory response happens over and over again resulting in time in permanently dilated (open) blood vessels and irritation giving skin a red, ruddy look, and for some pimples, rough, dry patches and other signs of rosacea.