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:

Blur_crop_05_DrBarankin1The 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
  • Heat
  • Swelling
  • Pain

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.