Rosacea Review - Newsletter of the National Rosacea SocietyRosacea Review - Newsletter of the National Rosacea Society

Q&A: Oily Skin a Precursor & Immune System Link

Q. Is oily skin usually a precursor to rosacea?

A. There is no evidence that oily skin leads to rosacea. Many rosacea patients experience dry skin, while others may have normal or oily skin, or both. The key is to use skin-care products and procedures that are suitable for your individual case.

Q. Has rosacea been linked to other diseases, particularly those relating to the immune system?

A. The facial butterfly-shaped rash of the immune disorder lupus erythematosus may be mistaken for the central facial flush of rosacea, but no link between the diseases has been found. However, recent ongoing research of the body's potential inflammatory pathways has identified an immune response triggered by a type of antimicrobial protein known as cathelicidin, observed at abnormally high levels in individuals with rosacea.

Cathelicidin has been associated with redness, inflammation and growth of blood vessels -- hallmarks of rosacea. Clinical research has found that many patients with rosacea also suffer from seborrheic dermatitis, an unrelated disorder associated with dry flaky skin.