New medical research into the process of facial flushing and redness has found that individuals with rosacea produce greater nerve, blood flow and sweating responses than people without the disorder when exposed to increased heat or stress. Results of the National Rosacea Society-funded study also uncovered a role for the sympathetic nervous system, which controls the “fight or flight” response and other key involuntary functions such as heart rate, digestion, breathing and perspiration.
Researchers have now identified the molecular pathway for flushing caused by niacin -- also known as vitamin B3 or nicotinic acid, and found in many foods -- according to a study recently completed by Dr. Robert Walters and colleagues at Duke University and funded by the National Rosacea Society. The new findings may lead to future improvements in the treatment or prevention of rosacea, which is commonly associated with flushing.
The same biochemical process that causes people to flush when alarmed or embarrassed may be linked to the development of rosacea, according to findings presented by Dr. Richard Granstein, chairman of dermatology at Cornell University, during the recent Society for Investigative Dermatology annual meeting.
The National Rosacea Society (NRS) has awarded funding to four new studies as part of its research grants program to advance scientific knowledge of the potential causes and other key aspects of this chronic and potentially life-disruptive disorder.
Although flushing may be the most difficult component of rosacea to treat, it can be controlled with a variety of options that must be tailored to each individual -- including medications for severe cases -- according to physicians now developing standard disease management options as part of a consensus committee organized by the National Rosacea Society (NRS).
Nobody likes to be on the hot seat. Yet that's where many with rosacea may find themselves this summer unless they take special care to prevent the common rosacea pitfalls of the hot season.
"The sun and hot weather both tend to exacerbate rosacea, and can make outdoor activities especially challenging for people with this condition," said Dr. James Del Rosso, assistant clinical professor of dermatology, University of Nevada School of Medicine. "Fortunately, there are steps that can be taken to minimize these effects."
Most cases of rosacea can be controlled with oral and long-term topical antibiotics, combined with avoiding lifestyle and environmental factors that may aggravate the disorder in individual cases. In certain patients, however, dermatologists may prescribe additional medication to prevent flushing and reduce severe redness that may not be well-controlled by other means.1