One causes facial redness, the other cracks your skin and makes you itch like nothing else. Rosacea and eczema are two skin disorders that can make your life just plain miserable. Now two studies offer new insight into these problematic skin diseases, and why it’s important to not dismiss them as skin-deep issues.
The studies may change how we treat rosacea and eczema in the years ahead. Both conditions can drastically affect quality of life – some 75% of rosacea patients have cancelled social plans because of an outbreak.
Eczema too, appears to be more than just a contact dermatitis. The study links it to both heart disease and stroke, and suggests eczema should be reviewed with a doctor because it may indicate further, more serious health issues down the road.
Rosacea is a skin disorder characterized by facial redness along the cheeks, nose, chin and forehead. It may also spread to the chest, neck, scalp and ears. Bumps and pimples are common during a rosacea flare-up – leading some to inaccurately call it acne rosacea – and which can cause a painful, burning sensation.
Signs of rosacea include flushing, ongoing redness, bumps and pimples and visible redness. It’s more commonly diagnosed in women, though men tend to get more severe symptoms, possibly because they’re less likely to seek treatment until more advanced symptoms.
Rosacea Genes Identified
Scientists may have identified the genes responsible for rosacea. In particular, two genes, HLA-DRA and BTNL2 – both strongly associated with people of European ancestory – seem to be responsible for this skin disorder that affects roughly 16 million Americans.
Most of whom don’t even know they have it.
The study, which was published this year in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology, consisted of data from more than 46,000 consenting patients of an American genetic-testing company called 23andme. More than 2,600 of the patients had been diagnosed with rosacea.
While the study doesn’t prove a cause and effect relationship, the link is logical. Dermatologists have long said that people of European background are at higher risk of this skin disease. This research adds weight to that theory, though more testing is needed.
What This Means: That we’re looking in the right direction. Rosacea is an incurable disease, but it can’t hurt to at least broaden our understanding of it because it may pave the way for rosacea treatments of the future. To fix, you must first understand. It will be interesting to see where rosacea treatments go from here.
Eczema is contact dermatitis. Caused by inflammation, it’s an itchy skin disease in which skin becomes dry and red. The skin may crack and bleed. Rashes are common on the face, inside the elbows, behind the knees and on the hands and feet.
It’s most common in children – unlike psoriasis, which typically shows up after 30, though adults can get eczema too.
Eczema Linked to Stroke and Heart Disease
New research suggests eczema is more than just a troublesome skin problem. A study published in January 2015 links eczema to higher risk of stroke and heart disease and suggests the disorder is more than just itchy skin. It impacts all areas of health, and may indicate a proclivity toward the leading cause of death on the planet.
The researchers don’t know if that link is because of bad habits or the actual disease. The former clearly factors in to eczema though – they found that eczema patients more likely to smoke and drink more, and were more likely to be obese, for example, than adults without the disease.
However, it’s also possible the disease itself may increase risk of heart disease and stroke because of chronic inflammation.
The study consisted of data collected from more than 61,000 adults between 18 and 85, all of whom were part of the 2010 and 2012 National Health Interview Surveys. Analysis of this data revealed that people with eczema were 54% more likely to be severely obese. They were also 48% more likely to have high blood pressure and 1/3 more likely to have high cholesterol than people who were not affected by the disease.
Eczema also had a strong connection with sleeping problems and diabetes than people with no skin problems.
What This Means: The findings suggest it’s important to address eczema from the beginning – even in children. It may be symptoms, or it could be the disease, but there’s enough of a link between eczema and heart disease and other, potentially life-threatening health concerns to suggest this troublesome ailment warrants a closer look through a patient’s lifetime.
And that’s before the stress of eczema. Pain takes a toll on the body and mind. That’s why cognitive therapy may help patients live with the strain of eczema, in addition to proper skin care as outlined by a doctor.
The Takeaway Message
Watch your skin. While rosacea is rarely dangerous, it can be both painful and embarrassing. The genes identified by researchers in this recent study add to our current understanding that the disease is strongly associated with people of European ancestry.
Translation: you’re probably at higher risk of rosacea if you’re caucasian – especially if you get facial redness and flushing with common rosacea triggers like hot drinks and the wind. Consider using a natural treatment for rosacea too, like Rosacea Relief Serum by Skinception, which you can buy right here at Natural Health Source.
Eczema appears more troublesome of the two. We’re still unsure about the link between it and stroke, heart disease and even diabetes, but we know it’s real. And with those ailments being three of the most common causes of death, it may indicate you need look closer at your health.
Still, there may be a silver lining to all this. Ezcema typically shows up in childhood, which provides new insight into health at a young age. It may be a red flag, that, seen early, might lead to safer, healthier decisions as that child becomes an adult and progresses through life.