The two skin conditions of acne and rosacea often seem to go hand in hand. Acne does not cause rosacea but acne treatments used in excess or in error can cause the symptoms of rosacea. Neither rosacea nor its treatments have ever caused acne. That being said, it is possible for both conditions to co-exist at the same time. When this happens, it can be a little more challenging to effective treat the combination skin condition because the treatment recommendations for acne are too harsh for rosacea sensitive skin and will aggravate your rosacea symptoms. Too effective treat both acne and rosacea one needs to have a basic understanding of the principle cause of both skin conditions.
Acne results from clogged pores that can trap excess oil and bacteria and thus become inflamed. Teenage puberty, stress and fatigue all contribute to an increased production of hormones by the adrenal gland with resulting increased levels of androgens. The androgen hormones can cause acne to worsen. As adults stress, fatigue, dehydration all plays a part in stimulating the androgen hormone.
Rosacea is the result of changes in the manner in which the blood vessels transport blood to the skin, causing the vessels to enlarge which results in more blood flow to the surface of the skin. The facial skin is by nature thinner than other parts of the body and thus shows these changes more quickly.
So the question becomes, what causes the blood vessels to enact this change? This is all a part of your body’s defense mechanism. The skin acts as a shield to protect the inner organs of the body. Anytime the body perceives an attack or a threat to the skin, the blood vessels rush blood to that area to shore up its defenses and protect the inner organs. This can happen from a cut, a scrap or even dry skin that results in a cracked appearance on the skin’s surface. A facial peel will remove some of the protective outer layer of skin and the newer skin surface will redden as the blood rushes to protect against the perceived attack. When the body’s defenses are compromised due to stress, dehydration, illness, or even medications used to treat other conditions that may suppress the immune system, this whole defense system can go into an over–drive situation. Hence the resulting red, inflamed skin of rosacea.
Both acne and rosacea can be managed if we find a way to manage and regulate and balance hormone production and the immune system. This can be accomplished by adjusting the body pH levels – if the body is too acidic then the immune system and the body’s hormones react in over production causing the symptoms of rosacea and acne. This is a very simple answer to a very complex problem. You can learn more about how to balance your pH levels on the Rosacea Cause and Cure page.