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Rosacea May Be Genetic

Posted: June 3, 2008

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The facial disorder may be targeting the next generation as well, since nearly 15% of the respondents reported one or more of their children have been diagnosed with rosacea.  Many also indicated that an aunt, uncle or cousin had been diagnosed with the condition, too.

"Especially as rosacea becomes more widely known, it is increasingly evident that heredity may be a significant factor," said Boni Elewski, MD, vice chairman of dermatology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. "Anyone who has a relative with rosacea would be wise to keep an eye out for the early warning signs of the disorder--and to see a dermatologist as soon as they appear."

Rosacea typically first appears as a redness or flushing on the cheeks, nose, chin or forehead that may come and go. Over time, the redness tends to become ruddier and more persistent, and visible blood vessels may appear. Left untreated, bumps and pimples may develop, and in severe cases, particularly in men, the nose may grow swollen and bumpy from excess tissue. In many people, the eyes are also affected, feeling irritated and appearing watery or bloodshot.

Fortunately, the signs and symptoms of rosacea can be effectively controlled with medical treatment and lifestyle changes. Anyone who suspects they may have rosacea is urged to see a dermatologist for diagnosis and appropriate therapy.

For information and educational materials on rosacea, write the National Rosacea Society, 800 S. Northwest Highway, Suite 200, Barrington, Illinois 60010, or call its toll-free number at 888-NO-BLUSH. Information and materials are also available on the society's Web site at www.rosacea.org.