Is Rosacea An Autoimmune Disease? Unveiling The Facts

Autoimmune diseases are a category of disorders in which the body’s immune system, which is designed to protect the body from infections and harmful substances, mistakenly targets and attacks its healthy cells and tissues. This results from inflammation and damage to various parts of the body. As it affects multiple organs, it could be quite havoc-wreaking.  Lupus and Multiple Sclerosis are examples.

Is Rosacea Categorized As An Autoimmune Disease?

Rosacea may or may not be an auto-immune disease. The information on the same is insufficient to make a single derivation. It is, however, a chronic skin condition that often turns your face red. This could be because it prompts the blood vessels to be visible and the development of papules and pustules.

Is Rosacea An Autoimmune Disease


Facial redness, bumps, and pimples with popping out blood vessels, a burning sensation, and irritation of the eyes. There could be some evidence to suggest it is still an abnormal immune response. The condition could be one where the immune system doesn’t function properly. What it could mean is, that the body is unable to identify viruses or pathogens and thus becomes inactive.

Autoimmune is also a kind of abnormal immune response which includes hyperactivity of the immune system. Doctors don’t confirm if rosacea is caused by hyperactivity, interactivity, or improper activity in your body.

Causes For Rosacea

Unfortunately, there could be multiple reasons why someone has rosacea. Scientists believe the reasons could be genetic, environmental, and vascular as well. This means there is a possibility that you would contract the disease if your family has it. Doctors also believe in exposing oneself to sunlight, extreme temperatures, spicy foods, alcohol, and stress. Getting bitten by Dermatitis Mites could also cause allergies on the face.

As studies have been evolving, two sections of researchers believe that Rosacea could be an autoimmune disease after all, and one that is opposed to the thought. Those who champion the addition of rosacea into the long list of autoimmune suggests multiple reasons.

  • Firstly, it often results in the inflammation of the facial tissues. It goes totally in tandem with the characteristics of autoimmune disorders including unexplainable swelling and irregular immune system.
  • Secondly, detailed tests carried out on some of the rosacea patients point out that they all suffered from immunological findings. For instance, they showed elevated levels of immune cells and inflammatory markers.
  • Thirdly, people who have rosacea are often diagnosed with similar diseases. This means people with celiac or lupus also show signs of rosacea which underlines its comorbidity.
  • Lastly, the patients were treated with antibiotics like Doxycycline aiming to restore an ailing immune system.


The treatment involves alleviating the symptoms and not the cause itself. It could be-

1. Taking topical medications- This could range from gels or creams with antibiotics, azelaic acids, or other anti-inflammatory agents to reduce redness and swelling.

2. Oral medications– Oral antibiotics or Isotretinoin are administered.

3. Lifestyle changes- Manage the symptoms by controlling your levels of food, not going out in the sun, or anything that could adversely affect your case.

4. Skincare– Doctors suggest the patients go with mild irritants and chemicals to be applied to the face.

5. Lasers and Light therapy- Dermatologists may want to try laser or light therapy to decrease the protrusion of blood vessels. The bumps or pimples could be leveled and to some extent might even disappear.

Rosacea is a skin condition but whether it is an autoimmune disease or not is still a mystery and needs further clarification.


So it shows that line of treatment can be effective which confirms their findings. On the other hand, the section that believes that rosacea isn’t an autoimmune disease also has its logical conclusions. Primarily, they draw our attention towards the absence of clear autoantigens. There are no clear lines drawn which makes it ambiguous. Secondarily rosacea doesn’t involve any organs; a tell-tale sign of autoimmune disease.

Additionally autoimmune could only flare up by the dysregulation of the immune system and not by external factors like sunlight or spicy condiments. This shows rosacea has variable triggers, unlike the rest of the bunch. Moreover, the patients have also shown a lack of autoantibodies. Since it is a robust area, definitive research studies are to be conducted.

About the Author

Nicole Carter is a dedicated and passionate nutritionist, committed to helping individuals achieve their health and wellness goals through the power of proper nutrition. With a Bachelor's degree in Nutritional Science and years of practical experience.

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