Sunlight and Rosacea

Rosacea is a chronic skin condition that is worsened by sunlight

Rose colored sunglasses on the beach with sun setting in background
Author:

Rosacea is a chronic skin condition that primarily affects the face of adults. Rosacea can appear in many different ways on the skin. One common presentation of rosacea is that of a red rash that affects the central face (around the cheeks and closer to the nose). The type of rosacea with redness predominating tends to feature small, fixed, dilated blood vessels (known as telangiectasias).

The other types of rosacea have a predominance of other specific features such as pus-filled bumps (pustules), red bumps, thickened skin (commonly referred to the as phymatous rosacea around the nose), and/or redness in the eyes. These different types and features of rosacea commonly overlap within the same person.

The exact cause of rosacea is unknown but research suggests that there is an overall dysfunction of the immune system. Many patients with rosacea realize quickly that the rash can be triggered or worsened by certain factors. These triggers can include certain foods, heat, alcohol, and sunlight.[1] Sunlight (and its avoidance) plays an important role in the treatment of rosacea. The use of sun reflecting agents, such as zinc or titanium, is a fundamental part of any treatment regimen for rosacea and it is paramount in treatment success. The reason sun protection is important may be related to research demonstrating that sunlight can worsen rosacea. Ultraviolet radiation (UVR) results in the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the skin.[2] These highly reactive molecules initiate and propagate inflammation that goes on to trigger the immune system, and ultimately results in an increase in specific rosacea-related molecules in the skin. In addition, UVR increases certain chemical signals in the skin that are known to support blood vessel growth[3] and therefore may be responsible for the creation of telangiectasias in rosacea. Sunlight also weakens skin support structures (collagen and elastin networks) potentially leading to worsening of rosacea by hindering lymphatic drainage.[4] 

It is important to note that even the most experienced dermatologist may have difficulty distinguishing the redness of rosacea from sun-induced redness. The difference can be subtle and some have suggested that sun-induced redness is simply a stage of rosacea.[4] Others point out that the redness of rosacea will typically involve the center of the face and appear rosy pink, while the color from sun-induced redness looks redder and affects the areas of the brows on the lateral face.[4] Regardless, people with rosacea should consider having a discussion with their healthcare providers about strategies to avoid UVR exposure. 

BeautyHealthy AgingMicrobiomeNutritionHairNailsIngredientsStressDiagnosis and DetailsEnvironmentFitnessAyurvedaNaturopathyTCMWesternReproductive HealthSun CarePerspectivesCosmetics and ProceduresMakeupDevicesAnti-AgingAntioxidantsSkin MicrobiomeGut MicrobiomeProbiotics and PrebioticsDietFoodHerbs and BotanicalsVitamins and SupplementsBeauty SmartsNatural ProductsNatural IngredientsIngredient ScienceProduct InfoMental HealthMindfulnessMedicationsProceduresOTC ProductsClimateInfectionsMineralsExerciseYogaAyurveda BasicsHolistic TherapiesNaturopathy BasicsWestern BasicsPregnancySexual HealthSun SmartsSunscreenAcnePsoriasisRosaceaAtopic DermatitisAlopeciaVitamin DHerbal ExtractsOmega-3 Rich FoodsStress ReductionStress Effects on SkinMassageAcupunctureIntegrative ApproachWellnessMind Skin ConnectionQuality of LifeTeaHealthy FoodsSkin FoodsMushrooms and FungiFoods for Skin CareSuperfoodsLifestyle Tips for AcneDiet Effects on SkinEffects of DairySkingredientsNatural Oils for the SkinAlternative Approaches for EczemaSkin Barrier ProtectionEczemaSun ProtectionHealthy Sun HabitsUsing SunscreenHealthy HygieneKeratosis PilarisMoisturizersExfoliatorsSkin CareCleansersChoosing A SunscreenAntioxidants for SkinPhytochemicalsSupplementsNatural Skin CareEye CareDiagnosisAllergiesChemical Effects on the SkinSkin IrritationMelanoma Skin CancerSkin in PregnancyFood SensitivityGlycemic IndexOxidative StressSugar Effects on SkinHair Loss CausesHair HealthHair and NailsAestheticsNon-Surgical Cosmetic ProceduresCosmetic CornerBotulinum Toxin for CosmeticsFemale Sexual HealthVaginal HealthSexually Transmitted DiseaseHidradenitis SuppurativaAntibiotic Use for More Than InfectionsHarmful Effects of UV LightSkin Affects PsychologyMale Sexual HealthAccess To CareActinic KeratosesActive LifestyleAgingAlcoholAlternatives to AntibioticsAntibiotic UseAntioxidant FoodsAntiperspirantApps and ToolsAromatherapyAsian Skin CareAutoimmuneAutoimmune Skin DiseaseAvocadoAyurvedic ApproachesAyurvedic DoshasAyurvedic Medical ApproachesAyurvedic PractitionersBaby Skin CareBacteria and ParasitesBacteria, Fungi and ParasitesBacterial BiofilmsBalneotherapyBarber ShopsBasal Cell CarcinomaBasal Cell Skin CancerBathBathingBathing with Dry SkinBehavioral HealthBeneficial Effects of GroomingBeneficial Effects of OatsBeta GlucanModern MedicineBiological AgentsBiological MedicationsBiological TreatmentBiologicsBiomedicineBiopsyBleachBleach BathsBlistering DiseaseBlue Light EffectsBodyBody CareBody ContouringBody OilBotoxBotulinum ToxinBotulinum Toxin for Medical PurposesCalciumCancerCastorCelluliteChakras and the SkinChemicals Used in Skin ProductsChemistryChemotherapyChinese Medicine BasicsYoga For Skin HealthYellow NailsWrinklesWound HealingWoundWorld Influences on Skin CareWeight LossWater QualityCircadian RhythmWartsVitiligoClaysClothingVitaminsVitamin CComplementary and Alternative MedicineVitamin AVirusesCosmetic ProceduresCosmeticsVegan Skin CareUV LightCuppingUsing Steroids SafelyDrug ReactionsDry ScalpUltraviolet Light Based TreatmentDry SkinEffects of AgingTraditional Chinese Medicine ApproachesThe Skin We're InEnvironmental Effects on SkinThe Power of SleepEpigeneticsThe Microbiome in EczemaThe Benefits of PetsEssential OilsTechnology for Your SkinTanningExercise and Physical ActivitySystemic Medications for PsoraisisSweating More Than UsualEyelash CareFacial MasksFacialsSunburnFastingFat ReductionFiber IntakeSquamous Cell Skin CancerFinding Personal HarmonySportsSpironolactoneSkin Type ProfileSkin TipsSkin Signs of Internal DiseaseSkin ProcedureSkin of ColorSkin LighteningSkin Gut ConnectionSkin DNA ChangesSkin DiscolorationSkin DetoxSkin Care for MenSkin CancerSkin BlistersSkin BiopsySkin BasicsSkin Aging and Fine LinesShavingSensitive SkinScar TreatmentsSafety of IngredientsSafe SexRetinoidsResearch SpotlightRadiation TherapyProduct LabelsPower of Social MediaPollution Effects on SkinpH of the SkinPaleo DietOpinionOmega-3Oily SkinNicotinamideNiacinamideNaturopathic ApproachesNanoparticlesNail SalonsNail HealthNail CareNail BeautyMore Than Skin DeepFit Living is Healthy SkinMelasmaMediterranean DietGenetics of SkinMeditationGrainsMedications That Suppress the Immune SystemMedication TipsGreen TeaLights and LasersHair CareLifestyle Tips for EczemaHair GrowthLifestyleHair ReductionItchingIsotretinoin AccutaneHealthy BathingIntense Pulsed LightHealthy Living is Healthy SkinInsects and ParasitesHerbal CareInjectablesHome DevicesHomeopathyInfo on Product LabelsInfections of the SkinHyperhidrosisHoney Health for SkinHormone Effects on the SkinHow to Read Product LabelsSexualityMind and BodyIntegrative MedicineSkinChemicalsCosmeceuticalsNutraceuticalsLaser TreatmentsChinese MedicineAyurvedic MedicineNaturopathic MedicineDermatologistSkin Physics SpotlightMedicine BasicsNonmelanoma Skin CancerHealthy DrinksGut HealthDry ShampoosHair OilsPlant Based DietSoap AlternativesFacial CareMedicineIntegrative Approach to SkinStress and MindfulnessHair SupplementsFoods for Hair HealthEye and Oral CareHow Stuff WorksEstheticiansHair LossBack to BasicsEye Microbiome

* This Website is for general skin beauty, wellness, and health information only. This Website is not to be used as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment of any health condition or problem. The information provided on this Website should never be used to disregard, delay, or refuse treatment or advice from a physician or a qualified health provider.

References

​1. Gerber PA, Buhren BA, Steinhoff M, et al. Rosacea: The cytokine and chemokine network. J Investig Dermatol Symp Proc.2011;15(1):40-47; PMID: 22076326.

2. Two AM, Wu W, Gallo RL, et al. Rosacea: part I. Introduction, categorization, histology, pathogenesis, and risk factors. J Am Acad Dermatol.2015;72(5):749-758; quiz 759-760; PMID: 25890455.

3. Ballaun C, Weninger W, Uthman A, et al. Human keratinocytes express the three major splice forms of vascular endothelial growth factor. J Invest Dermatol.1995;104(1):7-10; PMID: 7798644.

4. Wilkin JK. Erythematotelangiectatic Rosacea and Telangiectatic Photoaging: Same, Separate, and/or Sequential? JAMA Dermatol.2015;151(8):821-823; PMID: 25798736.