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Study Finds Genetics and Environmental Factors Contribute Equally to Rosacea in Twins

stockvault-smile165465Recently, a study was conducted to evaluate the influence of genetics on Rosacea development. This study found that there was a high association of National Rosacea Society (NRS) scores in identical twins over the scores from fraternal twins. According to study investigators, there was a genetic contribution to the NRS score to be 46% for identical twins.

The study was conducted by Dr. Nely Aldrich of University Hospitals Case Medical Center, located in Cleveland, Ohio. The doctor and her study associated studied responses from a questionnaire give to 550 twins. These questionnaires were distributed at the Twins Days Festival in Twinsburg, Ohio in both August 2012 and August 2013.

Among the study individuals of 275 pairs of twins, there were 233 identical pairs of twins. Within this group, the mean rosacea score was 2.46. Alternatively, the 42 fraternal twin pairs study showed a mean rosacea score of 0.75.

An analysis of comorbidities (the simultaneous presence of two chronic diseases or conditions within an individual patient) showed that there was a significant correlation between NRS scores with factors such as age, body mass index, UV radiation exposure, cardiovascular comorbidity, and skin cancer comorbidity.

Other weaker associations were found between alcohol consumption and the number of years an individual smoked. Interestingly, there was no correlation found with acne comorbidity, eczema comorbidity, or physical activity levels.

Investigators wrote about their findings: “We found that approximately half of the contribution to the NRS score could be accounted for by genetics and the other half by environment… These findings may help improve current management and expectations of individuals affected by rosacea.”

Rosacea is chronic skin disorder that primarily occurs in the facial area. It is characterized by flare-ups and remission of redness in the cheeks, nose, chin or forehead. If early cases are left untreated, it can lead to a more serious condition called rhinophyma, where the nose can grow swollen and bumpy. While there is no cure for rosacea, medical therapies can control and/or reverse the symptoms.

Dr. Thomas Wright, medical director of Laser Lipo and Vein Center says, “This study reflects some very important information about the occurrence and treatment of rosacea. With the information in this study, we are better able to diagnose and effectively treat rosacea.”

Dr. Wright continues, “If you suspect you may be suffering from rosacea, it is important that you see a knowledgeable physician for a diagnosis and treatment.”