Some of you may have seen reports of the somewhat strange results uncovered in recent rosacea studies. For those who don't have it – prepare to be amused!
As with many skin allergies, doctors still do not know exactly what causes rosacea in 3% of those affected worldwide.
This month, however, Irish scientists took a step closer by identifying a link between rosacea and skin mites.
The National University of Ireland examined the Demodex Folliculorum mites, which live harmlessly on the entire skin, and the bacteria that live in their digestive tracts.
They found that not only were there higher mite levels in the skin of rosacea patients, but that the bacterium Bacillus Oleronius in rosacea patients seemed to trigger an immune response that caused inflammation.
We hear from many women with rosacea who say that the treatments they have prescribed, including antibiotics, work only temporarily before their symptoms recur.
Interestingly, these results suggest that this could be because antibiotics kill the bacteria present, but not the mite itself, which it can reproduce further.
At the moment it is still a chicken and egg situation – since it is not clear whether higher mite concentrations cause rosacea or whether there are higher concentrations due to rosacea.
However, it is certainly the most significant research I have seen in some time and may mean that future treatments will be developed to address the cause of rosacea, not just the symptoms.
In the meantime, you can read my tips for treating rosacea here.