Mites may cause rosacea, study suggests

A new study has indicated that the common skin condition of rosacea may be caused by tiny mites, potentially opening the door to more effective treatments. Researchers at the National University of Ireland found that the mites, which inhabit the skin glands responsible for producing sweat and sebum, harbour a specific kind of bacteria in their digestive tract. When they die, these bacteria pour into the glands, possibly causing rosacea.Kevin Kavanagh, the report’s lead author, told MSNBC: “In normal skin, the density of mites is low. In rosacea there is a high density and therefore a large number of bacteria are released. "We believe that the high level of bacterial toxins overwhelms the immune response and leads to the inflammation.” Dr Kavanagh added that the study’s findings may shed some light on why existing treatments have only a temporary effect on rosacea, pointing out that while existing antibiotics have no effect on the mites, they do kill the bacteria living in their digestive tract. A separate report recently published in the British Journal of Dermatology suggested that certain psychotherapeutic treatments may help to alleviate the symptoms of some common skin conditions.