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How Does the Skin Microbiome Influence Rosacea? Unveiling the Microbial Puzzle

Rosacea and the Microbiome

Rosacea, a chronic inflammatory skin condition, involves complex interactions between the skin microbiota and host conditions. While the exact pathophysiology is not clearly understood, research has implicated various microorganisms.

What We Know:

  • Demodex mites (generally found at the base of eyelashes) have been associated with rosacea, with higher densities found in affected individuals. Although typically harmless in small numbers, D. folliculorum and D. brevis may stimulate inflammatory pathways and compromise the skin barrier, contributing to the condition. While their exact role in rosacea remains unclear, treatments targeting Demodex have shown potential (Sánchez-Pellicer et al., 2024)

  • Bacillus oleronius (Heyndrickxia oleronia), a bacterium originally isolated from Demodex, has been shown to exacerbate inflammation in rosacea patients. Furthermore, elevated skin temperature characteristic of rosacea patients altered the growth and protein profile of B. oleronius, resulting in increased production of its immunoreactive proteins. However, studies on rosacea have shown its presence in affected skin samples to be inconsistent (Maher, Staunton & Kavanagh, 2018).

  • Corynebacterium kroppenstedtii, found in mutualistic symbiosis with D. folliculorumhas, has been linked to rosacea, particularly in subjects between 40 and 49 years of age. Research suggests that effective antibiotic treatment against this bacterium could potentially improve rosacea symptom management (Rainer et al., 2020).

  • Staphylococcus epidermidis, a typically beneficial bacterium, may exhibit virulence factors in rosacea patients, contributing to the disease's pathogenesis (Sánchez-Pellicer et al., 2024)

Industry Impact & Potential:

  • Systemic antibiotics have been effective in managing rosacea. However, their specific impact on the cutaneous microbiota and bacteria related to rosacea pathophysiology requires further study (Sánchez-Pellicer et al., 2024)

  • In addition, while the microbiological aspects of rosacea provide insights into its pathogenesis, further research is needed to elucidate the exact roles of various microorganisms and develop targeted treatments (Sánchez-Pellicer et al., 2024).

  • Studies suggest that topical probiotics can positively impact skin health by influencing the skin microbiota and immune response. While their effectiveness for rosacea is not fully understood, probiotics may enhance skin barrier function, reduce inflammation and restore balance to the skin microbiome, making them a promising avenue for symptom management and potential treatment (Sánchez-Pellicer et al., 2024).

Our Solution:

Sequential offers a unique end-to-end Microbiome Testing solution that may be applied to the case of rosacea. Get in touch to collaborate with our experts to investigate topical microbiome-focused approaches to treating skin concerns and conditions, like rosacea.

Reference List:

Maher, A., Staunton, K. & Kavanagh, K. (2018) Analysis of the effect of temperature on protein abundance in Demodex-associated Bacillus oleronius. Pathogens and Disease. 76 (4), fty032. doi:10.1093/femspd/fty032.

Rainer, B.M., Thompson, K.G., Antonescu, C., Florea, L., Mongodin, E.F., Bui, J., Fischer, A.H., Pasieka, H.B., Garza, L.A., Kang, S. & Chien, A.L. (2020) Characterization and Analysis of the Skin Microbiota in Rosacea: A Case–Control Study. American Journal of Clinical Dermatology. 21 (1), 139–147. doi:10.1007/s40257-019-00471-5.

Sánchez-Pellicer, P., Eguren-Michelena, C., García-Gavín, J., Llamas-Velasco, M., Navarro-Moratalla, L., Núñez-Delegido, E., Agüera-Santos, J. & Navarro-López, V. (2024) Rosacea, microbiome and probiotics: the gut-skin axis. Frontiers in Microbiology. 14. doi:10.3389/fmicb.2023.1323644.


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