What is Spontaneous Clearance of Rosacea?
You may have read posts on rosacea forums and blogs that discuss anecdotal cases of rosacea “burning itself out” or “suddenly disappearing after years of unsuccessful therapy”. You may have also read several published rosacea case studies on PubMed, Medscape or Medline that discuss surprising remission of rosacea in moderate-to-severe patients who have had rosacea for years or even decades and have been unresponsive to traditional medical treatments.
For this article we will focus on moderate-to-severe rosacea cases that have been unresponsive or minimally-responsive to rosacea treatment, have had resistant rosacea for several years to several decades, have not undergone any new treatment modality for at least 12 months and despite this bleak outlook, slowly begin to clear over several weeks-to-several months despite any changes in lifestyle activities or treatments. These are the parameters that we will use when discussing spontaneous clearance of rosacea.
Is Spontaneous Clearance of Rosacea a Real Phenomenon?
The short answer to this question is “Yes”.
Rosacea sufferers who have had rosacea for years or decades and literally given up all forms of treatment have experienced spontaneous clearance of rosacea — and in these cases, it usually results in permanent remission. Published case studies by half-a-dozen prominent physicians have detailed this phenomenon and anecdotal reports can be found on almost every rosacea forum by well-known, long-suffering rosacea sufferers. Although this phenomenon does occur in some cases it must be emphasized that this only occurs in a small percentage of the rosacea population — i.e. one should always seek medical therapy and not just hope for spontaneous clearance.
How does Spontaneous Clearance or Rosacea Remission Occur?
While there have been no clinical studies performed on cases of spontaneous rosacea clearance to fully explain this phenomenon, there are currently three schools of thought on how this may occur: (1) Internal physical changes that naturally occur as one ages, (2) Avoidance of key rosacea triggers breaks the rosacea inflammatory cascade and allows the skin and blood vessels to finally heal, and (3) Important genes throughout rosacea-affected skin can become activated and lead to repair and protection of skin cells, blood vessels and immune cells.
- Internal Physical Changes that Naturally Occur as One Ages— in your 30’s and 40’s blood vessel growth and inflammatory immune responses naturally decrease which could be key factors in spontaneous clearance of rosacea:
- Angiogenesis Decreases. New blood vessel growth or overgrowth of blood vessels in the facial skin decreases significantly in your 30’s and early 40’s under normal circumstances and even in the presence of an inflammatory skin disorder such as rosacea. As angiogenesis is central to most rosacea symptoms and triggers, if this process decreases substantially due to natural changes that occur in facial skin, this could greatly reduce rosacea without any medical assistance.
- Blood Flow to the Facial Skin Decreases. Blood flow to the skin normally decreases as we age as it is shunted to important internal organs to ensure the heart, lungs, brain and kidneys receive an adequate blood supply. This reduction in blood flow could positively impact the severity of rosacea symptoms in a very short time.
- The Body’s Inflammatory Immune Response Decreases. Inflammatory immune cell-induced damage and inflammation make it very hard to successfully treat moderate-to-severe rosacea cases. However, as we age the local immune response by the skin and the body’s overall immune response decrease dramatically in the 40’s and 50’s. Breaking this vicious inflammatory cycle could be a key factor to rosacea remission.
- Avoidance of Key Rosacea Triggers — after years or decades of dealing with rosacea most learn to avoid their key triggers. Over time, this avoidance may naturally help to break the rosacea inflammatory cascade and allow the skin and blood vessels to heal.
- Avoiding Internal Triggers. Internal triggers can be tricky. It may take rosacea sufferers years to learn their internal triggers, and some may never identify these strong triggers if they are related to nerve activity and hormone release. But if they do identify and avoid these triggers for long enough some rosacea sufferers may allow the body to correct itself and reduce the activation of dilator nerves and production of dilator hormones — naturally resulting in clearance of symptoms.
- Avoiding External Triggers. Harsh external elements and skin care products cause many pre-rosacea sufferers to catapult into moderate-to-severe rosacea. Protecting your skin and superficial blood vessels can put a halt to daily external insults and allow the epidermis, dermis and blood vessels to normalize over time. Most rosacea sufferers do not realize the impact that harsh skin care products have on triggering their rosacea every day — making it virtually impossible to break rosacea inflammation.
- Important Genes Throughout Rosacea-Affected Skin can become Activated and Lead to Repair and Protection of Skin Cells, Blood Vessels and Immune Cells — one of the most important factors in rosacea activation and progression is the lack of “active” repair and protective proteins due to dormant genes in facial skin cells and blood vessels.
- Activation of DNA responsible for Anti-Inflammatory Proteins in Rosacea Skin. Research has demonstrated that important proteins and peptides in rosacea skin are inactive. These proteins and peptides make a significant difference in reversing rosacea and clearing rosacea symptoms. The primary problem is that chunks of DNA chromosomes (chromosome fragments) are inactive for various reasons. These can be turned on by the right stimulus. Right now no one knows what the “right stimuli” are for activating these very important chromosome fragments, but research currently underway may help determine how to stimulate these fragments, activate these proteins and help clear rosacea symptoms — possibly leading to permanent remission of rosaca symptoms.
Have you or anyone you know with rosacea experienced spontaneous clearance of your rosacea symptoms?
If so, do they attribute it to any of the variables we discuss above?