Potential role of microorganisms in the pathogenesis of rosacea

J Am Acad Dermatol. 2013 Dec;69(6):1025-32. doi: 10.1016/j.jaad.2013.08.006. Epub 2013 Sep 5.


Rosacea is a skin condition of abnormal inflammation and vascular dysfunction. The active contribution of a microbial agent in the development or progression of rosacea continues to be debated. Research supports the presence of commensal Demodex folliculorum mites at increased density in the skin and associates Helicobacter pylori infection of the gut with rosacea. Fewer studies implicate Staphylococcus epidermidis, Chlamydophila pneumoniae, and the Demodex-associated bacteria Bacillus oleronius. No research, however, provides a mechanism by which colonization by a microorganism translates to manifestation of the condition. Prevailing and emerging principles in the biology of the microbiome and the pathophysiology of rosacea may help to reconcile these lingering questions. Here the microorganisms implicated in rosacea are reviewed and the reaction of the microbiome to inflammation and to changes in microenvironments and macroenvironments are discussed to explain potential roles for microorganisms in rosacea pathophysiology.

Keywords: Demodex folliculorum; Helicobacter pylori; commensal; immunoreactivity; mechanism; microbiome; pathophysiology; rosacea.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Mites
  • Rosacea / microbiology*