Is rosacea inherited?

Could rosacea be running in your family?


You might find yourself getting red, visible blood vessels and acne-like pimples forming on your face. You might brush it off as old age but you might be suffering for rosacea. Rosacea is a long-term condition that usually affects middle-aged women with fair skin, however, symptoms are worse in men. Rosacea has no current cures, but treatment types are available to help manage the symptoms. But why did you get rosacea, could it have been from one of your parents? In this article, we will find out if rosacea is inherited.

Rosacea symptoms

The first symptoms of rosacea are:

  • Blushing (redness) across the nose, cheeks, forehead and chin (this comes and goes)
  • When using skin care products, it can cause a burning or tingling feeling 

Other symptoms include:

  • Dry skin
  • Swelling (usually around the eyes)
  • Red eyes
  • Yellow-orange patches on the skin 
  • Nose with thickened skin (develops after several years)

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Rosacea risk factors

There are several risk factors that can trigger the symptoms of rosacea. Understanding your triggers means you can avoid them and prevent symptoms from appearing. Triggers can be:

  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Spicy foods
  • Cheese
  • Caffeinated drinks
  • Hot drinks
  • Aerobic exercise 

Inheritance pattern

Rosacea is a complex disease. Both environmental and gene affect the condition, so there is not a straightforward pattern of inheritance. According to studies, people are four times more likely to get rosacea if there is a family history of the condition compared to people without the condition. Genes do play a factor in increasing the risk of rosacea, but there are also environmental and non-genetic factors that are shared by members of a family. 

What does it mean if a condition runs in my family?

If a condition or disease runs in a family, it means more than 1 person in the family has the condition. Some conditions are caused by genetic mutations that can be inherited. Inherited means it can be passed down from parent to child. Other conditions are not solely caused by a mutation in a single gene. Instead, the conditions are triggered either by just environmental factors such as diet or by a combination of environmental and genetic factors. However, it is not always easy to find out if a condition runs in your family.


There are no specific diagnostic tools to diagnose rosacea. The doctor will base his diagnosis on your history and symptoms you present with. They might run some tests to rule out other conditions that might be causing the same symptoms such as psoriasis, eczema, or lupus. 

Treatment types 

There are several treatment types that can be prescribed:

Based on the severity of your rosacea, the doctor will prescribe you a suitable form of treatment for the management of your rosacea symptoms. 

Read our page on the diagnosis and treatment of rosacea to find out more. 


  • (2017). Rosacea. [online] Available at: [Accessed 6 May 2020].
  • Reference, G.H. (n.d.). Rosacea. [online] Genetics Home Reference. Available at: [Accessed 6 May 2020].

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