Enhanced skin blood flow and sensitivity to noxious heat stimuli in papulopustular rosacea

Daniela A Guzman-Sanchez, Yozo Ishiuji, Tejesh Patel, Julie Fountain, Yiong Huak Chan, Gil Yosipovitch
Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology 2007, 57 (5): 800-5

BACKGROUND: Although patients with rosacea often complain of increased skin sensitivity, there has been no quantitative sensory testing of this phenomenon. Furthermore, cutaneous blood flow in these patients has not been assessed using state-of-the-art laser Doppler imaging (LDI).

OBJECTIVES: To assess heat pain thresholds and skin blood flow using quantitative thermal sensory testing and LDI in patients with untreated rosacea.

METHODS: Of the total 24 subjects enrolled, 8 had papulopustular rosacea (PPR), 8 had erythematotelangiectatic rosacea (ETR) and 8 were control subjects. Subjective burning perception, heat pain threshold, skin blood flow, and skin temperature was assessed in all subjects. In the ETR and PPR groups, two areas were compared: affected and nonaffected.

RESULTS: Heat pain thresholds of areas affected by rosacea were lower than those of nonaffected areas. In addition, subjective burning perception was increased in rosacea patients when compared with control subjects. Although PPR-affected skin had elevated skin blood flow when compared with nonaffected skin, this was not significant for ETR-affected skin.

LIMITATIONS: The small number of subjects enrolled was the main limitation.

CONCLUSION: This study showed enhanced sensitivity to noxious heat stimuli in rosacea-affected skin, which was more prominent in the PPR group.

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