Nasalcrom regulates Mast Cells – reduces redness


In September last year a trial was listed to assess whether cromolyn sodium ophthalmic solution 4% could improve the redness associated with rosacea.

This trial was listed by Dr. Anna Di Nardo, who is a part of the UCSD and has received NRS funding in 2012 to research the link between Mast Cells and the overabundance of the antimicrobial peptides called cathelicidins in individuals with rosacea.

This trial has resulted in a recent paper in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology.

After demonstrating the Mast Cells were key mediators of cathelicidin in mice, erythematotelangiectatic rosacea sufferers also showed a decrease in the expression of MMP activity after 8 weeks of topical cromolyn treatment.

The active ingredient in the topical cromolyn treatment – cromolyn soduim forms the basis of the eye drops known as Crolom and Opticrom and the nasal allergy spray NasalCrom.  The operation of this chemical is known as a mast cell stablizer.

NasalCrom, Crolom and Opticrom are typically used to prevent seasonal eye allergy symptoms such as itching, burning, watering, swelling, redness, or sensitivity to light.

Good News

This research suggests that sufferers of the red faces of rosacea may have another effective topical treatment. If this initial success can be replicated in further trials – this trials is very early – Cromolyn may join the ranks of Brimonidine and Oxymetazoline as redness treatments.

Your Reviews

There has been just a few sprinklings of posts over several years from rosacea sufferers who have tried Nasalcrom.

Please let us know if you try any of the Cromolyn based treatments.

pauls says:

I found a post from 1999 that talked about Nasalcrom and decided to give it a try, in addition to my daily Loratidine. The result is a VERY signficant reduction in the visibility of the telangiectasia/redness on my nose

Angela1979 says:

I’ve started using nasalcrom again after having read on the internet that it is used topically for eczema. Since my cheeks tend to itch at times I thought this might reduce the itching and indeed it does. It also definitely shrinks my papules. Great!

Article Abstract

Mast Cells are Key Mediators of Cathelicidin Initiated Skin Inflammation in Rosacea

Yumiko Muto, Zhenping Wang, Matthieu Vanderberghe, Aimee Two, Richard L Gallo and Anna Di Nardo

Division of Dermatology, Department of Medicine, University of California, San Diego, USA

Rosacea is a chronic inflammatory skin disease whose pathophysiological mechanism is still unclear. However, it is known that mast cell (MC) numbers is increased in the dermis of rosacea patients.

MC proteases not only recruit other immune cells, which amplify the inflammatory response, but also cause vasodilation and angiogenesis. MCs are also one of the primary sources of cathelicidin LL-37 (Cath LL-37), an antimicrobial peptide that has been shown to be an enabler of rosacea pathogenesis.

Here, we demonstrate that MCs are key mediators of cathelicidin initiated skin inflammation. Following Cath LL-37 injection into the dermis, MC deficient B6.Cg-KitW-sh/HNihrJaeBsmJ (KitW-sh) mice did not develop rosacea-like features.

Conversely, chymase (P<0.001), tryptase and Mmp9 (P<0.01) mRNA levels were significantly higher in C57BL/6 Wild Type (WT) mice.

Treating WT mice with a MC stabilizer significantly decreased the expressions of Mmp9 and Cxcl2 (P<0.01).

Our data was confirmed on Erythematotelangiectatic rosacea subjects that showed a decrease in MMP activity (P<0.05), after eight weeks of topical cromolyn treatment.

We conclude that MCs play a central role in the development of inflammation subsequent to Cath LL-37 activation and that down regulation of activated MCs may be a therapy for rosacea treatment.

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About the Author: David Pascoe started the Rosacea Support Group in October 1998. .

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5 Reader Comments

  1. Lori S. says:

    Thanks for the article! Will this have the same “rebound redness” problems that oxymetazoline has?

  2. Rob says:

    I started using nasalcrom yesterday for this sheeiite I have on my nose, in the past I’ve tried it all, laser, doxycycline, skin care professional’s recommendations, dermatologists and not one of them did the job for my particular condition because of course the area on my face (nose) was always considered the toughest place to treat according to all the experts and I am sure if it was on my cheeks than that would be the toughest place to treat. Any how I decided that what I had was demodex mites because I could feel crawlyness and pinching etc.., and through my own research online that’s what I decided to attack plus the fact that all the professionals didn’t want to admit it might be demodex and possibly lose money to a cure led me to believe I might be on the right path. I have been using tea tree oil, tea tree soap and body wash, changing bed sheets more often than normal for about a good solid month everyday (in the past I was not so diligent with my regiment) and I have seen improvement and another reason I believe my deal is demodex is that the problem areas are shrinking but seem to be moving a little from the front and right side(left side is almost cleared up) to just the right side now (today). The nasalcrom seems to help with the redness but not the p&p’s but I just started so we’ll see. I use a q-tip to apply the nasalcrom, dip it in the bottle and apply.., I have started to compound the nasalcrom with my tea tree oil cream to see if it absorbed better but again I just started that an hour ago so I will post again early next week to let you all know what’s up. It’s Friday and the weekend is here so see you next week.

  3. Rob says:

    Well it’s tuesday and things seem calm so I am not sure if it is the nasalcrom compounded with tea tree oil or might just be a good day (that’s happened too many times) I even did a little drinking this weekend to really give my skin a chance to act up so we’ll see, got to give it a good couple of weeks to bee sure, will post again in 2 weeks.

  4. Andy Smith says:

    good to know rob, keep us posted

  5. Frank says:

    Any news, Rob?

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