UV Exposure leads to Oxidative Stress

Written by on December 21, 2011 in research, What Causes Rosacea? with 3 Comments

As researchers try to further describe exactly what is going on in rosacea, more tiny bits of information arise. Here, this abstract is telling us that;

  • Ferritin positive cells are much more prevalent in rosacea sufferers
  • Severe rosacea sufferers have significantly more ferritin positive cells
  • Blood peroxide levels are higher in rosacea sufferers
  • Total anti-oxidative levels are significantly lower in rosacea patients

The conclusion of the paper is that exposure to UV light results in ferritin positive cells that are fundamental to the resulting oxidative stress.

What is Oxidative Stress?

Oxidative stress has to do with the amount of reactive oxygen species present in our bodies. When there are too many, damage to cell components result.

In broad terms, antioxidants are helpful when the balance is wrong and too many ROS are present.

It is a complicated science; oxidative stress has been linked to many diseases and needs to carefully dissected to understand any real implications for a particular disease.

We do know that rosacea is the end result of an inflammatory pathway. We need to describe the entire system before we can say that we have rosacea licked.

The role of oxidative stress and iron in pathophysiology of rosacea

Lijec Vjesn. 2011 Jul-Aug;133(7-8):288-91.

[Article in Croatian], Tisma VS, Poljak-Blazi M., Poliklinicki odjel za kozne i spolne bolesti, KB Dubrava, Zagreb.

Rosacea is a common skin disease of unknown etiology.

The aim of the present paper is to explain the role of oxidative stress triggered by UV light and iron metabolism in the pathophysiology of rosacea.

It was recently described that the number of ferritin positive cells was significantly higher in skin samples of rosacea patients compared to controls of healthy skin samples.

The presence of ferritin was significantly higher in patients with the severe stage of disease. In addition, serum peroxide levels were significantly higher and serum total antioxidative potential levels were significantly lower in rosacea patients than in healthy controls.

These results support the role of oxidative stress and affected metabolism of iron in etiology of rosacea.

The higher presence of ferritin in skin cells of rosacea patients explains the exacerbation of symptoms by exposure to UV light, that releases ferritin free iron, which is fundamental in the generation of oxidative stress.

This paper appears to be a followup to a 2009 paper , Oxidative stress and ferritin expression in the skin of patients with rosacea, J Am Acad Dermatol. 2009 Feb;60(2):270-6.

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

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3 Reader Comments

  1. Brady Barrows says:

    Thanks Dave for pointing out that this is a follow up on the 2009 report. More pieces to the rosacea puzzle.

  2. mrsmoof says:

    this is very interesting to me as artificial lights (fluorescent lights, computer screens, etc) are my biggest trigger. When they say we have more ferritin positive cells in our skin does that mean we have too much or too little iron in our blood? Also, how do you reduce oxidative stress?

  3. RB says:

    Oxidative stress is not only caused by UV-light, but also by air pollution, smoking, stress, medication, radiation, excessive exercise. It is also why you get wrinkles. It can’t be stopped, but antioxidants help. Since UV light is a trigger, it can be helpfull to use a zinc-oxide sunscreen.

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