The Genetics of Rosacea

The Genetics of Rosacea

A new study by researchers from Stanford Medical School and 23andMe is the first to identify genetic variants associated with rosacea, a chronic skin disease estimated to affect more than 16 million people in the United States alone.The Genetics of Rosacea

Led by Dr. Anne Lynn S. Chang, of Stanford University’s School of Medicine, the study to be published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology, is the first to identify genetic factors for this common but incurable condition. (The link is to a pre-print version of the paper.) Although the genetic basis for rosacea has long been hypothesized, this is the first study to find genetic variants associated with the condition.

The genes identified in the study support the concept of a genetic basis for rosacea and that could in turn help identify new targets for future studies to better understand and treat this condition.

The discovery portion of the study, which involved the consented participation of more than 22,000 23andMe customers, found two genetic variants strongly associated with the disease among people of European ancestry. Of the 22, 000 customers in this part of the study, more than 2,600 of them had rosacea and the other 20,000 did not have the condition and were used as controls.

Although rosacea is not life threatening, it is a serious and still little understood condition. Some of the symptoms include redness, inflammation, visible blood vessels, pimple like sores on the skin of the central face, as well as burning and itching. Left untreated it can lead to more serious complications, including disfiguring of the nose — called rhinophyma — and damage to the cornea causing vision problems. Because the condition is so visible it can make those who have it feel isolated.

“This is also another example of how 23andMe can help in researching common yet understudied diseases,” said
Joyce Tung, PhD, 23andMe’s Director of Research and a co-author of the paper.

Another intriguing finding from this study is that the single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) found to be strongly associated with the condition, are in or near genes associated with other diseases including diabetes and celiac disease. One of the SNPs found strongly associated with the condition, rs763035, is between the genes HLA-DRA and BTNL2. The HLA-DRA gene is involved in histocompatibility and immune response, which is consistent with the inflammatory nature of rosacea.

To validate the association, 23andMe researchers tested the SNPs from the genome-wide association study in a separate group of 29,000 consented 23andMe customers. The researchers were able to confirm the same association with rosacea. For that portion of the study, researchers looked at more than 3,000 individuals with rosacea and 26,000 controls.

In addition to the genome wide association study that discovered the variants associated with rosacea, Dr. Chang and her team also took skin biopsies from six individuals with rosacea and showed that both HLA-DRA and BTNL2 proteins can be found in the skin of people with rosacea. This preliminary works hints toward the biological relevance of HLA-DRA and BTNL2 in rosacea.

The genetic associations found in this study and the associations with other diseases like diabetes and celiac disease may help direct future study.

What People Say Works Best for Acne

What People Say Works Best for Acne

What People Say Works Best for Acne

Some of the most effective treatments for acne are not necessarily drugs, according to a new study by CureTogether, a free resource owned by 23andMe that allows people to share information about their health and treatments.

People in the study said they found that lifestyle changes like a paleo diet, reducing sugar, and getting plenty of sunshine were among the most effective in treating acne. In addition, those who participated in the study said that more conventional medical treatments such as Accutane, which ranked at the top of the list, helped a great deal. Conversely some common treatments such as Clearasil, hydrogen peroxide, and soap, were among the least effective, according to the study.

Acne affects millions of Americans and can be embarrassing to experience. Finding accurate recommendations on treatments that work well can be challenging, so CureTogether asked people suffering from acne to rate the effectiveness of different treatments. The study compiled responses from 4,375 people with acne, who rated the effectiveness of 72 different treatments.

Most Effective Rated Treatments for People with Acne
1. Accutane
2. Paleo diet
3. No gluten
4. Bactrim
5. Sunshine
6. 10% Benzoyl Peroxide cream
7. No sugar
8. Avoid touching face
9. No dairy
10. Birth control pill

Where did this data come from? This is the result of a four-year CureTogether study on Acne, in which people living with the condition shared information about their symptoms and what treatments worked best for them. We’d like to thank those who participated. And just as they shared their experience with treatments, we’re freely and openly sharing the results of the acne study.

This is part of a regular series of CureTogether research findings. CureTogether’s research findings are different than those made by 23andMe, which look at genetic associations with illness, traits and drug response. But as we continue our work with the CureTogether community, 23andMe hopes to incorporate more of this kind of self-reported information into our own research. CureTogether present its findings just as they are — patient-reported data — to stimulate discussion and generate new insights for further research.

Please tweet, blog, or pass this along to anyone who can benefit or is interested in acne. Thank you!

What People Say Works for Eczema

What People Say Works for Eczema

What People Say Works for Eczema

People living with Eczema have reported that some of the most effective treatments for their skin include medications like Clobetisol, Trimacinolone, Elocon, and Fluocinonide. This is according to a new study by CureTogether, a free resource owned by 23andMe that allows people to share information about their health and treatments.

Participants in the study also said they found that simple interventions like avoiding allergens, avoiding sweating or temperature changes, moisturizing often, and reducing stress were also effective. They also said dietary changes help. Conversely some common treatments such as antihistamines, coconut oil, and not washing hair every day were among the least effective, according to the study.

Effective Treatments for Eczema As Rated By Patients
1. Clobetisol
2. Triamcinolone
3. Steroid injection
4. Elocon
5. Fluocinonide
6. Avoid problem foods
7. Avoid allergens
8. Corticosteroid cream
9. Moisturize frequently
10. Reduce stress

According to the National Institutes of Health, Eczema affects 15 million Americans and 10% of young adults worldwide. It can be embarrassing to experience cosmetically, but also impacts people’s quality of life. Finding accurate recommendations on treatments that work well can be challenging, so CureTogether asked people living with Eczema to rate the effectiveness of 32 different patient-reported treatments.

Where did this data come from? This is the result of a four-year CureTogether study on Eczema, in which 1,109 people living with the condition shared information about their symptoms and what treatments worked best for them. We’d like to thank those who participated. And just as they shared their experience with treatments, we’re freely and openly sharing the results of the Eczema study.

This is part of a regular series of CureTogether research findings. CureTogether’s research findings are different than those made by 23andMe, which look at genetic associations with illness, traits and drug response. But as we continue our work with the CureTogether community, 23andMe hopes to incorporate more of this kind of self-reported information into our own research. CureTogether present its findings just as they are — patient-reported data — to stimulate discussion and generate new insights for further research.

Please tweet, blog, or pass this along to anyone who can benefit or is interested in Eczema. Thank you!

 

Causes and Triggers of Eczema

Causes and Triggers of Eczema

The exact causes of eczema are unknown. You might have inherited a tendency for eczema. You may have a family member who has eczema or who has hay fever (allergic rhinitis) or asthma. Many doctors think eczema causes are linked to allergic disease, such as hay fever or asthma. Doctors call this the atopic triad. Many children with eczema (up to 80%) will develop hay fever and/or asthma.

There are many triggers of eczema that can make it flare or get worse. Below are some of the common triggers. You should learn what triggers your eczema to flare, and then try to avoid it.

IRRITANTS:

Causes and Triggers of EczemaIrritants can make your symptoms worse. What irritates you may be different from what irritates someone else with the condition, but could include:

  • Soaps and detergents,
  • Shampoos, dish-washing liquids
  • Bubble Bath
  • Disinfectants like chlorine
  • Contact with juices from fresh fruits, meats, vegetables

 

ALLERGENS:

Causes and Triggers of EczemaIf your genes make you more likely to develop atopic eczema, the condition will develop after you are exposed to certain environmental factors, such as allergens.

Allergens are substances that can cause the body to react abnormally. This is known as an allergic reaction. Some of the most common allergens that can be causes of eczema include:

  • House dust mites
  • Pets (cats > dogs)
  • Pollens (seasonal)
  • Molds
  • Dandruff

 

 MICROBES:

Some types of microbe can be triggers of eczema:

  • Certain bacteria like Staphylococcusaureus
  • Viruses
  • Certain Fungi

 

HOT OR COLD TEMPERATURES:

  • Hot weather
  • High and low humidity
  • Perspiration from exercise

 

FOODS:

Causes and Triggers of EczemaAtopic eczema can sometimes be caused by food allergens, especially before the age of one. Some studies of children and young people with atopic eczema found that one-third to nearly two-thirds also had a food allergy. Food allergies associated with eczema causes are typically:

  • Dairy products
  • Eggs
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Soy products
  • Wheat

 

STRESS:

Stress is known to be associated with eczema but it is not fully understood how it affects the condition. Some people with eczema have worse symptoms when they are stressed. For others their eczema symptoms cause them to feel stressed.

HORMONES:

Hormones are chemicals produced by the body. They can cause a wide variety of effects. When the levels of certain hormones in the body increase or decrease some women can experience flare ups of their eczema.

Stretch Marks

The Skinny of Stretch Marks

stretch marks causes and cures

Stretch marks appear when your skin is stretched suddenly. They occur in the strong middle layer of your skin (the dermis), which supports your skin’s outer surface (the epidermis).

Stretch marks are caused by rapid growth

The dermis is made up of strong fibres that connect to eachother and allow your skin to stretch as your body grows. However, if a part of your body grows rapidly over a short period of time, the fibres can become thin and over-stretched and some of them may break.

Where the fibres in the dermis break, tiny tears develop and the blood vessels that lie under your skin show through. This is why stretch marks look reddish in colour when they first appear. Eventually, the blood vessels contract to leave only the fat under your skin visible, and the stretch marks fade to a silvery white or grey colour.

Not everyone gets stretch marks. It may be that some people are more likely to develop stretch marks than others because their bodies produce a larger amount of a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol decreases the amount of collagen in your skin, which is a protein in the skin fibres that helps to keep it stretchy.

Several other factors can either cause stretch marks or make developing them more likely. These are outlined below.

Pregnancy can cause stretch marks

If you are pregnant, it is likely that you will develop stretch marks, particularly after the sixth month of your pregnancy.

Hormones that are produced by your body during pregnancy help to soften the ligaments (strong bands of tissue connecting joints) in your pelvis, so that they give more when you come to deliver your baby. However, these hormones also soften the fibres in your skin, making you prone to stretch marks.

As your baby grows, you may develop stretch marks on your abdomen (stomach) as your skin is gradually stretched further and further. Stretch marks may also appear on your thighs and breasts as they get bigger and heavier.

Gaining weight quickly can cause stretch marks

You may find that you have stretch marks if you put on a lot of weight over a short period of time. The stretch marks may remain even if you lose the weight that you have gained. However, they should fade over time.

If you diet regularly, stretch marks can form as your weight goes up and down rapidly. If you are dieting, it is important to lose weight slowly and steadily so that your skin is not put under strain.

Bodybuilders and athletes may also get stretch marks as their muscles increase in size.

Puberty can cause stretch marks

Young people tend to grow very quickly during puberty. During puberty your body develops in growth spurts, bit by bit.

Males often get stretch marks on their shoulders and back, whereas females tend to get them on their hips, thighs and breasts.

Family history can cause stretch marks

If you have close relatives who have stretch marks (such as your mother) you may be more likely to develop them yourself. Stretch marks may affect both male and female members of your family, although they are more likely to occur in women.

Certain medications can cause stretch marks

You may find that you develop stretch marks if you use corticosteroid medicines, such as creams, lotions or tablets for eczema (a skin condition that causes itching and redness).

Corticosteroids work in a similar way to the hormone cortisol, which is produced naturally in your body. Medicines that contain corticosteroids can ease the inflammation that is caused by skin conditions, but they can also decrease the amount of collagen that is in your skin.

Collagen is needed to keep your skin stretchy, so the less there is in your skin, the more likely it is that stretch marks will develop.

Certain health conditions can cause stretch marks

Sometimes, stretch marks can be caused by a rare underlying condition, such as Cushing’s syndrome or Marfan syndrome.

Cushing’s syndrome can cause stretch marks

Cushing’s syndrome occurs when the body produces an excess amount of cortisol, the same hormone that may make some people more prone to stretch marks than others.

In Cushing’s syndrome, your body produces so much cortisol that it can cause a variety of symptoms including:

  • weight gain,
  • back pain, and
  • excessive body and facial hair.

If you have Cushing’s syndrome your stretch marks may be quite noticeable and dark in colour.

Marfan syndromey can cause stretch marks

Marfan syndrome is caused by a faulty gene that affects your body’s connective tissues, including your skin. It weakens your body’s tissues and affects their elasticity (ability to stretch), so that your skin is not as resistant to stretch marks as it should be.

If you have Marfan syndrome you may have stretch marks on your shoulders, hips or lower back, although the condition also causes several other symptoms, such as curvature of the spine and problems with vision.

Steroid use can cause stretch marks

When you’re using steroids you’re encouraging your body to grow much faster than it could ordinarily.  Combined with a the aggressive training regimes that steroid users engage in it’s more than probable that your natural collagen production won’t be able to keep up.  When that happens you’ll develop some gnarly stretch marks.

 

 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...