December 2014

Improving skin hydration in rosacea

Mon, 15 December 14 12:21

Patients with the skin condition, rosacea often experience increased skin sensitivity due to an imbalance in a layer of their skin known as the stratum corneum. Recent research findings from the Powell laboratory published in the British Journal of Dermatology show the positive impact of the drug, minocycline on skin hydration in rosacea patients.

The Powell group analysed sebum (oil), pH and hydration levels that influence the condition of the skin in a group of 35 patients compared to those in a group of 35 individuals with normal facial skin.

The rosacea patients were re-examined after a 6-week treatment regime with the drug, minocycline. The team found this treatment reduces erythema (redness) and increases hydration without changing in skin pH or sebum casual levels.

Delegates heard Professor Frank Powell describe this research during his invited 2014 Joseph von Plenck memorial lecture at the annual meeting of the Austrian Society of Dermatology held in Vienna in November.

Professor Powell also outlined the history of the knowledge of rosacea from its early days to the present. He cited much of the work being carried out in the UCD Charles Institute relating to the skin barrier malfunction in rosacea and the potential role of demodex mites in causing this inflammatory skin disorder.

During 2014, in addition to the British Journal of Dermatology publication, Prof Powell and Dr Siona Ni Raghallaigh have co-authored three chapters on rosacea in separate dermatology books. The newest member of the team, Dr Ellen Moran is studying the effects of an anti-mite drug, ivermectin and its effects on live demodex mites in vitro in conjunction with Galderma laboratories.

About the Joseph von Plenck Memorial Lecture
The prestigious Joseph von Plenck invited lecture honours of the founder of Austrian dermatology. Dr Joseph von Plenck lived in Vienna (1735-1807) and is credited with providing the fundamental classification of skin disorders that formed the scientific basis of dermatology.

Likened to a Mozart of medicine1, this remarkable physician left a deep trace in the history of dermatology and venereology, and marked the transition from text-based to visually dependent culture in the field of dermatovenereology.


1A kind of Mozart of medicine: Joseph Plenck (1735-1807). Holubar K. Acta Dermatovenerol Croat. 2003 Dec;11(4):207-11. PMID: 14670219 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Ní Raghallaigh S, Powell FC. Epidermal hydration levels in patients with rosacea improve after minocycline therapy. Br J Dermatol. 2014;171(2):259-66.

Ní Raghallaigh S, Powell FC. “Rosacea” in European Handbook of Dermatological Treatments 3rd Edition; Springer, 2014. Andreas Katsambas, Torello Lotti. (Submitted March 2014)

Ní Raghallaigh S, Powell FC. “Flushing and Blushing”. Section 8; Vascular Dermatoses in Rook’s Textbook of Dermatology, 9th Edition. John Wiley & Sons Ltd (Wiley), 2014. Estimated Publication date: July 2015. Section editors: Daniel Creamer, Nick Levell. (Submitted April 2014)

Powell FC, Ní Raghallaigh S. “Rosacea and Related Disorders”. Dermatology, 4th edition, Bolognia JL, Schaffer JV, Jorizzo JL, eds. Mosby: London