Section : Articles Section : Conference Notes

Rosacea (Acne Rosacea): protective effects of Canthelicidins and the importance of the Skin Barrier (treatment tips)

  • Rosacea is still a mystery with regards to etiology but it has been suggested that the Demodex mite might be associated with its presence and/or severity.
  • Canthelicidines are antimicrobial peptides that protect the skin through:
  1. direct antimicrobial activity
  2. by initiating a hosp response resulting in cytokine release, inflammation, angiogenesis and reepitheliazation.


  • In rosacea the synthesis of the canthelicidin protein is normal but there appears to be a post-translational abnormality with increased protease (destructive) activity of kallikrein-related peptidase 5 (KLK5). Indeed, by adding canthelicidin + KLK5 in mice, the skin becomes red.

Protecting the skin barrier

  • Patients with rosacea often complain of a dry and sensitive skin accmopanied with a feeling of it burning and stinging.
  • Dr F. Powell suggests avoiding products with perfume, color, or alcohol.
  • As the condition tends to affect fair-skinned individuals, he recommends applying a sun block cream in the morning and a moisturizer at night.


Dr Christophe Hsu – dermatologist. Geneva, Switzerland
Source of information: 2013 (08) – Bowers J, Unlocking the mysteries of Rosacea – Dermatology World.