Is the incidence of rosacea increased in FFA?

FFA and Rosacea

Frontal fibrosing alopecia (FFA) is an autoimmune disease. A number of autoimmune diseases are thought to be increased in FFA including thyroid disease. Several other conditions have been proposed as well including primary biliary cirrhosis and polymyalgia rheumatica.

A recent study examined medical conditions that were present in 103 patients with FFA. Rosacea was the most common condition and was present in 35 patients (34 % of patients). Interestingly, none of these patients were on therapy for their rosacea. Most patients who were diagnosed with rosacea (28 of 35) ended up having the Erythematotelangiectatic subtype of rosacea and 7 of the 35 had the so called papulopustular subtype. About 1/2 the patients with rosacea had mild disease and about 1/2 had moderate disease. Several disease was rare (2 of the 35 patients).



This study gives evidence that rosacea may be more common in FFA that we currently appreciate.  Consideration that the incidence of rosacea is about 10 % in the general population, this study would suggest that rosacea might be more common in the FFA population.  



Pindado-Ortega C, et al. Frontal fibrosing alopecia and cutaneous comorbidities: A potential relationship with rosacea. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2018 Mar;78(3):596-597.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.jaad.2017.09.004.

Eginli AN, et al. A Case of Frontal Fibrosing Alopecia in a Patient with Primary Biliary Cirrhosis and Polymyalgia Rheumatica. Skin Appendage Disord. 2016 Sep;2(1-2):79-82. Epub 2016 Sep 10.

Dr. Jeff Donovan is a Canadian and US board certified dermatologist specializing exclusively in hair loss. To schedule a consultation, please call the Whistler office at 604.283.1887

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