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J Am Acad Dermatol. 2009 Feb;60(2):270-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jaad.2008.10.014. Epub 2008 Nov 25.

Oxidative stress and ferritin expression in the skin of patients with rosacea.

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Polyclinic Department of Dermatology and Venereology, Dubrava University Hospital, Zagreb, Croatia.



Rosacea is a common chronic light-sensitive inflammatory skin disease of unknown origin. The purpose of this work was to determine the parameters of oxidative stress, antioxidative capacity, and the pathophysiologic role of ferritin expression in skin cells of patients with rosacea.


The investigation consisted of measurements of serum peroxide levels, serum total antioxidative potential levels, and immunohistochemical analyses of ferritin in skin tissue samples.


Serum peroxide levels were significantly higher and serum total antioxidative potential levels were significantly lower in patients with rosacea than in healthy control subjects (P < .05). Compared with control subjects, the number of ferritin-positive cells was significantly higher (P < .001) in skin samples from patients with rosacea, especially those with severe disease.


Patients with rosacea in the study were aged 30 to 70 years (average age was 56 years). Younger patients with flushing only were not included according to the request of the ethics committee, limiting the use of diagnostic biopsies only to the necessary cases.


The statistically significant differences in the expression of ferritin, higher peroxide levels, and lower antioxidative potential support the onset of systemic oxidative stress in patients with rosacea.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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