Migraine may be more common in people with rosacea, according to a research letter published online June 15 in the British Journal of Dermatology.
Suvi-Paivikki Sinikumpu, M.D., Ph.D., from the University Hospital of Oulu in Finland and colleagues studied the association between rosacea and migraine using data from the Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1966 Study (1,932 participants; 53.7 percent female).
The researchers found that the prevalence of rosacea was 15.1 percent overall. Self-reported migraine was more common among those with rosacea versus those without (21.5 versus 18.5 percent). Participants with rosacea and migraine more commonly reported one-sided (25.3 percent versus 18.4 percent without rosacea) and throbbing headache (33.9 percent versus 24.6 percent without rosacea). The investigators found that male patients with rosacea had twice the risk for self-reported migraine, one-sided and throbbing headache, headache that prevents doing daily activities, and headache that is irritated by bright lights and loud voices. Similar risk was not seen in female patients.
“Besides genetic predisposition, impairment in epidermal barrier and dysregulation of immune system, rosacea is characterized by neurovascular dysregulation and neurogenic inflammation, thus sharing similarities in pathomechanisms with migraine,” the authors write. “Based on our findings, we recommend that physicians encountering patients with rosacea, especially males, ask them about migraine symptoms while simultaneously ensuring the exact [diagnosis] of rosacea.”