Are you experiencing a change in your skin’s condition? Red bumpy patches and breakouts aren’t always the result of poor hygiene or environmental factors. Often times they are caused by your own DNA. To learn more about the most common genetic skin conditions and what you can do to treat them, read on.


Millions of Canadians experience psoriasis, a common skin disorder that’s believed to be a genetic skin condition in families. The autoimmune disease forms when cells in the body mistake newly produced skin cells as invaders and attack them. This forces the cells to multiply faster than normal, forcing cells out and creating a buildup of bump red patches on the surface. Psoriasis normally appears as red, flaky, scaly patches of raised skin or small flat bumps. It can occur in small patches on the scalp, knees, elbows, feet or cover large parts of the body and face. Untreated psoriasis can also lead to severe itchy skin and uncontrolled patches that can become infected, leading to scars.  


Eczema is another skin condition that you are more likely to develop if there is a history of it in your family. Similar to psoriasis, eczema causes red bumps and itchy skin. It can occur at any age but often begins during childhood or adolescence. Eczema tends to be long-lasting with triggers such as allergies, dry skin, sweat, heat, stress, and skin irritants, causing periodic flare-ups. No cure has been found but treatment methods can help to alleviate the symptoms and keep the eczema under control.


A skin condition that causes red bumps on the face is known as rosacea. At first glance, rosacea can appear like a rash or allergic reaction. It also looks similar to severe acne but these small, red pus-filled bumps are actually quite different. Rosacea usually causes a persistent redness in the face, where small blood vessels on the nose and cheese swell up and red pimples form. Rosacea has no known cause and is believed to be triggered by a combination of hereditary and environmental factors. Exposure to sunlight, blood pressure medications, stress, and alcoholic beverages are all known factors that can cause flare-ups.  

People with a family history of rosacea are far more likely to inherit the condition than those without a family link.  

Hereditary Hair Loss

Alopecia areata is a condition that causes hair to fall out in small patches. It can affect the scalp area, as well as the eyebrows, eyelashes, facial hair, and even the body hair. This auto-immune disease attacks the hair follicles, resulting in minor to total hair loss for both men and women. The condition can also prevent the hair from growing back. The amount of hair loss and symptoms can differ from one person to the next. To date, there is no known cure, but there are a number of treatments that can help to encourage follicle production.


The most common of all genetic skin conditions is acne. Most people assume acne is associated with oily, clogged skin – which is partly true – but it’s also linked to your genetics. For instance, if both your parents had acne, you likely possess the same genetic markers for the condition. Acne genetics determine how your immune system reacts to the bacteria that causes acne to develop. Genetics also plays a role in dead skin cell production and how your pores clog. 

All is not lost if you have a genetic skin condition. There are treatment methods available to alleviate the symptoms, reduce the swelling, and help the skin recover. At the Ottawa Skin Clinic, we offer a wide range of medical-grade skin treatments designed to treat all types of genetic skin conditions. Our services can combat damage and inflammation and leave your skin looking healthier and more youthful. Contact us today to discuss your needs with one of our skincare professionals.