I have recently received a mail from Jacki asking me about Rosacea. I am no expert on the topic, but here is some advice:
There is no ONE thing that cures Rosacea. People who got rid of it (or got it under control a lot of the time) tested out many things before they found out what works for them: usually a combination of food, cosmetic and lifestyle changes. It will probably take you a bit of experimenting too.
Do read the Spider Veins: the dont's and Spider veins: the do's posts. The advice on is more than relevant to Rosacea.
Visit a dermatologist to get a diagnosis.
Sometimes what looks like Rosacea may be something else, like an allergy, Atopic dermatitis or Candidiasis. Since Rosacea is often caused by bacteria (or possibly Demodex parasites), it is a good idea to ask for a swab test: they swab your face with something like a q-tip and a lab tests exactly which bacteria it is. That way the dermatologist has a better chance to prescribe the right thing.
I am no expert on antibiotics and other drugs, so I cannot advise one over the other. However I encourage you to search on the internet for information on whatever it is that your dermatologist prescribes you. For several reasons: first, I have heard from many that their dermatologist was quite passive and wanted to be told what he should prescribe! Secondly Rosacea skin can be either oily with lumps and pimples, or dry and sensitive. Dermatologists often do not notice the difference, and then are surprised when the skin reacts badly to the wrong kind of medicaments (for example ruboril or rozex make dry Rosacea skin even worse). Finally, antibiotics come with side-effects so you should know what you are getting into before you start the treatment.
A note: In my research I stumbled on many statements that photofacial treatments worked for a lot of people, so you might want to look into that.
Visit a naturopath
The cause for Rosacea lies deeper than some microbes on the skin (bacteria can successfully attack a body only when it is already unhealthy). A good naturopath will analyse your overall health and help you to pinpoint the underlying problem.
Rosacea and your food:
Rosacea (as most skin problems) is often related to poor dietary choices. Try keeping a detailed diary of the foods eaten, especially before flare-ups. You might discover a pattern and adjust your eating style. Common culprits are citrus fruit, gluten, processed sugar, corn (which is in a huge chunk of all processed food), diary, alcohol etc. Basically when the body feels overwhelmed by the amount of crap in a typical "modern" diet (often called SAD or Standard American Diet), it goes haywire and the person develops things like skin problems, irritable bowels syndrome and the like.
Often Rosacea is triggered by mild acidosis (when the body’s too acidic). This is a good read on the topic. I advice testing your body's pH level -- this is really easy, just dip a pH strip (like the one for aquariums) in your urine. A healthy body should be mildly alkaline. Unfortunately a typical modern diet and stress make it acidic. Take a look at this detailed chart of acidifying and alkalizing food and this simpler, colour coded one. You don't need to follow the charts to a T, just cut out the worst offenders (generally it's stuff that is bad for you anyway) and add in more healthy alkalising stuff. I recommend some lemon juice / cider vinegar with water in the morning (or even better-- throughout the day). These will help alkalise your body because acidic food like citrus fruits and ferments can be alkalising when digested! Eating more greens is also a great idea: try a green smoothie for breakfast.
All these changes might sound hard, but they are actually very doable. Plus they will not only help you with your skin, but give you more energy, improve your moods and keep you healthy.
Herbs, supplements and topical treatments:
Important: See a good naturopath before taking anything. One herb or supplement may be safe, but things might get complicated when you take more than one, possibly along with prescription medication.
- Here I have written about Vitamin C, PP, Rutin, Calcium and so on.
- Lysine seems to have positive results for many people.
- Tumeric extract seems to work for many people. I would also suggest trying tumeric topically: tumeric face packs are very popular in India. Here is a nice recipe.
- Baby zinc cream works for a lot of people.
- Tea tree oil (mixed with another oil or in a cleansing cream) and lavender oil (applied straight) work well for many. Remember to buy quality, 100% pure essential oils (not perfume oils).
- Ted's Remedies is also an interesting read, and it seems to have worked for several people.
You have probably already experienced how stress and anger can trigger flare-ups. There are other sources that can better advise you on how to deal with stress in your life. There are plenty of tools out there, ranging from psychological techniques to spiritual methods: EFT, releasing techniques, meditation, Chi-Gong, or even keeping a journal, to name just a few. To deal with the causes of stress, find a good self-help guide. For example "Discipline Without Distress" has helped me to cut out a lot of parenting-related stress from my life.
I have noticed that healing of any kind cannot really happen without acceptance and love. When we have a body problem we often hate that part of the body and think angry things about it. We focus on how much we hate that part of ourselves. This cancels out a lot of the other healing efforts. It is a scientific fact that our minds can affect our body very strongly (think of the high success rate of placebos), so changing this mindset is very important.
Try thinking of your skin or the face as you would of a sick but loved person. Accept it, love it, and encourage it to heal. Tell it that you love it and want it to get better. Try doing that in front of a mirror, looking into your eyes. Every day, many times.
You have probably already noticed that many cosmetics irritate your skin a lot. This is a characteristic of Rosacea -- it reacts very strongly to certain products. It is often a matter of trial and error to learn what suits you and what not.
I have read good things about oil cleansing and Rosacea.
I really recommend green or yellow powder corrector to hide the redness. Try a mineral brand for those (I love Lumiere). Remember to check your make-up ingredient list for irritating substances (same as in the Capillary Skin posts).
And lastly I would like to send healing wishes your way!
Dear readers, do any of you have some experience with Rosacea? Any tips for Jacki?