Rosacea is an inflammatory skin disorder in which the nose, the cheeks, the forehead, or the chin are chronically reddened and prone to breaking out in acne-like welts. Unlike acne, however, rosacea never produces blackheads or whiteheads, and it rarely appears during adolescence. Instead, rosacea generally sets in during a person's thirties or forties, beginning with a mild pink blush that doesn't go away. If treated early, the condition may never progress any further or may even recede a bit. But in the advanced cases, it can cause permanent thickening and redness, especially on the nose. Although women are more likely to have rosacea than men are, men who do have rosacea tend to have more severe cases.
Anything that dilates blood vessels in the face can lead to a flare-up of rosacea. Specific triggers differ from person to person, but the most common are alcohol, hot liquids, coffee, spicy or fatty foods, extreme temperatures, sun exposure, harsh wind, and stress. It's important to minimize the exposure to triggers, because each time the blood vessels expand, they lose some elasticity. Over time, they become incapable of constricting properly and they remain in a dilated state-hence the redness. A person who already has the early flushing of rosacea will find that triggers makes his or her face even redder, or that they lead to pimples that may or may not disappear when the trigger is removed.
Although we understand the elements that make rosacea worse, there is no one underlying cause of this. Skin conditions generally point to some kind of digestive problem, and rosacea is no exception. Many rosacea sufferers have been found to have low levels of stomach acid, which prevents proper digestion of trace minerals and possibly the overgrowth of bacteria that aggravates the skin. Sluggish bowels and constipation may have a similar effect on digestion. And whenever pimples or red spots appear, it's likely that the skin is pushing out toxins that an impaired digestive tract is unable to process. Leaky gut syndrome, which is characterized by mal-absorption, may be an issue for people with rosacea. Also, B-vitamin deficiencies, especially of B12, are common with this condition. Friendly flora that are involved with detoxification and that prevent the overgrowth of infectious bacteria are often depleted. We have also found that rosacea becomes a problem as the result of a hormone imbalance. Pre-menopausal and menopausal women often find that rosacea starts to act up until they get their hormones balanced with natural therapies. On the other hand, synthetic hormone replacements and birth control pill use initiate or worsen this condition for some women. Finally, hidden food allergies may cause flushing that is mistaken for rosacea.
Conventional treatment for rosacea involves antibiotics, either oral or topical, which have a minimal effect and which must be taken continuously. While people with severe cases that may lead to disfigurement might want to consider medication, most people will be better off making an effort to avoid their personal triggers and improve their digestion.
** All of these prescriptions below have been proven effective; level of effectiveness depends on the individual. Please consult your doctor when taking any and all supplements.
Natural Cures by James F. Balch and Mark Stengler
Super Prescription #1
Gentian root (Gentiana lutea)
root improves overall digestive function. Take 300 mg or 10 to 20 drops
five to fifteen minutes before meals. It also works well as part of a
bitters digestion formula.
Super Prescription # 2
Take 1 to
3 capsules with each meal. Reduce the dose if you feel a warming or burning
sensation. This supplement improves stomach acidity and digestion,
especially of proteins. It also prevents the overgrowth of bacteria in the
digestive tract that may influence rosacea.
Super Prescription #3 Vitamin
B Complex - LifeSource
Products – See All of our Vitamin B Products.
Take a 50 mg B-complex twice daily. It
supplies B vitamins that improve rosacea.
Super Prescription #4 Vitamin
B12 - LifeSource
Take 1,000 mcg ( 1 mg) sublingually
daily. This B vitamin works to reduce flare-ups of rosacea.
Super Prescription #5
Burdock root (Articum lappa)
mg or 3 ml three times daily. Burdock has historically been prescribed for
rosacea and other chronic skin disorders. It appears to improve
detoxification, as well as hormone balance.
Super Prescription #6 Progesterone
Creme - Natural - LifeSource
This hormone has anti-inflammatory
benefits and improves skin conditions if it is deficient and then
Super Prescription #7 Probiotics / Dophilus - LifeSource
Take a product containing at least 4
billion active organisms twice daily, thirty minutes after meals. It
supplies friendly bacteria, such as Lactobacillus acidophilus and bifidus
that improve skin health.
Click here to see all products, articles and
studies for Rosacea
** Look at LifeSource's skin care line; we have products that will help.
Redness across the nose, the cheeks, the forehead, or the chin
Repeated exposure to rosacea triggers (alcohol, wind, sun, etc.)
Low levels of stomach acid
A diet that's high in fat and low in fiber
Nutritional deficiencies (especially of B vitamins)
Dysbiosis (imbalance of the gut bacteria)
Reaction to synthetic hormones
Eat lots of raw foods. In their natural state, vegetables, fruits, nuts, sprouts, and seeds all possess enzymes that help you convert food into the nutrients that are needed for skin and circulatory health. Green leafy vegetables are especially good for rosacea patients, as they're an excellent source of trace minerals.
Drink several glasses of fresh vegetable juices a day. If you have rosacea, it's likely that your digestive system isn't processing food thoroughly, and juices are a potent way to deliver nutrients directly to your bloodstream.
Make sure your diet includes plenty of fiber. If you're eating a couple of servings of raw foods at every meal, you're probably getting almost as much fiber as you need to keep toxins moving through your digestive tract, instead of erupting from your skin. Add whole grains and beans to round out your meals.
Essential fatty acids reduce inflammation. Have cold-water fish from a clean source several times a week, and eat flaxseeds (1 to 2 tablespoons, with 10 ounces of water) each day.
A deficiency of B vitamins has been found in many people who have rosacea. Brown rice, oats, wheat germ, nutritional brewer's yeast, and whole-grain bread and crackers are all good sources. If you tend to be anxious, B vitamins will also help you feel calmer.
It's generally inadvisable to take antibiotics for most cosmetic disorders (save them for the more severe infections), but if you feel you must take them, be sure to eat some live unsweetened yogurt or another cultured product every day. Cultured foods replace the "friendly" intestinal bacteria that antibiotics strip away.
Foods to Avoid
Avoid food items that make you flush. Spice food, caffeine, and alcohol are tripwires for most rosacea sufferers. Sugar and iodized salt may also dilate your blood vessels. Learn which foods bother your skin, and eliminate them from your diet.
Be careful of food and drinks that are hot in temperature. Allow hot beverages and soups to cool before you eat them.
Saturated fat has an inflammatory effect on many body systems, including the skin. If you stay away from red meat and fried, greasy foods, you'll also improve your digestion.
Follow a one- to three-day juice fast to clean toxins and irritants from your body and to put your digestive system in optimum working order. You should drink a variety of liquids during your fast, but green drinks and cleansing herbal preparations are especially supportive of detoxification.
Milk thistle (Silybum marianum) improves liver function and detoxification for optimal skin health. Take 250 mg three times daily of a 80 to 85 percent silymarin extract.
Digestive enzymes help you to digest food more efficiently. Take 1 to 2 capsules of a full-spectrum enzyme product with each meal. Lipase enzymes that digest fat appear to be particularly important for people with this condition.
Black cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa) improves hormone balance for pre-menopausal and menopausal women affected by rosacea. Take 80 mg of a 2.5 percent triterpene glycoside extract daily.
Green tea (Camellia sinensis) contains a rich source of antioxidants and substances that assist detoxification. Drink the organic tea regularly (2 cups or more daily) or take 500 to 1,500 mg of the capsule form.
Essential fatty acids reduce inflammation of the skin. Take 1 to 2 tablespoons of flaxseed oil of 5 grams of fish oil daily, or a formulation that contains a mixture of omega-3, 6, and 9 fatty acids.
Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum) extract improves liver function, which is important for healthy skin. Take 800 mg twice daily.
A super green food supplement supplies phytonutrients that improve skin health. Take an organic super green food such as chlorella, spirulina, alfalfa, or a mixture of super green foods each day. Take as directed on the container.
Aloe vera gel is soothing and anti-inflammatory. Apply it directly to the affected area. Test it out on a small patch of your skin first, as you may be highly sensitive to many preparations, even gentle herbal ones.
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