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.
The top 7 vitamins and supplements shown to help Rosacea:
The Prescription for Natural Cures by James F. Balch, M.D. and Mark
#1 Gentian root
(Gentiana lutea) -
Take 300 mg or 10
to 20 drops five to
before meals. It
also works well as
part of a bitters
Take 1 to 3
capsules with each
meal. Reduce the
dose if you feel a
warming or burning
stomach acidity and
proteins. It also
bacteria in the
that may influence
Vitamin B Complex
See All of our
Vitamin B Products.
Take a 50 mg
daily. It supplies
B vitamins that
Take 1,000 mcg ( 1
daily. This B
vitamin works to
reduce flare-ups of
#5 Burdock root
(Articum lappa) -
Take 300 mg or 3 ml
three times daily.
rosacea and other
appears to improve
well as hormone
This hormone has
conditions if it is
deficient and then
Take a product
containing at least
4 billion active
meals. It supplies
Click here to see all products,
articles and studies for
** Look at LifeSource's skin care line; we have products that will
Redness across the nose, the cheeks, the forehead, or the chin
Red pimples or welt
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
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
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
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
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