- Personal Health Information & Self-Help
Natural Rosacea Treatments
What is Rosacea?
Rosacea is a very common skin condition noted by its redness and flushing in the face, often accompanied by small bumps.
Rosacea most often affects fair-skinned women over the age of 30, but anyone--men, women, and children--can get this skin disease. It is important to explore rosacea treatment options as conditions can worsen over time if left untreated.
What Causes Rosacea?
A number of factors may be at play. Rosacea may be caused by an inflammatory issue related to blood flow--such as facial blood vessels dilating too easily, causing redness. It could be sun damage to the tissue under your skin, irritation of follicles, psychological factors, or skin bacteria. Unfortunately, while scientists cannot pinpoint one reason for rosacea, they have several theories to why it shows up:
- Genetics: If someone is your family has rosacea, the chances of you suffering from it are higher.
- Immune System: How your body responds to bacteria and proteins may play a part in rosacea. An antimicrobial protein, known as cathelicidin, normally protects the skin from infection, but if your immune system reacts poorly to this protein, it can cause rosacea. The same goes for the bactera, bacillus oleronius, which can cause immune systems to overreact, resulting in the redness of rosacea.
- Intestinal bug: Research has shown that many people who suffer from rosacea usually also have a bug, H pylori, in their intestines, which could play a role in causing rosacea.
- Microscopic Skin Mites: A skin mite known as Demodex, is typically harmless and exists on everyone's skin (most often in the nose and cheek area). Studies have shown that large numbers of these mites can cause an inflammatory rosacea response.
How to Treat Rosacea?
Rosacea can't be cured, but it can be treated. Medications and antibiotics can help, but not always. In fact, if you are suffering from rosacea because of an immune issue, the unnecessary use of antibiotics will not only not help you, but it may cause your body to build up a resistance to antibiotics.
Below are some natural rosacea treatments that you can try at home. Some are anti-inflammatory treatments, while others boast antibacterial effects. See what methods work best to reduce your symptoms of rosacea.
Oatmeal Rosacea Treatments
Oatmeal has always had a place in our long history for its calming and healing properties. This is because oatmeal is a natural antipruritic (acts as an anti-itching agent) and can soothe irritated and inflamed skin. Oatmeal's proteins and polysaccharides bind together to protect your skin, and its antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds (called avenanthramides), soothe irritated and reddened skin, making it a great natural rosacea treatment.
Most grocery stores, drug stores, and pharmacies will offer cleansers and lotions containing finely ground up oatmeal. You can also use oatmeal to make a healing and hydrating mask in the comfort of your home. Simply mix a couple cups of oatmeal and water together untilit becomes a sticky paste. Then gently apply it to your areas of irritation, and let the mask soothe your skin for about 20 minutes, and then rinse off with cool water. This oatmeal rosacea treatment can be safely used every day.
There is evidence dating back to as far as 2200 BC which shows that the ancient Egyptians included honey in their prescription for standard wound healing. Honey is still a widely used herbal remedy for many skin conditions including rosacea. A specific honey known as manuka honey is an especially beneficial remedy for rosacea.
Manuka Honey is produced by bees that feed only on the flowers of the manuka tree which is native to New Zealand. The leaves of the manuka tree and manuka honey have an oil that was used by the indigenous Maori for its medicinal properties. Not only that, honey also helps keep your skin clear of toxins due to its anti-oxidant and anti-bacterial properties.
To use as a calming rosacea treatment, simply apply a bit of manuka honey to areas of inflammation and wait one hour before rinsing it off. For a more concentrated rosacea treatment, apply honey to affected areas and then cover with a bandage while you sleep. You can also make a face wash to treat rosacea by mixing a little bit of manuka honey in with your normal mild facial soap.
Essential Oil Rosacea Therapy
Therapeutic essential oils can help treat rosacea quickly and also provide long-term results. Many essential oils (such as lavender) are naturally anti-bacterial and can help deliver oxygen to our cells. Saturate a cotton ball with a few drops of antiseptic and apply it on affected areas two times a day. lavender oil
Another essential oil that is very beneficial for treating rosacea is the antiseptic, which can kill germs resistant to methicillin and other medicines that are often used as rosacea treatments. Try combining household olive oil (or almond oil) with antimicrobial tea tree oil as a potent remedy. To do so, add 5 drops of olive oil to 3 drops of tea tree oil and gently apply to affected areas with a cotton swab. tea tree oil helps reduce the lumpy appearance of skin that can happen with rosacea, so using it in tandem with antibacterial and antiseptic essential oils will keep your skin’s moisture levels balanced while also treating rosacea. Sweet almond oil
A word about essential oils: For maximum effectiveness, you'll want to look for pure essential oils without additives. The University of Minnesota has a great article in which they explain how to determine the quality of essential oils. You should look for essential oils which supply:
- The Latin name (exact genus and species)
- The plant's country of origin
- A statement purity (or a statement of No Additives)
- Statement of how the plant was grown or gathered (wildcrafted, organic, traditional, etc)
Herbalists have long advised using burdock root to soothe the skin and treat rosacea. The root is a member of a family called the biennial thistles and is used worldwide because of its powerful medicinal properties. It is an essential herb that eliminates toxins by purifying the blood and liver, and also helps to correct imbalances in hormones. Research has reported that burdock has antibacterial properties as well as beneficial mucilage. Mucilage has soothing and protective effects on skin and mucous membranes.
You can find Burdock root in the form of as well as in topical ointments. you can also make supplement form, by pouring 1 cup of boiling water over a spoonful of burdock root and steeping for 30 minutes. You should drink the tea daily and can also use the brew as a compress on your skin, much like chamomile and green tea. burdock root tea
The carbohydrate known as inositol exists in a variety of forms and helps to facilitate a number of biological processes. Our bodies synthesize inositol from glucose and use it as a messenger substance to maintain cell membranes (among other things). A central molecule of inositol is surrounded by six other molecules of niacin to create inositol hexanicotinate. This special combination prevents the dilation of small blood vessels beneath your skin that cause redness, thus preventing the flushing associated with rosacea.
To consume more inositol, you can either add specific foods to your diet or look for supplements. Cantaloupe and many citrus fruits contain inositol, and powders and tablets are easily found in most pharmacies. If you choose to use supplemental inositol be sure to take 1 teaspoon every day before eating. You can also add powdered inositol to ointments or creams to use as a topical rosacea treatment.
Apple Cider Vinegar for the Skin
Topical and internal use of apple cider vinegar is a great way to reduce inflammation caused by rosacea. The skin’s surface is naturally acidic and contains a delicate acid mantle that regulates oil and helps prevent skin infection. Apple cider vinegar is a valuable treatment for rosacea simply because it helps to normalize your skin’s pH, while also eliminating dryness and itchiness.
To use, soak a cotton pad in apple cider vinegar and apply it to affected rosacea patches 2-3 times a day. You can also dilute Apple Cider Vinegar with two parts water and use it as a face wash. Additionally, you can use Apple Cider Vinegar internally to help treat rosacea and heal you skin, by aiding digestion and strengthening your immune system. Mix two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar with two teaspoons of honey in a glass of water, and drink this powerful potion 3 times a day. If the acidity of the concoction is too much for your taste buds, try adding a little bit of baking soda.
More Rosacea Treatment Resources
For additional rosacea treatment resources, please see the follow-up articles, "All-Natural Herbal Remedies to Soothe and Reduce Rosacea," as well as "Roscea Triggers--What to Avoid."