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What Is Rosacea And What You Can Do About It

Updated on February 3, 2012

What Is Rosacea?

Rosacea is a chronic skin condition that affects some more than 14 million Americans. This disease is often overlooked by doctors and misdiagnosed. It is more prevalent in fair skinned individuals between the ages of 30 to 60 with women developing the condition more than men.

Having rosacea not only affects your face making your cheeks red, flushed with pustules, but it affects a person's self esteem and confidence.

Rosacea develops in stages and comes and goes with your skin being clear for a period of time than only to erupt again later on when you least expect it. If you do not seek some form of treatment your rosacea will become worse with time. Some people who have ocular rosacea if left untreated can form into something more serious called rosacea keratitis which can damage your cornea.

Rosacea will rarely reverse itself, so treatment is important to control your symptoms. The color on your face may or may not return back to normal with treatment as well as the blood vessels may remain enlarged.

If you suspect you do have rosacea you will want to get a diagnosis from a dermatologist. Your dermatologist will be able to determine if you have rosacea by first looking at the condition of your skin to notice any redness and asking you a series of questions. This may be all your doctor needs to do. Though in some cases a doctor may need to do more extensive testing for an accurate assessment. Such tests are not invasive so there is no need to worry. One such test is a skin biopsy. This will help to exclude the possibility of a mite infestation and is done in the doctor's office. Your doctor may order a blood test to rule out other possible reasons for your flushing episodes such as lupus or dermatomyositis.

Rosacea has been known to be misdiagnosed by doctors. There are a few conditions with a very similar symptoms. To name a few: seasonal allergies, eczema, allergic or contact dermatitis, seborrheic dermatitis, reaction to certain medications, lupus, staph infections, acne vulgaris, demodex folliculitis, herpes simplex and impetigo.

What are the signs of rosacea? There are a few common rosacea symptoms some of which are:
♦ Reddened cheeks and other areas on face
♦ Flushing
♦ Red rounded nose
♦ Visible blood vessels
♦ Acne pustules
♦ Burning feeling in the eyes
♦ Small red bumps on the nose, forehead, chin, and cheeks


Rosacea Triggers

So, what triggers rosacea to flare up in a person? This is all individual and depends on the person. Not everyone will have the same triggers. Some common triggers that many people have experienced are:
♦ Stress
♦ Anxiety
♦ Wind
♦ Sun
♦ Heat
♦ Strenuous exercise
♦ Alcohol
♦ Spicy foods
♦ Acidic foods
♦ Certain dairy
♦ Chocolate
♦ Hormones

To pinpoint exactly what your personal rosacea triggers are it would be wise to keep track daily of the food you eat and anything else you notice unusual such as whether you were feeling stressed that day, was you out in the sun or for women is it that time of month?

Rosacea Causes

There is no known cause for rosacea. There are several theories as to the cause, but they are just theories and it seems from my research that each person's onset of rosacea stems from different reasons. A few of the most common:
♦ Genetics
♦ Sun
♦ Mites called Demodex Folliculorum
♦ Bacteria found in stomach ulcers
♦ Gastrointestinal disease
♦ Medications cause blood vessels to widen


Rosacea Treatment

Is there a cure for rosacea? Well, unfortunately no there is no cure for rosacea. But there are a few things you can do to improve the condition of your skin and even completely clear your rosacea.

Some of the most common forms of treatment involve oral antibiotics, topical antibiotic creams, lasers, intense pulse light and phototherapy home treatment, and a proper diet for rosacea.

Your doctor may prescribe one of the following oral antibiotics Tetracycline, Doxycycline, Minocycline, and Amoxicillin as well as administer a prescription for a topical antibiotic cream. Some common creams are: Metronidazole, Finacea gel, Klaron lotion, Erythromycin and Cleocin.

One of the most effective forms of rosacea treatment is the use of lasers. There are a ranger of lasers used to treat skin conditions like the YAG and KTP to intense pulse light as well as phototherapy systems you can use in your own home.

Rosacea Diet

Every good regime for treating rosacea should include a healthy diet. What foods should you be avoiding?
♦ Don't eat any hot or spicy foods
♦ Hot drinks
♦ Alcohol
♦ Dairy - yogurt, sour cream, cheese but not cottage cheese
♦ Chocolate
♦ Soy sauce
♦ Yeast Extract
♦ Eggplants
♦ Avocados
♦ Spinach
♦ Pods & beans including lima and navy beans
♦ Citrus fruits - tomatoes, bananas, red plums, raisins, figs
♦ Any foods that contain MSG
♦ Artificial sweeteners
♦ Lobster
♦ Prawns
♦ Hot sauces
♦ Peppers

What foods should you be eating for rosacea? Eat foods that are whole grains, seeds, nuts, fresh veggies, fruits such as cherries, blackberries, blueberries. These type of berries work to restrict vascular dilation which leaves your face less red. Your diet should consist of low acidic foods.

It is better to eat your food cooked than raw. Cooked food is much easier to digest. When eating foods that are hot allow time to cool so the hotness will not cause your blood vessels to dilate.

Drink lots of water between meals and chew slowly. A good rule of thumb is to drink half your body weight daily. So if you weighed 140 lbs you should be consuming around 70 ounces of water every day.

Pay Attention To The Ingredients In Products You Buy

When buying any products you should be watchfu for certain ingredients. These ingredients are particularly harmful for anyone with rosacea or sensitive skin:
Alcohol, witch hazel, peppermint, eucalyptus oil, clove oil, fragrance, menthol, and salicylic acid

Rosacea Natural Treatment

Besides eating a healthy diet of low acidic foods and watching your triggers there are a few other alternatives for rosacea treatment besides lasers and prescriptions.

There are several choices when it comes to rosacea natural treatment. I have done extensive research and through trial and error on my part I have found what works for me. Some of the treatments I have come across I can not vouch for their effectiveness, only that some people have reported success.

Using Zinc - Zinc is known to have healing properties. It is recommended to take a dose of 25 milligrams twice a day with meals and another dose with 1 milligram of copper.

Taking Flaxseed Oil - Flaxseed oil is good for reducing inflammation. You should take 1,000 milligrams or 1 teaspoon 3 times a day.

Betaine & Hydrochloric Acid - These are good to take if you believe your stomach acid level is too low. Take the suggested amount on the bottle.

Green Tea - Has soothing properties to ease the redness

Licorice - It is known to have anti-inflammatory properties and to help with hyperpigmentation.

Vitamin C - Vitamin C increases immunity and works to strengthen your connective tissue. Take 500 milligrams three times a day.

B-Vitamin Complex - It has been known that some people who suffer from rosacea also have a deficiency of B vitamins.

Using Vinegar - This is something I tried and it didn't really work for me. I ended up broken out over my cheek with a pimple, but it may work for you as others have reported it to work for them.

With this you are supposed to take 1 part regular table vinegar to 6 parts water and apply to the affected area. The vinegar is thought to be a disinfectant and will help decrease the number of yeast and bacteria on the skin.

Seabuckthorn Oil - This is my personal favorite and one that i can attest to its effectiveness. I have used seabuckthorn oil on my face with noticeable improvement to the point of the oil completely clearing the redness. I have noticed though when I go without the oil that I will have flare ups and end up with slight redness over my cheeks, but nothing as intense as I had years ago.

My Rosacea Story

Quite a few years ago I developed rosacea. At first I did not know what was happening to my face until I went online and started searching for answers. What I discovered was that I had rosacea. That was when I set out on a mission to find a remedy to get my old skin back. Needless to say the majority of products I purchased and put on my face full of hopes that my skin would clear, was all but false hope. Nothing worked and if anything all the things I was putting on my face was aggravating my skin worse.

Until one day I stumbled across a page about seabuckthorn. I read everything I could about this amazing herb. Also during my search I found another treatment that has proven tremendous success along with using the seabuckthorn oil, I started using a phototherapy treatment system.

With the combination of using both treatments I slowly started seeing a great improvement in the texture of my skin and my flushing episodes was becoming less and less. When I did flush, it did not take long for my cheeks to return back to normal.

With any rosacea treatment it is important to remain consistent and to try several different approaches. If your skin clears up, don't think you can slack off and do away with treatment. Once you do than your rosacea symptoms will appear again.

Rosacea Poll

If you have rosacea what treatments have you tried?

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    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Very Well written and explained clearly! Great job indeed! Rosacea Treatment portion was superb.. Useful stuff !Thanks a lot for sharing such wonderful hub..:)


    • katrinasui profile image


      6 years ago

      I didnt know about Rosacea before reading this hub. thanks for taking out time to write this useful hub.


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