What is rosacea
Rosacea (pronounced ‘ro—zay—sha’) is a chronic inflammatory skin disease that affects about one in 20 people. It is not known what causes rosacea and it is said there is no cure. However it is possible to manage rosacea so that the condition does not cause a problem in everyday life.
Angry facial redness is the main characteristic of rosacea. The redness is mainly across the cheeks, nose and chin. Another common rosacea characteristic is the occurrence of flare-ups of little pimple-like blisters. The flare-ups are often cyclic—occuring for weeks or months at a time, then going away, then returning at a later time.
This information about treating rosacea effectively with natural skin care is from naturopath and herbalist David Lyons’ 40-plus years of practicing naturopathy and treating patients’ skin problems, including rosacea.
The more information you have about rosacea, the better you can understand what is happening with your skin and how you can help it.
When does rosacea occur?
Rosacea symptoms can build up slowly over many years or happen suddenly. Acne rosacea is a form of adult acne and typically comes on in the early 40s or later in life. Having red and rosy cheeks as a child can often mean rosacea may occur as an adult.
Four types of rosacea
There are four different types of rosacea. Each type has its own particular symptoms and sometimes people can suffer from more than one rosacea type at once.
Rosacea type one
Rosacea type one, erythematotelangiectatic rosacea (ETR), is associated with facial redness, flushing, and visible blood vessels.
Rosacea type two
Rosacea type two, papulopustular (acne) rosacea is typified by acne-like breakouts and often affects women aged from early 40s on. Though the tender red bumps of acne rosacea look like pimples they are more like an inflamed nodule than the bacteria-filled pimples typical of acne vulgaris. These ‘pimples' can appear suddenly and stay for weeks. Harsh and drying acne medicated products easily irritate acne rosacea symptoms.
Rosacea type three
Rosacea type three, rhinophyma is related to thickening of the skin of the nose. This type of rosacea usually affects males and sometimes is accompanied by another type of rosacea.
Rosacea type four
Rosacea type four is called ocular rosacea. Its symptoms affect the eye area.
Naturopathic treatment for rosacea
David Lyons' approach to treating rosacea with effective natural skin care products considers the possibility that rosacea can be complicated by opportunistic yeast or bacteria getting a foothold in the skin. The Simplicité treatment for rosacea includes specific products from the acne and breakout range because these heal, soothe and reduce redness.
Whether there are breakouts or not, this is the necessary approach and all products will still nutritionally support the skin.
Products that help rosacea
Sundew Cleansing Milk or Plant Gel Cleanser for the particular skin type - cleanse morning and night without fail as it's very important to remove cellular waste.
One Step Exfoliating Cleanser - ideally every evening or at least 4-6 times per week (this is not a 'scrub' and will encourage healing). Some clients may be hesitant to exfoliate but keep in mind that the One Step Exfoliating Cleanser has 16 times the antioxidant value of the equivalent amount of fresh blueberries squashed over the skin. There may be some initial mild reddening but overall the soothing, nutritive remedies in our products will work to heal rosacea.
Reduce rosacea small pustules and redness
Acne Anti-Bacterial Serum - it's important to use this Serum to reduce any small pustules and to control the bacteria that are invisibly building their numbers in the base of the skin's pores. Apply to a cotton make-up pad and draw FIRMLY over the entire face (not just where the rosacea is evident). Be sure to apply with a cotton pad to help force the serum into the pores and to help 'drag' cellular waste from the pores. Use twice daily or more. Soothes, heals, and is anti-inflammatory. This Serum can also be used thinly as a moisturiser over any breakout areas.
Sage Face Oil - for healing and anti-inflammatory effects, One or two pumps over the entire face and neck twice daily.
See how these first steps go for a few weeks and then if the rosacea condition appears stubborn, expand the treatment to include:
- Herbal Skin Cleanser (capsules) - help balance hormonal problems, encourage healing, enhance infection fighting, liver and digestion tonic. Two capsules twice daily.
- If a sunscreen is used, it is important to only use Simplicité Great Outdoors Moisturiser with Sunscreen because of its buffered formula. Avoid using nano-particle sunscreens and nano-particle mineral make-up foundations as these are highly congesting to skin and because of this often worsen rosacea conditions.
How histamines in diet can aggravate rosacea
Histamine-containing foods and foods that cause histamine to be released are known aggravators of rosacea.This list covers many foods that are part of everyday diets so please don't think that the foods on this list have to be avoided fanatically. The point is to ascertain if any of these foods are being eaten far in excess of 'normal' consumption. If there are any foods that predominate in large amounts, sometimes just backing off by 50% can make a significant difference.
Usually there is no need to avoid these foods completely, just reduce the incidence—unless a particular culprit is identified that seems to be associated with a flaring-up of the condition.
Histamine-rich foods that can aggravate Rosacea
- Alcoholic beverages, especially beer and wine.
- Aged or fermented cheese, such as parmesan, blue and Roquefort.
- Dried fruits such as apricots, prunes, figs and raisins (you may be able to eat these fruits, without reaction, if the fruit is thoroughly washed or steeped in boiling water for 15 minutes). Naturally-dried fruit should be fine (don't contain sulphur).
- Processed meats - sausage, hot dogs, salami, etc.
Chilli sauce, pickles, pickled beets, relishes.
Histamine-releasing foods that can aggravate Rosacea
- Caffeine, remembering that tea usually has nearly the same amount of caffeine as coffee.
- Pineapple—with the possible exception of very ripe fruit. It’s worth trying to see if there is a reaction or not, so as not to miss out on this important food.
- Highly acidic oranges or citrus generally. Again, with the possible exception of very ripe fruit. It’s worth trying to see if there is a reaction or not, so as not to miss out on these important foods.
- Strawberries - unless very ripe.