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
Most Simplicité facial products will help because of their high nutritive content; some particular products give more specific, intensive treatment.
Sundew Cleansing Milk or Plant Gel Cleanser (for skin type)
- cleanse morning and night without fail as it's very important to remove cellular waste. (Precleanse makeup with Face Oil.)
Simplicite exfoliators can safely be used on couperose skin (skin with visible surface blood vessels).
One Step Exfoliating Cleanser - ideally use every evening or at least 4-6 times per week. We recommend to mix One Step with one of the above cleansers for the nightly shower routine.
This is a gentle, nutritive treatment, not a 'scrub'. If you are hesitant to exfoliate, 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.
Exfoliating Face Treatment - use every evening or alternate with One Step Exfoliating Cleanser or mix these together and use.
Sage or Rosewood Face Oil (depending on skin type) - for healing and anti-inflammatory effects. Apply one or two pumps over the entire face and neck twice daily, mixing with the Hydrating Floral Toning Lotion for best absorption.
Protect skin surface
Moisturise with non-clogging, non-irritating products. Select day and night moisturisers acccording to skin type.
Intensive Treatments (A)
Reduce facial redness, flushing, and visible blood vessels (erythematotelangiectatic rosacea (ETR)
Rosehip & Lavender Complexion Refiner - improves the appearance of broken capillaries. There may sometimes be some initial redness after rubbing off this mask however this is temporary and is a desired response of active plant nutrients working to repair skin surface
Capillary Repair Serum
Reduces redness, including from rosacea. Improves appearance of damaged surface capillaries.
Intensive Treatments (B)
Reduce rosacea small pustules and redness (papulopustular 'acne' rosacea
Rosehip and Lavender Complexion Refiner - leave on for at least 20 minutes to help calm rosacea flareups.
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 as doing this helps to 'drag' out bacteria-causing cellular waste from the pores and force into its place the bacteria-fighting Serum. Use twice daily or more to soothe, heal and reduce inflammation.
Herbal Skin Cleanser capsules - help to soothe and shorten the time of a rosacea flareup. Balances the secondary effects of fluctuating hormones which is often the cause of rosacea symptoms.
Start taking the capsules as soon as there is a rosacea flareup (Dose: two capsules twice daily, with or without food.) Continue until flareup is gone. (Email or phone to order capsules.)
What sunscreen can be used with rosacea symptoms that won't irritate or inflame skin?
Great Outdoors Moisturiser with Sunscreen - if a sunscreen is used, it is important to only use this Simplicité product because of its buffered formula -17 medicinal grade plant extract protect skin from any effects of sunscreening agents).
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.