What is Rosacea and how to treat it

Michelle Corey



What is Rosacea and how do we treat it? Rosacea is characterized mostly by inflamed redness on the face. It is usually found on the cheeks, nose, chin, and forehead and has small bumps. In some rare cases it is seen on the neck, chest, or eyes.

Need to know rosacea facts:

If you leave it alone it tends to become more problematic
Ideology is unknown
Studies shows no history of disease with this chronic skin disorder
Dermatologists typically prescribe steroids

What types of skin can get rosacea?

There is not one skin type associated with the condition. Some people might have oily skin, dry skin, or a combination of both. Knowing your skin type can help you treat it in the best way.

Rosacea Symptoms

There are 4 rosacea subtypes, the first being the most common.

Facial redness – persistent redness and flushing, usually in the cheeks, chin, forehead, nose, and sometimes ears.
Bumps and pimples –some sufferers may also experience raised patches
Enlarged nose- includes thickening of the skin and possible nodules
Eye irritation- possible swollen eyelids and stinging eyes.

There are at least a dozen environmental factors that will trigger the symptoms. It is best to identify the triggers for you, and of course avoid them. The most common triggers according to a patient survey from the National Rosacea Society are:

Sun exposure
Emotional stress
Alcohol consumption
Could be heat, or cold
The weather- wind
Spicy foods
Skin care products
Excessive exercise

Experts agree- Rosacea will get worse over time-if you don’t do anything to help it. Rosacea has a tendency to build and create a thickening of the skin if left alone. These 2 advanced ways to treat rosacea are exactly what you need to know to prevent this condition from advancing to the next stage. It is a must that you learn how to reduce the inflammation and treat the skin.

Rosacea is so unpredictable. What works for one person may not work for you and vice versa. You must get to know what are your specific triggers through trial and error.

I will get right to the point. The 2 advanced ways that will help you manage your rosacea is:

Topically-Do and Don’ts. What skin care to use at home and professionally
Internally- What to take nutritionally through holistic nutrition

Home skin care for Rosacea:

First, if you have rosacea, you already know how sensitive your skin is. Sometimes you will even react to the water or towels; especially when traveling. This is probably from the chlorine itself. Here is a big surprise too; you can react to natural products more than synthetic.

Gentle and fragrance free is a must; even the wrong cleanser can burn and make your skin redder. Some essential oils can be too stimulating so try a patch first to see if you react.

When treating rosacea topically, make sure to be careful. A gentle and non-clogging approach is Key.

To cleanse: I would use a non abrasive baby cloth with a milky cleanser like Dr. Hauschka. no rubbing, gently pat to dry.

To Tone: Toners can be hit or miss and is a step you may want to skip. Look for one that will balance the Ph. Definitely one with no alcohol.

To moisturize: Natural oils for hydration work best. Find products free of added ingredients; It is common that the added preservative is the problem. Pure Oils such as mandarin and coconut are a good bet. Pomegranate and borage oils are also calming. I have had good luck with soy products as well. Even if you are allergic to soy, it will react different in a skin formulation.

Sunscreen is crucial– non toxic of course.


Go gentle- pat dry
Patch test products first
Be fragrance free all around ( perfume, detergents)
No chlorine to wash pillow cases or sheets
Travel with your own pillow cases
Exfoliate the right way- gentle
Use a non toxic sunscreen
Use lactic acid to exfoliate


Ignore the problem- It will get worse
Use glycolic cleansers
Use friction
Use glycolic peels

Professional skin Treatment for Rosacea

I would suggest finding an experienced esthetician to get regular treatments to help with the thinning and exfoliation. It is critical that the person knows how to exfoliate in the right way for rosacea. You cannot use a friction based exfoliation like micro-dermabrasion. Glycolic acid is too harsh is for rosacea and can cause a rash, and ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C) is too stimulating. Be careful with heat too. I have seen a client react just from steaming, and then using an active product. Cooling Aloe Vera gel helps to calm the skin.

**The best exfoliating treatment of rosacea is to use mild lactic acid enzyme peels together with hydration correction. Regular consistent treatments with lactic acid are the best route. This prevents the skin from building and getting thicker.

According to Boston skin expert Sheila Nicholas, rosacea needs long term skin care. She says it is a sebaceous gland disorder that shows evidence of build-up if it is not cared for. “Rosacea is cumulative, so I work with the surface tissue to thin the buildup.”

Holistic Nutrition treatment for Rosacea

You fix this and you fix your problem

The link between rosacea and digestive health is just beginning to become considered. In my holistic nutrition studies at Hawthorn University, I have come to believe there is almost always a connection with the gut and most conditions.

Some of the information here is summarized from my favorite book called Digestive Wellness by Elizabeth Lipsky. I recommend you get this book and gain insight into the cause of this condition.

Research has discovered about 50% of participants have something called SIBO. That is small intestinal bacteria overgrowth. Most people associated with SIBO also have lowered hydrochloric acid (HCL). Some studies have found rates of insufficiency higher in people with rosacea.

Nutritional Help for Rosacea

Clients on a gluten free diet with the additional use of betaine HCL have seen great improvements.

So the first thing to do is eliminate potential culprits. Remember that any food could be inflammatory for you. The big ones to try first are gluten and dairy. After this, try an elimination diet. The 7 major foods to eliminate are:

For further dietary help, look into the AIP Protocol which has further eliminations that trigger many people. AIP is a little stricter and eliminates grains and legumes. For some people these are great hidden triggers that cause allergens. The fodmap diet is another option. Nightshades and phenolics are other unsuspecting triggers. Figuring out what your sensitivities are is crucial. A holistic nutritionist can assist you in doing so.

Heat and excessive exercise are known to trigger a flare up too.

Get functional Laboratory Testing for:

SIBO- If positive, eat a low carb diet for 4-6 months
Candida- If positive, eat a low carb diet for 4-6 months and treat with medication or natural therapies. (oil of oregano, grapefruit seed extract, garlic, or pau d’arco.)
Check HCL levels
Celiac Testing
Check vita D levels
Check zinc levels
Consider food sensitivity testing
Pancreatic enzyme testing
Check Vita A levels
You can find out how to get most of these tests in the book here: (link)

One study showed low levels of lipase, a fat digesting enzyme, in people with rosacea. People show improvement for low levels by taking pancreatic enzymes.

Remember Vitamin A is the #1 skin health vitamin too! Eat enough beta carotene foods like carrots and sweet potatoes. The color orange will tell you it has beta carotene.

What to take to help Rosacea

Elimination is always first, adding supplements is second


digestive enzymes- take with meals
eat probiotic rich foods
Eat nutritional yeast- A great % of people with rosacea show improvement taking this – It is not the same as taking a B-complex.

Finally, a healthy gut is key. And remember food is always better than supplements. Nutrient dense whole foods provide the best nourishment, but even healthy foods can cause a problem for you. Heal your gut first, then eliminate allergens. The advice above can help you heal leaky gut, and calm the body in order to control and minimize symptoms.

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