Rosacea is a complex skin condition, with no known cause, but affected by a number of factors from your circulation to digestion. In this page, our Skin Advisor Felicity Mann addresses the treatment of rosacea and recommends a selection of home, herbal and conventional remedies to soothe any irritation or redness.
Rosacea can be a difficult condition to suffer from and at times the symptoms can seem overwhelming and difficult to live with.
However, a number of home, herbal and conventional remedies may help to alleviate any irritation or discomfort and to prevent a flare-up of symptoms.
Just make sure that you take any prescribed medication exactly as specified by your doctor and do not hesitate to consult your GP if you notice that your symptoms changing or worsening.
A variety of home remedies may be used to help symptoms of rosacea and many of these relate to lifestyle or dietary changes.
Relax: Stress can be a major trigger for rosacea, aggravating symptoms and affecting psychological health. Rosacea can make you feel self-conscious and uneasy in social situations, ruining your confidence and putting you on edge. It is important that you try to be as kind to yourself as possible when flare-ups occur. Do the things that make you feel good and set aside some time in the day for yourself, whether it’s to read a book, go on a walk or binge watch your favourite television programme on Netflix. You could also try relaxation techniques such as meditation, which is excellent for teaching you proper breathing methods and how to take control of your body and mind
Good nutrition: We have discussed already the adverse effects certain foods and drink can have on your rosacea symptoms. It might be worth considering eliminating certain trigger foods from your diet altogether and focus on increasing your intake of good nutrients. Vitamin C is a brilliant for the health of your capillaries and can help to nourish and repair skin. Try increasing your intake of vitamin C rich fruits and vegetables, or you could always try blitzing up one of our smoothies instead. Drink plenty of water as this will help to keep your skin hydrated and help reduce irritation. If you’re still craving your morning cup of coffee, try Bambu, our caffeine-free coffee substitute. Bambu a great source of potassium and contains chicory, both of which can have very positive effects on your digestion
Exercise: Stimulating your blood circulation can go a long way towards easing rosacea symptoms. This does not mean that you should immediately start hitting the gym – remember over-exercising can trigger symptoms! Instead try to take gentle steps first. Go for a brisk walk, or try participating in an exercise that is not so hard on the body, like swimming or yoga. Just make sure that if you decide to go swimming, that the pool is not heavily chlorinated as this chemical may irritate your symptoms
Herbal teas: There are so many benefits attached to the humble cup of herbal tea, even when it comes to your skin. Green tea is renowned for its anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and can be applied directly to the skin to relieve swelling. Chamomile can help you to decrease your stress levels and help you get a good night’s sleep. It can also work to reduce facial redness - one of the more visibly noticeable rosacea symptoms. You might also want to consider liquorice tea as well - a 2008 study showed that liquorice was a brilliant anti-inflammatory for skin cells1
Protective clothing: Protective clothing can help you to guard your skin against potential trigger factors. If it is a cold, windy day, wrap up appropriately and try covering your skin from the uncaring elements. During summer months, you should focus on protecting yourself from the sun by wearing a hat and covering yourself in sun cream
Choose your skin care products: If you are suffering from rosacea, it is important that you use skin care products designed for sensitive skin; the harsh chemicals and fragrances present in conventional cosmetics can irritate your rosacea symptoms even more. Try to use fragrance-free creams and moisturisers. Salcura Derma Spray might be worthwhile a go - it nourishes dry, itchy skin and is suitable for those suffering from rosacea
Honey: Honey can be applied topically to the skin as a face mask, although it’s important to make sure that you use raw, unprocessed honey. Manuka honey in particular might be worth a trial according to a recent article published by the British Medical Journal. This study concluded that manuka honey was an effective remedy for rosacea symptoms due to its ability to act as a natural anti-inflammatory agent and its anti-oxidant properties.2 Your Health Food Store stocks a range of organic, unprocessed Manuka honey products that might be worth your consideration
Oatmeal: Not just a healthy breakfast option, oatmeal is great at easing the redness and inflammation that so often occurs with rosacea. Rich in vitamin E, oatmeal can protect skin against photo-aging, swelling and help our skin cells retain moisture. Colloidal oatmeal is generally considered to be the best type of oatmeal for your skin, and it can be applied topically as a paste, cream or face mask
Tea tree oil: Tea tree oil can act as a powerful anti-septic, killing parasites such as the demodex mite, said to be responsible for irritating facial symptoms such as swelling, itchiness and redness. Tea tree oil can be applied topically as a cream and is usually found in most healthfood stores and pharmacies.
There are a number of natural, herbal solutions available to ease skin irritation. However, if symptoms persist or worsen, speak to your doctor to work out what is going on.
Neem cream: Neem has been used for centuries to help dry, damaged skin. Neem Cream is best if made from extracts of the neem leaf and can be used by anyone who is not pregnant or allergic to nuts
Eye drops: If rosacea is making your eyes irritated or dry, it might be worthwhile using Eye Drops containing Euphrasia. This popular herb for eye health is also known as ‘Eyebright’ and can help keep your eyes bright and moisturised
Vitamin C: Vitamin C is an important nutrient when it comes to the treatment of rosacea. Not only does it help to support and repair damaged skin cells, this vitamin also has an influential role in maintaining your circulatory system and promoting the health of your capilleries. Nature-C is made with extracts of vitamin C rich fruits in the form of a chewable tablet. As it is a food source vitamin, the nutrients are easily absorbed by the body
Stress relief daytime: If your symptoms are making you feel anxious or stressed, you might wish to give a herbal stress remedy a trial. Stress Relief Daytime contains the herbs Valerian and Hops and is a herbal solution to ease stressful emotions, making you feel calmer, enabling you to live your day to day life without being encumbered by your mood.
There are a number of conventional medicines available to relieve the symptoms of rosacea.
Topical creams: Your doctor might recommend a number of topical creams such as azelaic acid cream. However, some of these creams can cause side-effects such as itching, burning or dry skin, so if your symptoms become more inflamed it might be worth going back to your doctor
Antibiotics: Antibiotics might be prescribed by your doctor if your symptoms are more persistent; however these are associated with a range of unpleasant side-effects, from diarrhoea to nausea. If you suffer from any of these symptoms then it is important that you speak to your doctor as soon as possible
Other medication: Oral medication such as clonidine might be prescribed to reduce the dilation of blood vessels, easing symptoms such as flushing and redness. These medicines should not be taken as a long term solution as they may exacerbate symptoms during prolonged use.