Rosacea is a chronic skin condition characterised by a red face, visible blood vessels in your face, and sometimes pimples. It typically begins as redness on the central face across the cheeks, nose, or forehead, but can also less commonly affect the neck, chest, ears, and scalp. Unless it affects the eyes, it is usually a harmless cosmetic condition. In severe cases, red veins, papules (small bumps) and pustules, red gritty eyes, burning and stinging sensations, or a red lobulated nose may develop.
Red cheeks can be caused by a deficiency in vitamin B3 (niacin). If you suffer from red cheeks, it is worth ensuring you are sufficient in vitamin B especially B3, before assuming that you have rosacea. Probiotics can also be very helpful in this situation.
There are two common causes of Rosacea. Both can be treated easily and effectively using natural home remedies, rather than pharmaceutical drugs. It is important to establish which causes apply to you, so you can use the appropriate treatment. Sometimes both causes apply.
- Overgrowth of harmful bacteria in the small intestine, often called Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth, or SIBO.
- Overgrowth of microscopically small demodex mites around hair follicles and sebaceous (oil) glands. These mites are up to 0.2mm in size, so you need a low power microscope to see them. There seems to be an inflammatory reaction to these mites and / or bacteria on the skin, causing the Rosacea. It is possible that rosacea may not be caused by the mites themselves, but by some of the bacteria they harbour, particularly after they die in a follicle.
Note: a different type of skin mite causes scabies. Scabies mites cause intense itching as they burrow into the skin. Scabies usually affects the hands, arms and parts of the body, but not normally the face.
- Low stomach acid. Insufficiently acid stomach often occurs along with one or both of the above causes.
Triggers that cause episodes of flushing and blushing include temperature extremes (especially heat), strenuous exercise, sunlight, sunburn, stress, anxiety, cold wind, and moving to a warm or hot environment from a cold one. Foods and drinks that can trigger flushing include alcohol, caffeine (especially hot tea and coffee), spicy food and foods high in histamines (red wine, aged cheeses, yogurt, beer, cured pork products such as bacon, etc).
- The conventional medical treatment has been to use antibiotics such as Rifaximin or metronidazole. Sometimes antibiotics have been successful, sometimes not, depending on the individual patient and the type of infection. Here at Grow Youthful I emphasise how the side-effects and long-term problems caused by antibiotics usually outweigh their benefits, except in extreme cases. Antibiotics should only be used in life-threatening situations, especially when natural home remedy treatments are so effective.
- In the case of SIBO, a Lactobacillus based probiotic is an effective treatment. Home-made water kefir is a rich source of a variety of Lactobacillus subspecies, and should be taken daily and also applied to the skin.
- In the case of mites, tea tree oil is an effective remedy, and is discussed here.
- An alkaline, low sugar diet in a comfortable low stress environment is the best long-term approach to managing Rosacea.
- Apple cider vinegar. You need to make your stomach more acidic, as described in treating acid reflux.
- Vitamin B. Ensure sufficiency in the full range of vitamin Bs, especially B3 (niacin). The best food source of vitamin B is nutritional yeast.