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Search Health Information    Acne Rosacea (Holistic)

Acne Rosacea (Holistic)

About This Condition

The redness on your cheeks, nose, and chin may be signs of acne rosacea. How can you calm it down and put your best face forward? According to research or other evidence, the following self-care steps may be helpful.
  • Steer clear of irritants

    Flare-ups may occur from too much sun exposure, stress, exercise, spicy food, or alcohol, or from extreme (hot or cold) weather or bathing-water temperatures

About

About This Condition

Acne rosacea, now more accurately known just as rosacea, is a chronic skin condition of the forehead, cheeks, nose, and chin. It consists of flushing, which turns into red coloration from the dilation of the capillaries and can lead to pustules that resemble acne.

Rosacea occurs mostly in middle-aged adults with fair skin. The cause of rosacea is unknown, but there is likely a genetic component. Severe, untreated rosacea can be disfiguring to the face.

Symptoms

The skin of the center of the face—typically on or surrounding the nose—is red and swollen, with acne-like blemishes. As the condition progresses, parts of the eye can become inflamed and the nose may enlarge.

Healthy Lifestyle Tips

Sun exposure, stress, excessive exercise, and extreme temperatures (hot or cold) of weather or bathing water may trigger flare-ups of rosacea, so avoiding these conditions is recommended.1

Eating Right

The right diet is the key to managing many diseases and to improving general quality of life. For this condition, scientific research has found benefit in the following healthy eating tips.

Recommendation Why
Avoid alcohol
Alcohol may increase the reddening of the skin affected by rosacea, but alcohol is not the cause of this disease.

Alcohol may increase the reddening of the skin affected by rosacea, but alcohol is not the cause of this disease.2

Cool it down
Spicy foods and hot drinks have been reported to cause flare-ups, but research is needed to support these claims.

Spicy foods and hot drinks have been reported anecdotally by rosacea sufferers to cause flare-ups,3 but no controlled research has evaluated these claims.

Supplements

What Are Star Ratings?

Our proprietary “Star-Rating” system was developed to help you easily understand the amount of scientific support behind each supplement in relation to a specific health condition. While there is no way to predict whether a vitamin, mineral, or herb will successfully treat or prevent associated health conditions, our unique ratings tell you how well these supplements are understood by some in the medical community, and whether studies have found them to be effective for other people.

For over a decade, our team has combed through thousands of research articles published in reputable journals. To help you make educated decisions, and to better understand controversial or confusing supplements, our medical experts have digested the science into these three easy-to-follow ratings. We hope this provides you with a helpful resource to make informed decisions towards your health and well-being.

3 Stars Reliable and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit.

2 Stars Contradictory, insufficient, or preliminary studies suggesting a health benefit or minimal health benefit.

1 Star For an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. For a supplement, little scientific support.

Supplement Why
2 Stars
Zinc
23 mg three times per day for three months
Learn More

In a double-blind study, supplementing with zinc (23 mg three times per day for three months) decreased the severity of rosacea by about 75%, whereas no improvement occurred in the placebo group. Mild gastrointestinal upset was reported by 12% of the people taking zinc, but no other significant side effects occurred.4 Long-term zinc supplementation should be accompanied by a copper supplement, in order to prevent zinc-induced copper deficiency.

1 Star
Betaine Hydrochloride
Refer to label instructions
Learn More

Some people with rosacea have been reported to produce inadequate stomach acid .5 In a preliminary trial, supplemental hydrochloric acid, along with vitamin B complex, improved some cases of rosacea in people with low stomach-acid production.6 Similarly, improvement in rosacea has been reported anecdotally after supplementation with pancreatic digestive enzymes , and a controlled study found that rosacea patients produced less pancreatic lipase than healthy people.7 Controlled trials are needed to evaluate the effects of hydrochloric acid and digestive enzyme supplements in rosacea. Hydrochloric acid supplements should not be taken without the supervision of a healthcare practitioner.

1 Star
Burdock
Refer to label instructions
Learn More

Historically, tonic herbs, such as burdock , have been used in the treatment of skin conditions. These herbs are believed to have a cleansing action when taken internally.8 Burdock root tincture may be taken in 2 to 4 ml amounts per day. Dried root preparations in a capsule or tablet can be used at 1 to 2 grams three times per day. Many herbal preparations combine burdock root with other alterative herbs, such as yellow dock , red clover , or cleavers . In the treatment of acne rosacea, none of these herbs has been studied in scientific research.

1 Star
Digestive Enzymes
Refer to label instructions
Learn More

Some people with rosacea have been reported to produce inadequate stomach acid .9 In a preliminary trial, supplemental hydrochloric acid, along with vitamin B complex, improved some cases of rosacea in people with low stomach-acid production.10 Similarly, improvement in rosacea has been reported anecdotally after supplementation with pancreatic digestive enzymes , and a controlled study found that rosacea patients produced less pancreatic lipase than healthy people.11 Controlled trials are needed to evaluate the effects of hydrochloric acid and digestive enzyme supplements in rosacea. Hydrochloric acid supplements should not be taken without the supervision of a healthcare practitioner.

1 Star
Vitamin B-Complex
Refer to label instructions
Learn More

Preliminary reports in the 1940s claimed that rosacea improved with oral supplements or injections of B vitamins 12 , 13 , 14 On the other hand, one report exists of rosacea-like symptoms in a patient taking 100 mg per day of vitamin B6 and 100 mcg per day of vitamin B12 ; these symptoms subsided when the supplements were discontinued.15 More research is needed to evaluate the potential benefits or hazards of B vitamins for rosacea.

References

1. National Rosacea Society. Coping with rosacea: tips on lifestyle management for rosacea sufferers. Barrington, IL: National Rosacea Society, 1996.

2. Chalmers DA. Rosacea: recognition and management for the primary care provider. Nurse Pract 1997;22:18, 23–8,30 [review].

3. National Rosacea Society. Coping with rosacea: tips on lifestyle management for rosacea sufferers. Barrington, IL: National Rosacea Society, 1996.

4. Sharquie KE, Najim RA, Al-Salman HN. Oral zinc sulfate in the treatment of rosacea: a double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Int J Dermatol 2006;45:857–61.

5. Johnson L, Eckardt R. Rosacea keratitis and conditions with vascularization of the cornea treated with riboflavin. Arch Ophthamol 1940;23:899–907.

6. Allison JR. The relation of hydrochloric acid and vitamin B complex deficiency in certain skin diseases. South Med J 1945;38:235–41.

7. Barba A, Rosa B, Angelini G, et al. Pancreatic exocrine function in rosacea. Dermatologica 1982;165:601–6.

8. Hoffman D. The Herbal Handbook: A User’s Guide to Medical Herbalism. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press, 1988, 23–4.

9. Johnson L, Eckardt R. Rosacea keratitis and conditions with vascularization of the cornea treated with riboflavin. Arch Ophthamol 1940;23:899–907.

10. Allison JR. The relation of hydrochloric acid and vitamin B complex deficiency in certain skin diseases. South Med J 1945;38:235–41.

11. Barba A, Rosa B, Angelini G, et al. Pancreatic exocrine function in rosacea. Dermatologica 1982;165:601–6.

12. Tulipan L. Acne rosacea: a vitamin B complex deficiency. Arch Dermatol Syphilol 1947;56:589.

13. Stillians AW. Pyridoxine in treatment of acne vulgaris. J Invest Dermatol 1946;7:150–1.

14. Johnson L, Eckardt R. Rosacea keratitis and conditions with vascularization of the cornea treated with riboflavin. Arch Ophthamol 1940;23:899–907.

15. Sherertz EF. Acneiform eruption due to “megadose” vitamins B6 and B12. Cutis 1991;48:119–20.

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