Rosacea is a skin disease that typically affects people over the age of 30. It involves a red rash on the face that initially comes and goes. Sometimes the rosacea rash includes small, red, pus-filled bumps. The number of people suffering from rosacea today is growing rapidly with the age of onset getting younger and younger.
I’ve seen a number of teenagers with rosacea recently which was unheard of only 10 or so years ago. Big Pharma has definitely taken notice! Trials for drug-based treatment for rosacea are currently ongoing to hurry profitable pharmaceuticals to market. An enormous billboard in my community is aggressively advertising for candidates to participate in the required FDA approval process for these drugs.
Rosacea Drugs Don’t Treat the Cause
For those who wish to avoid the drug route with its inherent side effects that are likely as bad or worse than rosacea itself, natural remedies fortunately abound!
The first thing to realize about rosacea is that it is what I call a “canary illness”. Canaries, if you recall, were used in the early days of coal mining to detect deadly gasses and potential explosions. If a canary keeled over inside a mine, this was a sign for the mining crew to get out quickly!
Be thankful for your rosacea! It is a very visible sign of inflammatory issues going on within the body. You have time to take action to resolve the problem before the inflammation gets worse, damaging something much more critical such as your vital organs!
Think about it – the redness from rosacea is triggered when tiny blood vessels called capillaries become inflamed and literally break underneath the skin. What about inflammation and/or breakdown of larger vessels in a related portion of the circulatory system, arteries, and veins? You can’t afford for these larger vessels to become compromised. Problems in this portion of the circulatory system can be extremely dangerous to health.
Hence, ignoring rosacea and considering it only a cosmetic nuisance is sweeping a potentially big health problem down the road under the proverbial rug.
The same goes for using creams, drugs or lasers which help reduce the rash’s appearance without addressing the underlying reasons for the inflammation.
Best to avoid the band-aid approach with rosacea.
Can Rosacea be Cured with Diet?
Conventional doctors will tell you that rosacea is common, chronic, and incurable.
In other words, “there is nothing you can do” (except take drugs for it of course).
Is this really true?
Functional medicine and lifestyle doctor Sachin Patel has an answer to this common statement.
Why are patients told “there is nothing you can do” for a disease that is caused by something they are [in fact] doing?
There is most certainly something you can do to help resolve problems with rosacea! The first thing to recognize is that what you are eating on a regular basis can have big effects.
To their credit, conventional practitioners will often tell patients with rosacea to avoid hot, spicy foods and alcohol. These foods tend to worsen symptoms. Coffee, chocolate, yerba mate, matcha and other caffeinated foods can aggravate things for some people too. Perhaps this is because caffeine dilates already inflamed blood vessels making them more prone to breakage. Exposing the skin to very cold temperatures or skin icing has the same damaging effect.
But here’s potentially the biggest bugaboo causing rosacea that is rarely mentioned let alone considered by conventional medicine: SUGAR!
Sugar, particularly if processed like white refined sugar or high fructose corn syrup, encourages inflammation of all kinds. And, if rosacea is your weak link, plan on that Dunkin’ Donuts binge costing you when you look in the mirror.
Another problem with sugar consumption if you suffer from rosacea is that Candida and other pathogenic yeasts in the gut convert dietary sugar into alcohol. Even a meal heavy in carbohydrates would potentially aggravate rosacea symptoms for those with unbalanced gut issues.
It is extremely important to get sugar and refined carbohydrate issues under control if you want to successfully treat rosacea naturally!
If you need help getting off the sugar train, this four-step plan to get off sugar really works and won’t make you crazy or feel deprived in the process.
I have known people whose most effective treatment for rosacea simply involved their sugar and carb consumption under control.
Rosacea from Parasites?
Besides dietary intervention, there can be a parasitic aspect to some cases of rosacea too.
Researchers studying effective approaches to treatment for rosacea have determined that the skin mite Demodex folliculorum can cause dry rosacea-like symptoms. In one study, a random sample of 16 female patients with rosacea was examined. All were found to harbor skin mite infestations in the inflamed areas using light and scanning electron microscopy. The patients were treated with 10% topical sulfur ointment to kill the mites.
After treatment, 3 cases were completely cured, 10 cases were moderately improved, and 3 cases showed no improvement (1).
Here’s the really gross part. It wasn’t actually the mites that caused rosacea in some of these patients. It was the bacteria feeding on the fecal matter inside the mites that caused an inflammatory immune response (2).
But why did the mites get entrenched in the skin in the first place? Exposure to heat and humidity – conditions that let mites thrive – certainly doesn’t help. But, the real reason is actually nutritional deficiency.
Nutritive Rosacea Treatment
The B vitamins are the most important nutrients to consider for the avoidance of skin mite infestation and treatment for rosacea. Not surprising that people with gut imbalance issues (overgrowth of Candida and other pathogens) frequently have issues with B vitamin status too. Good bacteria in the gut actually produce these nutrients naturally supplementing dietary forms (3).
Of these, riboflavin, vitamin B2, is especially critical when it comes to avoiding rosacea. The Textbook of Natural Medicine by naturopaths Joseph Pizzorno and Michael Murray describes how easily the skin of riboflavin deficient rates is infected with rosacea inducing skin mites. The skin of rats with normal riboflavin status was not affected.
Vitamin B Complex Can Work Wonders
The best whole supplements to obtain concentrated, 100% food-based Vitamin B complex including riboflavin (recommended brand with no synthetics).
Other excellent sources include nutritional brewers yeast (quality source) and/or a desiccated liver supplement.
Beware of multi-vitamins and other lab-created supplements to obtain this nutrient, as the B vitamins are synthetic in many cases.
Other ways to help resolve rosacea-related nutritional deficiencies as described in the Textbook of Natural Medicine include:
- Supplementation with hydrochloric acid (HCL) before meals for additional stomach acid to properly digest proteins. Another option is to eat a small amount of raw or fermented cabbage (sauerkraut) before meals. This greatly stimulates the production of HCL according to Natasha Campbell-McBride MD.
- Supplementation with 300-500 mg of the pancreatic enzyme lipase with meals to assist with the digestion of fats. Using herbal bitters with meals can also be of help.
There is simply no need to use pharmaceuticals as a treatment for rosacea in the majority of cases. Eliminating parasitic influences, dietary modification, and resolution of likely nutritional deficiencies is a three-pronged attack that can work to resolve rosacea naturally and permanently.
Hi, I have problems with rosacea in the winter but in the summer my skin is pretty much clear and I can eat foods that will trigger flairs in the winter cold months, could you know the reason for this? Thanks.
Sarah Pope MGA
Your body could be under more seasonal stress in the winter. Not sure where you live, but possibly this is due to the colder/drier air and indoor heating. When the body is under more stress, there is a lower level of biological tolerance to anything that the body might be sensitive too, triggering immune system flair-ups from exposure.
For me what worked the best, after 35 years of wild experimenting and intermittent despair, was Mimosa Pudica. This works well on the gut against parasites, when ingested. I started taking it (liquid form) and got some flare ups, which then subsided. This is recognised as a die-off reaction, when the liver finds it hard to keep up with all the toxins that are being released. I then experimented with using the tonic on my face and this has been a revelation! Smaller pores, softer skin, less dull looking tone, but most of all less infections, after 2 weeks. It is not a fast process and I deliberately built up very slowly, as i didn’t want to overdo it and make things worse. it’s been amuch better result than for instance gladskin rosacaea gel, which treats the overgrowth of Staphylococcus aureus (Staph) bacteria. This was ok, but my skin returned to the old state once I stopped using it.
I had wanted the capsule form supplements to clear everything from the inside out, but they had a long delivery time. So I tried these drops, (hard to find, most are powder form) and that was a lucky coincidence. Hope this helps!
was ok, but when stopped, the old condiation came back.
Your article was very informative. I have cut down on my sugar intake and have looked at a couple diets. I was doing the clean over the summer and this really helped.
The prices of the supplements you link to are incredibly overpriced and not affordable over time. Please try to list B vitamins and other supplements that can be afforded by the poor and the very ill.
Mites are a danger to many – yet doctors will mistreat a patient with mites more often than not and ignore the fact that a broken immune system can put any person who has a severe infestation and allergic reactions to them in danger of losing their hearing, sight, nasal tissue that can be eaten away and even cause the person who has pain most can’t even imagine to consider suicide.
Doctors are a danger to many – to the tune of millions maimed every year and over 440,000 medical abuse deaths each year since 2017, up from 250,000 for a decade before that.
Sarah Pope MGA
Cheap B vitamin are synthetic, which you are better off not taking at all if you can’t afford the whole food versions as linked to in this article. Eat liver instead, which is very affordable for any food budget even organic liver. You only need to eat it once a week to get the benefits.
As a practitioner…. I look for Gluten Intolerance…. and H.Pylori FIRST of all for this rash. Autoimmune disorders like Lupus – yes,…. but h.Pylori is CLASSIC rosacea butterfly rash.
clean yer diet up, and cleans yer body. Variable per person. Rosaceaa is an inflammation. Get fundamental with your diet and dietary practices if you have that problem,… You’ve got to do the fundamentals: clean diet, non-excessive quantities, intermittent day fasting, wine and beer are good sometimes,…. it’s the total situation of dietary practices which matter. Avoid excesses. Use bulking cleansing formulas, along with prudent dietary practices. Consume for vitality and Body Integrity.
Let your body and good sense lead you to reasonably optimizing ‘Body Integrity’.
Key idea: Body Integrity.
Your body reveals.
Your body indicates.
Understand correlations of dietary practices and body response.
hi, thanks for sharing. I am interested in trying your natural approach to cure my rosacea ! so do I need to take all the supplements you brought up including ( nutritional brewers yeast (quality source) and/or a desiccated liver supplement , hydrochloric acid (HCL) ,pancreatic enzyme lipase ) ??? or can I simply take a desiccated liver supplement like Spirulina and that should do the job ? Thanks !
Hi Sarah, I have reduced the bumps by giving up dairy and wheat however the flushing still comes along with the burning sensation and the redness (which has never left). I feel as though it’s a vascular dysfunction or a problem with inflammatory pathway that is separate to diet. For example if I open the oven door it will set it off and the redness on my cheeks will stay for ages. What is it about does external heat that has that affect? Are we unable to regulate our temperature somehow? And why just on cheeks/neck/chest? Why not other parts of my body?
Dear Sarah, Can you think why even low amounts of B vitamin supplementation seems to worsen my rosacea?
Sarah Pope MGA
I wonder if it could be because B vitamin supplements are synthetic vitamins including folic acid which is very toxic for many people (folate is the natural form in food). Those B vitamin pills aren’t what they’re cracked up to be. If you need a good dose of B vitamins, eat liver or take a desiccated liver supplement with natural B vitamins.