Q. I am intrigued by the report that washing with an Epsom salt solution (magnesium sulfate) could ease rosacea. I have suffered from this skin condition all my adult life.

I took antibiotics and Accutane, but neither of them cured the problem. Recently I started taking a magnesium supplement for high blood pressure. Lo and behold, it banished the rosacea. My skin is clear and incredibly soft.

A. Rosacea causes redness of the cheeks, nose and forehead. Fine red lines can often be seen just under the skin and some people also experience pimple-like blemishes.

The usual treatment for this condition includes antibiotics such as doxycycline, minocycline or tetracycline. Doctors may also prescribe topical antimicrobials (metronidazole) or azelaic acid (Finacea).

We could find no studies of magnesium supplements to treat rosacea, though we are glad to hear it works for you. Other readers have taken omega-3 fatty acids with good results, and Italian researchers have reported that supplements with silymarin (from milk thistle) and MSM (methylsulfonylmethane) helped ease symptoms (Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, March, 2008).

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  1. Dawn
    UK
    Reply

    I have had rosacea ever since taking steroids for MS. If I take steroids now the rosacea clears up completely but I stop my skin reacts really badly. Have not taken steroids for 12 years but still am dealing with the rosacea. I find that any dairy products set it off so have soya milk and definitely avoid cheese and especially milk chocolate. I try to avoid all processed foods. I am sure if I was a vegetarian I wouldn’t have rosacea at all ! Foods high in beta carotene are good (I eat butternut squash nearly everyday). Sometime alcohol triggers it off and then other times it does not. I just use products recommended for sensitive skin and take a course of antibiotics when it flares up (usually at Christmas or after eating out as it is harder then to control what you eat). One good thing is that my MS is very good at the moment so this helps me keep things in perspective.

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