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. kmc

    It depends if you are on multiple prescriptions or if none. If it is none you should see a neurologist. Medications interacting can cause this.

  2. dp

    Turmeric may work for you because we all have different chemistry. I’ve had rosacea for 15 years now and have been taking turmeric for arthritis for 5 years and the rosacea still comes and goes. I have yet to figure out what, if any food, effects these events, I don’t think it helps my rosacea, but maybe it would be worse if I didn’t take it.dp

  3. A

    Wow yes I just found this by accident as I started taking magnesium supplements to treat fybromyalgia but noticed the rosacea was clearing up and wondered was there a link.. I have not come across magnesium as a way of coping with the symptoms of roseacea before and am delighted that I have come across other people who have noticed an improvement in their skin from taking magnesium! I shall keep taking the tablets!

  4. Chloe

    Do you remember how long you had been taking the magnesium before you noticed a difference in your rosacea? And is it magnesium oxide or citrate you are taking?

  5. Kathy

    I have been taking 250mg of magnesium for about 6 months on a daily basis and my rosacea is gone. I tried Finacea with no results and then I tried an antibiotic face soap and lotion. I can not believe how clear and smooth my skin is. I suffered for almost 30 years of red nose, red cheeks and pimples. My husband said one morning your face isn’t red anymore

    • Aglow2u

      Is your rosacea still gone?

  6. S.I.

    My sister took niacin as a preventive measure for high cholesterol issues and plaque build-up in the arteries, but had to discontinue usage because she broke out in terrible red blotches on her face.
    Perhaps you don’t have rosacea after all, just a reaction to the niacin?

  7. Bob

    I’ve been suffering from rosacea for the past 18 months. That coincides with when I began taking high dose niacin for treating hypercholesterolemia. I’ve also been taking simvastatin and plavix for several years with no noticeable side effects. I also take other medications to manage coronary artery disease and a non-specific connective tissue disease. So I’m concerned about adding magnesium oxide to the mix? And could my rosacea be caused by some combination of medications / supplements? I think I’ll start with topical milk of magnesia and see what happens. Nonetheless, any suggestions would be appreciated….

  8. ariesgirl

    I too have rosacea. I recently found out I am allergic to eggs! Thinking back I can see that now. Get allergy testing if you never have. I eat eggs baked in cakes etc, but it is regular scrambled eggs that make me flare.

  9. S.I.

    I find that 300 mg of magnesium oxide works for me, but perhaps some may need a higher dosage.
    When I once switched to magnesium citrate I found that my leg cramps returned (magnesium has been fabulous in helping to control that for me), but I can’t comment on whether it made a difference in my rosacea.
    My doctor (who also suffers from rosacea) insists that the minute she switched from hot showers to baths she saw a huge improvement in her outbreaks.
    I would also suggest cutting out red wine.

  10. smm

    When I tried the IPL Laser I ended up with a bad reaction. I’ve been tested with various lasers and had reactions to all.
    Anyone know what could cause a sensitivity to laser. Any medications?

  11. Anonymous

    So, how much magnesium does one take to get rid of rosacea? Home remedies are not helpful if they don’t give dosages and exact names of products used.

  12. Paul43

    I to suffer from Rosacea. Metogel helps but if I quit using it the redness returns.
    Can anyone tell me how much Magnesium is recommended?

  13. Diane

    My sister and I both suffer from rosacea. We tried every remedy possible including laser treatments to get rid of the redness and pimples. It wasn’t until her dermatologist recommended Plexion that we found a great solution. Now people don’t believe me when I tell them I have rosacea. I don’t know why more doctors don’t recommend it.
    People’s Pharmacy response: Plexion contains sulfacetamide and sulfur. Perhaps doctors don’t think of it because people allergic to sulfur should avoid it.

  14. Miranda

    I have had rosacea for 7 years. I first identified my food related triggers. I used a diary for that. Then I started taking supplements. 100mg lysine, 100mg vitamin c, zinc, and omega3. This has worked miracles for me! My rosacea is gone for 95% now!
    I recommend anyone to start by identifying the food related triggers. It will help you clear your skin!

  15. RLS

    I have rosacea, too.
    When trying the Atkins diet years ago, I realized that white sugar, white flour and corn products caused my face to flair up….by cutting these items, my skin improved greatly.
    Then a friend suggested the IPL laser treatments at a dermatologist….FABULOUS!!!!
    With avoiding the sugar and corn and white flour WITH the IPL laser treatments, my skin is almost like normal. I get so many complements now….after decades of hiding…..I am heading for CVS right now, can’t hurt, might help to use the CVS Epsom lotion….

  16. db

    My teenage son gets extremely red cheeks with only moderate exercise. Is this a precursor to rosacea? There are no bumps or pimples involved. Our dermatologist says this “may mean he will have rosacea when he is older”. Any suggestions on what can ‘get the red out’?

  17. MB

    Thank you for the suggestion of using Epsom Salts for rosacea. It worked like a charm for me. The tetracycline and Oracea and Finacea and Metrogel did not work as well as the Epsom Salt wash.
    This is an easy fix for a perplexing problem. I told my Doctor about this and your site.
    Thanks so much.

  18. CF

    While having severe leg pain -diagnosed as problems from a former surgery -was advised to take 2 ibuprofen. I started self on being more conscientious about my salmon supplement, added omega 3 and 6. Took some MSM and milk thistle. Magnesium. During this time I had begun PROBIOTICS as read they help rosacea plus just overall good for me.
    From the cold mountains I traveled to palm Springs—where the temp was high 90’s. I was worried I would be red whole visit as heat makes me red in face. Also friend enjoys a cocktail every night – I do not even have a glass of wine usually as I glow red w/ any alcohol. I wanted to enjoy this social time so thought I’d just do it and be red. It didn’t happen. Was not red at all.
    Pain in leg, however, only increased until my Brother diagnosed problem being STATIN! sent me an article from PP. Got off the RY RICE and my leg is now almost pain free as a result ! In the meantime, I am trying to figure out what helped the rosacea during this whole experiment? I stopped taking everything except coq 10 for a few weeks to clean out system. Rosacea is back better than ever!
    Here I just read omega 3, Magnesium, milk thistle, MSM help—– WOW.
    Just wish knew dosages that are good – not too much for health and cost as well.

  19. S.I.

    I have been taking a magnesium supplement for awhile now (dosage of 300 mg of magnesium oxide daily) to combat terrible leg cramps that wake me up in the middle of the night, and found that it has been an incredible help. (Somehow magnesium citrate does not work as well for me.)
    When I went to read up on possible side effects I found that it also lowers blood pressure, which is great for me as I am on BP meds.
    The other day, however, my husband remarked that my rosacea seems to have virtually disappeared (I suffered from a ‘medium’ break out and–once or twice–even took antibiotics for it, but I still put metrogel on every night as well) and so I ‘googled’
    to see if there could be a connection between using magnesium oxide as a supplement pill for reducing rosacea flare-ups, and now I am wondering if it has become my wonder pill?

  20. CB

    Thank you so much for the posting about the CVS Epsom lotion for rosacea! I have had rosacea for about 4 years & it has been getting progressively worse. I have also been using the OTC Prosacea gel on the bumps but it only minimizes the look of them. Doxycycline made me deathly ill & the expensive prescription gels seemed to bring more bumps to the surface.
    The Epsom lotion worked like a miracle after everything I have been trying for years. I put it on at night as suggested & was amazed that the bumps were so diminished the next morning. I still used a small bit of Prosacea (along with the Epsom lotion) on the worst areas. I am hoping that regular use of both will make my facial skin start looking more like it used to.
    This is the first real improvement I’ve seen in years. My doctor also recently prescribed a Magnesium supplement at night to help with severe insomnia & that has also helped me fall asleep more easily (along with my long term Lunesta that was becoming less effective). I couldn’t be more surprised that magnesium could help so many conditions!

  21. Lori S.

    I’ve had Rosacea for years and have had break outs of small pimples across my nose cheeks and chin. My daughter was just diagnosed also. She has teenage daughters and tried their prescription facial wash. She said it cleared her face up. So I tried it also and WOW what a difference as to controlling my pimples. Benzoil Peroxide 10%. A little dab will do you in the morning shower and I have to say what a difference it has made. I still get redness from time to time but the zits are so less frequent I don’t know why more doctors don’t prescribe it.

  22. LS

    I too suffer with Rosacea, specifically on one side of my nose. I have taken oral Minocyclin, which always clears it up for several weeks but then the flare-ups start again. I have used prescription topical ointments/creams as well (Metrogel and Noritate) without much success. I recently purchased Procasea (OTC) after seeing an and found some Epsom salt LOTION in CVS Pharmacy. I started applying the Procasea in the morning and the Epsom lotion in the evening and have had much better results than with either prescription medication. The rosacea has almost completely cleared, with just an occasional minor flare-up; which seem to be food and/or stress related.

  23. Harold S.

    does anyone have any help for essential tremor problem [a home remedy] preferred.

  24. Emily W.

    I have Rosacea and have heard (but haven’t tried as yet) that Turmeric might help this condition. Has anyone tried this?

  25. LEH

    I suffered with rosacea for years until I completely stopped eating anything with corn or corn derivatives… my skin cleared up in a matter of weeks! I have tested it several times with small amount of corn and every time I start to get facial blemishes. I recommend trying this to anyone with rosacea!

  26. Dorothy B

    Are you supposed to wash with Epsom salts or take it? Would would be the dosage or for a wash would you mix it with water? I also heard that bathing the face with Milk of Magnesia works??

  27. SDW

    I was diagnosed with roscea and tried many treatments. It went away when I determined I have Celiacs and quit eating wheat and dairy. This also works for my son who apparently inherited the Celiacs.

  28. JMS

    I would love to know which magnesium supplement was used and the dose. What a great news for those of us with rosacea! Thanks for sharing.

  29. Sue

    I wish to add that my husband was having headaches every morning and he calls them “pressure headaches” (he has a high stress job as well as high B.P). I asked him to try a magnesium supplement and he has never had a morning headache since!

  30. RC

    Magnesium is a smooth muscle relaxant. Perhaps this is altering blood vessel wall tension and reducing redness.

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