face with rosacea (creative commons 2.0 original authors M. Sand, D. Sand, C. Thrandorf, V. Paech, P. Altmeyer, F. G. Bechara)

It’s called acne rosacea, but the name is confusing. This skin condition is nothing like your teenager’s pimples. Rosacea affects women more than men and usually strikes during middle age. It 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.

Dermatologists are still debating the causes of rosacea. Research suggests that one important factor is inflammation triggered by cathelicidin, one of the skin’s innate immune defenses against bacteria, fungi and some viruses (Journal of Investigative Dermatology, May, 2010).

Treatment has involved oral antibiotics (doxycycline, minocycline, tetracycline) and topical antimicrobials (metronidazole). A topical gel containing azelaic acid (Finacea) can reduce the production of cathelicidin and improve symptoms.

Despite standard therapy, some readers remain unsatisfied:

“I have been suffering from rosacea for years. A dermatologist prescribed both metronidazole cream and minocycline twice daily. These were ineffective.

“I am a 47-year-old male, and exercise regularly (run and bicycle), 5’8” and weigh 139 lbs. I eat a healthy diet.

“I drink alcohol occasionally, mainly red wine and beer. My cholesterol is low and I take no medications. What else could I do for my rosacea?”

Alcohol is frequently blamed as a trigger, so this reader should cut back to see if that helps. Other non-standard approaches include using antibacterial soap:

“I bought a generic, clear, liquid antibacterial soap in a pump bottle and have been using it for two months. I quit using the Metrogel at the same time and have had NO flare-ups since using the antibacterial soap! This is an easy and inexpensive remedy that you may already have at your sink.”

Another reader applies organic raw apple cider vinegar to the affected skin, washing it off with a gentle cleanser after 30 minutes. Helga offered her approach:

“Jason Vitamin K Creme Plus works wonderfully well. It totally eliminated rosacea for me and several other people. Use it twice a day; it doubles as moisturizer.”

Dianne told her own story:

“I was diagnosed with rosacea over 10 years ago and was on metronidazole. I still had problems with breakouts on my face after being in the sun. Later, I was also diagnosed with ocular rosacea that felt like sand in my eyes every morning and throughout the day. I was advised to take eye drops for the condition.

“About five years ago I started taking Juice Plus vitamins. There were no claims with the product that it would help rosacea, although it certainly claimed to boost one’s immune system.

My rosacea has totally disappeared. My ophthalmologist and my dermatologist can find no evidence of rosacea any more.”

Omega-3 fatty acid supplements have helped a few readers. Another reader specified daily cod liver oil.

Italian researchers have found that dietary supplements containing silymarin and MSM (methylsulfonylmethane) may ease redness (Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, March, 2008).

There does not seem to be a single approach to rosacea that works well for everyone. Trial and error may be the best way to find out how to calm this inflammatory skin condition.

Photo by M. Sand, D. Sand, C. Thrandorf, V. Paech, P. Altmeyer, F. G. Bechara

Original file location http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Datei:Rosacea_01.jpg

CC 2.0 This photo has been cropped

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  1. Pam

    I am 61 and was diagnosed with rosacea about 10 years ago. Some medicines cause an allergic reaction in me because of the preservative used, and Metrogel is one of them. My dermatologist gave me a prescription for Erythromycin 2% ointment to be made at a local compounding pharmacy and I have used it for about 7 years with success. I put a small amount on the areas that tend to break out each night. About 3 months ago I developed ocular rosacea for the first time. The opthamologist put me on steroid drops that helped until I stopped using them, then it was worse than before.

    My dermatologist recommended antibiotics, Cetaphil to clean my eyes each night, and warm compresses for 10 minutes morning and at bedtime. She also said that it would take 3-4 months for it to completely go away. After 2 months, it is much better but not gone. I am so thankful for the People’s Pharmacy site and being able to communicate with others battling rosacea!

  2. D

    I live in Florida and a male , two months ago i woke up and my face was sold blood red. I ise dead sea salt 1 1/2 soup spoon of dead sea salt after working in the yard and it tends to reduce the red to a pink with just a little red, it beats looking like a stop sign.
    Is any men out their who has found a good way to get rid of the the red ?????????

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