By Dr. Anna Gold
What is Rosacea?
Rosacea is a skin disease that is estimated to affect 415 million people in the US. It is characterized by facial redness, flushing around the cheeks, nose, forehead and chin areas. Oftentimes it is accompanied by swelling, itching, pimples and most notably, superficial dilated blood vessels. It can be exacerbated by emotional factors, gastrointestinal or endocrine dysfunction like hormones. Ingesting alcohol, spicy foods, excessive hot or cold foods, or even strong tea can also cause flare ups. Some people with rosacea will also witness acute episodes when exposed to sun or heat. Rosacea generally affects people of pale people of caucasian descent and has no cure.
Western medical treatments for rosacea include topical drugs that reduce flushing by restricting blood vessels. Sometimes medications usually prescribed for pimples are used interchangeably for rosacea, such as oral antibiotics. Laser therapy has also been employed to lessen the appearance of blood vessels.
How can herbs help Rosacea?
Rosacea in traditional Chinese medicine is interpreted as “Heat in the Blood”, “Blood Stagnation” and “Heat in the Stomach and Lungs” because those two channels open to the nose and cheeks.
- DR. ANNA GOLD’s ROSY Herbal Tincture addresses superficial redness by including herbs like Gardenia Fruit, Turmeric, and Anemarrhena to reduce inflammation. It encourages the microcirculation of blood vessels with Safflower also known as Carthamus flower and Sichuan Lovage root. Medicinal grade mineral Gypsum is added to clear heat in the Stomach and Lung channel, while Rehmannia and Dang Gui strengthen capillaries.
Read the full list of ingredients and the research behind their functions here.
In addition to taking herbs, diet and lifestyle habits can further reduce rosacea symptoms like redness, flushing and breakouts. These include:
- Eating an anti-inflammatory diet. Eliminate refined sugar, gluten, and dairy. Avoid potential food triggers. Be aware of histamine intolerances. If so, avoid fermented and preserved foods.
- Rebalancing gut microbiome. Eat many varied colored (especially green) vegetables and lots of fiber to nourish beneficial gut bacteria. Use a high potency probiotic.
- Sleep - Sleep is one of the best way to reduce anti-inflammatory markers.
- Exercise to get your blood flowing and improve mental health.
- Stress management
And as I discussed in my Skin Series Blog Posts, skin health should always be a combination of topical and internal approaches.
Topical Ways to Reduce the Appearance of Rosacea
- You can use a topical apple cider vinegar mix to reduce flushing and redness during acute flare ups. Add 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to 1 cup of water. Use a cotton pad to apply to the skin and let it dry.
- LED light therapy. Photobiomodulation light therapy has shown in studies to suppress anti-inflammatory agents in the skin. ( I always recommend adding my FDA approved photobiomodulation light to treatments for this reason.)
- Topical serums with natural ingredients like sea buckthorn and green tea can help reduce the appearance of flushing.
Even though there are no medical cures for rosacea, a multifold approach to quelling its manifestations can be managed by herbs and lifestyle practices.
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