Ocular Rosacea Treatment, Triggers, Diet, Causes, Definition, and Cure
How to Use Herbal Remedies for Rosacea
Rosacea is a chronic skin condition characterized by facial redness, sensitivity and small pustules due to inflamed blood vessels just beneath the skin.The roles of herbal remedies in the management of rosacea have yet to be firmly established by medical science, but there are many anecdotal reports that some can be helpful. Most herbal remedies are applied directly to the skin via creams or ointments, but it some instances, taking them orally is the preferred method.
Consulting a Dermatologist
Get a proper diagnosis.Many other skin conditions affect the face and can mimic rosacea, such as acne, hives or eczema, so make an appointment with a skin specialist (dermatologist) in order to get a correct diagnosis. There is no point starting any treatment regimen, herbal or otherwise, until you know exactly what you have.
- Rosacea affects about 10% of the population and usually starts during middle age for both men and women (women have higher incidence), particularly those of Celtic and Northern European ancestry.
- There is no lab test to confirm a diagnosis of rosacea, but any qualified dermatologist should be able to tell.
- An experienced esthetician may also be of value when trying to understand your skin condition.
- Chronic stress often manifests as various skin conditions.
Understand the standard medical treatments for rosacea.Before heading off to find some herbs, allow your dermatologist to explain the mainstream medical treatments that are most commonly used to combat rosacea. These treatments include antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, acne medications, micro-abrasion, and laser therapy.
- Rosacea currently has no known cure, but there are many therapies that can combat its symptoms.
- The causes of rosacea are not well understood, but are thought to be a combination of genetic and environmental factors.
Research appropriate herbal remedies.Your dermatologist may be a good source of information regarding herbal remedies for rosacea, but you may still want to do some research on the internet to get an idea of the best potential treatments.
- When searching for health information on the internet, always stick to reputable medical or health sites.
- Herbalists, nutritionists, naturopaths and chiropractors may also be good sources of information regarding safe and effective herbal remedies for skin conditions.
Using Herbal Remedies Topically
Apply a gel containing licorice root extract.Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) reduces inflammation by inhibiting an enzyme called 11-beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase. Licorice has also been shown to significantly reduce redness, swelling and itching in patients with dermatitis.
- Rosacea most often affects the cheeks, nose, chin, eyelids, or forehead.
- Consider applying a licorice-based gel to affected areas 2x daily.
Apply a skin cream containing feverfew flower extract.Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium) reduces inflammation by inhibiting the enzymes 5-lipoxygenase and cyclooxygenase and by decreasing platelet aggregation in the blood.
- Pregnant or nursing women and young children shouldnotuse feverfew products.
- Feverfew preparations are more effective when used sparingly.
Apply a skin cream containing extracts of green tea leaves.Green tea (Camellia sinensis) has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and photoprotective properties, which is especially significant because sun sensitivity is a hallmark of rosacea. Green tea may also reduce the disruption of the skin barrier that can be present in rosacea.
- Apply green tea-based creams to affected areas twice daily.
- Alternatively, soaking a compress in cold brewed green tea and applying it to your face may also be of benefit.
Rub oatmeal-based soap onto the affected areas of your face.Oatmeal cleanses, moisturizes, soothes irritation and relieves itchiness. It also has anti-inflammatory effects. Oatmeal contains proteins and polysaccharides that bind to skin and provide a protective barrier.
- A burning or stinging feeling in the face is common with rosacea, but using oatmeal-based soap can help combat this.
Apply lavender oil to the affected areas of your face.Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) may also be helpful with painful and inflammatory conditions of the skin. After you clean your face and dry it, soak a cotton ball with lavender oil and gently massage it into problematic areas such as your nose (a red, bulbous nose is common with rosacea sufferers). Repeat on a daily basis.
- Start with a very small amount to see if you are allergic, because lavender can irritate the skin of some people.
- Rosacea is more common in fair skinned, red-headed women, between the ages of 30 and 50, especially if they tend to blush easily.
Consider using chamomile products on your face.Applying chilled chamomile tea to your face may help with rosacea because it has soothing and mild anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. Brew some chamomile tea, let it sit in the fridge for a few hours and then pour some of it onto a facecloth and use it as a cold compress for quick relief. Chamomile can also be found in creams and ointments.
- Chamomile is a common ingredient in certain cosmetic products.
- In rare cases, chamomile may cause allergic reactions, including skin rashes.
Apply tea tree oil to affected areas.Tea tree oil (Melaleuca alternifolia) is a good antiseptic and anti-inflammatory, making it another good option for treating the symptoms of rosacea. Dip a clean Q-tip into the bottle containing tea tree oil and then gently apply it to the inflamed areas or pustules on your face.
- Apply twice daily to start with and gauge your progress.
- Use tea tree oil with caution because it may cause side effects such as allergic contact dermatitis.
Apply camphor oil to the affected areas of your skin.Camphor (Cinnamomum camphora) is readily absorbed through the skin and has soothing, analgesic (pain relieving) and antimicrobial properties. However, camphor can irritate the skin, so dab a small amount on with a cotton swab to see how your skin reacts.
- Refrain from applying different types of herbal oils during the course of a day. The ones listed here can be helpful, but may create issues (such as skin irritation and itchiness) when used in combination.
Using Herbal Remedies Orally
Try taking turmeric root extract.Turmeric (Curcuma longa) contains more than 20 anti-inflammatory compounds, including agents that inhibit cyclooxygenase-2 (an enzyme that leads to the production of prostaglandins, which cause pain, inflammation, and swelling). Turmeric is a primary ingredient in Indian curry dishes and provides the dark yellow color.Turmeric extracts are also available in capsules.
- Consider starting with 400 to 600 mg of turmeric extract three times daily.
- In addition to supplements, you can also eat curried dishes or drink turmeric tea for added benefits.
Try taking gamma-linolenic acid (GLA).GLA is an effective anti-inflammatory agent that promotes healthy skin. Once consumed, GLA is converted to dihomogamma-linolenic acid (DGLA), which is thought to be responsible for most of GLA’s beneficial effects.Rich sources of GLA include black currant seed oil and evening primrose oil, which both come in liquids and capsules.
- Start with 500 mg of either oil twice daily.
- Certain nutrients (zinc, magnesium and vitamins C, B3 and B6) promote the conversion of GLA to DGLA.
Try eating ginger root products.Ginger (Zingiber officinale) contains active phytonutrients, such as gingerols and shogaols, that are thought to be responsible for ginger’s potent anti-inflammatory effects.Ginger can be eaten raw, pickled (common at sushi restaurants), as a spice or taken as a supplement.
- Alternatively, make ginger tea by steeping a few slices of fresh ginger root in a large cup of hot water for at least five minutes before drinking it.
- Adding some ginger to a stir-fry can really spice it up.
Supplement with grapeseed extract products.Grapeseed extract assists in collagen formation, which is the elastic component of skin. Grapeseed is also a decent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, so it would be appropriate to put it directly on the face too.
- Start by taking 50 mg of grapeseed extract orally, 3x daily.
QuestionI already drink licorice and camomile tea, at night. Could I put some of the steeped brew on my face for rosacea? Can I mix this with Metrogel ointment?Plant SerumsCommunity AnswerLicorice root tea is wonderful for skin issues, but I wouldn't blend it with a cream. Here's how you use it topically: Steep 1/4 cup of licorice root in boiling water for about one half hour, then strain. Keep this "tea" in the refrigerator for about a week. Use as a compress for rosacea, psoriasis, eczema, even shingles. Instead of a compress, you could apply with an organic cotton ball to your face. It is an amazing anti-inflammatory.Thanks!
- Drink plenty of filtered water to help keep your skin well hydrated and healthy.
- Avoid common rosacea triggers: alcohol, caffeinated beverages, chocolate, exposure to cold weather, sunshine, extreme stress, excessive exercise, long hot showers, spicy foods and topical corticosteroid creams.
- Use sunscreen if you plan on being out in the sun.
- Use only cleansers, moisturizers and cosmetics that are hypo-allergenic and won't clog pores or otherwise irritate your skin.
- While some of these herbal remedies may help with rosacea, none of them are considered cures and none are regulated or approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). If you are thinking about using herbal preparations as a treatment for rosacea symptoms, seek the advice of a healthcare professional first.
Sources and Citations
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