Rosacea is a chronic skin condition that primarily affects light-skinned women between the ages of 30 and 50. However, this condition can also affect men, children, and people of all races. According to the United States government, more than 14 million people live with rosacea.
Although the exact cause of rosacea is unknown, studies have linked the development of this condition to the following:
- A bacterium called bacillus oleronius, which may cause an overreaction of the immune system.
- A Helicobacter pylori infection, which causes compromised gut and immune health.
- A malfunction in the way your body processes a protein called cathelicidin, which is designed to prevent skin infection.
The most common conventional treatment for rosacea is antibiotics. While they may temporarily mitigate symptoms, they worsen the condition over time. Excessive antibiotic use interferes with proper digestive health and immune function, two common factors in rosacea development.
5 Natural Treatments for Rosacea
Probiotics are the live, active cultures found in fermented foods such as kimchi, kombucha, and sauerkraut. In addition to eating these foods, consider adding a high-quality probiotic supplement to your diet.
Research has shown that introducing healthy bacteria to the gut helps create a barrier to the inflammation that triggers rosacea and other chronic skin conditions.
Probiotics are also essential for anyone taking antibiotics as antibiotics do not discriminate against the type of bacteria they destroy. Good or bad, they wipe out everything.
In addition to probiotic-rich foods and supplements, you may also consider using probiotics directly on your skin.
To do this, cleanse your face thoroughly, pat dry, and apply plain Greek yogurt to your entire face. For stronger benefits, break open a probiotic capsule and sprinkle some of it into the yogurt before applying it to your skin.
Leave the yogurt on for 10 minutes before gently rinsing it off. Do this once per week for best results.
2. Green Tea
According to a study presented at the American Academy of Dermatology, creams made from the extract of freshly-baked green tea leaves appeared to produce “marked beneficial improvement” in participants with rosacea.
The study participants were divided into two groups. One received the cream containing the green tea, the other received a placebo. When the trial was over, 70 percent of women treated with the extract cream experienced a reduction in inflammation.
You can heal rosacea naturally at home using a combination of raw, organic coconut oil and green tea extract. In a small, clean jar, put five drops of alcohol-free green tea extract into half a teaspoon of coconut oil and mix it thoroughly. Smooth the mixture onto your face as you would any moisturizer.
Another effective natural treatment for rosacea is turmeric. This Indian spice is an antioxidant with powerful anti-inflammatory benefits. It can be taken internally to improve digestion, enhance immune system function, and reduce inflammation. It can also be used externally as a facial mask to treat the redness and swelling associated with rosacea.
First, cleanse your face first and pat dry.
Next, don some clothes you’re not particularly fond of (turmeric will stain certain fabrics yellow), and tuck your hair under a shower cap or a thick headband to avoid accidentally “coloring” your hair.
Then, mix organic turmeric powder with pure, filtered water and apply it to the affected areas. Leave the mask on for approximately 20 minutes before rinsing it off with warm water.
If the turmeric leaves a yellow tinge on your skin, use a cotton ball dipped in witch hazel to remove it.
Since your skin may be very sensitive due to chronic inflammation, do a patch test first to see how your skin reacts before applying the mixture to your face.
4. Manuka Honey
Manuka honey is a medicinal honey that comes from a plant native to New Zealand. This honey is nothing like the stuff you find in the plastic bear at the supermarket. Manuka honey is known for its potent antibacterial, antifungal, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties.
For best results, use a honey with a UMF (Unique Manuka Factor) of 15 or more, as this will produce the strongest antibacterial effect.
To get the optimum benefits from this honey, cleanse your face gently and pat it dry. Then, apply three tablespoons of the honey onto your face and leave it on for one to two hours each night. Reduce nightly applications as symptoms begin to improve.
You may notice you need only use the honey once or twice per week once you’ve gotten your rosacea under control.
In case of a sensitivity reaction, test a small area of your face for one week before applying it to your entire face.
5. Digestive Enzymes
It might seem a bit strange to see digestive enzymes on a list of natural treatments for rosacea, but studies have linked poor digestion and low stomach acid to the development of this and other skin diseases.
Adding a hydrochloric acid supplement to your diet will help your body better absorb nutrients from food, balance your immune system, and reduce chronic inflammation from the inside out.
According to the conventional medical viewpoint, rosacea is a lifelong condition with no cure. These natural treatments work with your body to help it to what it was designed to do, return to its natural state of wellness.
Note: Always consult your health care provider before trying natural supplements and products, especially if you are taking prescription medications or have a serious medical condition.
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Featured image courtesy of Flickr/Alix Klingenberg