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After several months of thinking I was having ''a bad skin day'', I
finally figured out that I have developed rosacea. I've tried
reading up on this condition but it seems that all of the
websites say the same thing, ''...condition can't be cured, only
treated...'', etc. Since my dermatology appointment got postponed
a few weeks, I thought I would see if any BPN members have
practical advice. I'm not interested in taking antibiotics and
don't see myself giving up coffee. I am hoping to get some
advice from people who are actually dealing with rosacea, what
has been helpful, what can I expect from the dermatologist, etc?
And what about insurance-what has been peoples' experiences with
how insurance handles this-disease or cosmetic?
You may not want to give up coffee, but spicy foods and heat in
general can really exacerbate Rosacea. I've had it for about
15 years and it can be tricky to manage. Yes, definitely go to
the dermatologist; there are topical creams (I use Metrocream,
I know there are others) that can keep eruptions down. You
should also be extremely careful about what you put on your
face: things like moisturizers, makeup, toners, etc. will
probably be right out. Soap of any kind -- no way! You can
wash your face with very mild soap-free cleansers like Cetaphil
(Aveda makes a green gel, forget the name, that I like a lot)
or Aqua Glycolic (gives you a little glycolic acid but doesn't
seem to make my face redder) but beware of anything that has
mineral oil in it, you'd be surprised how many cosmetics do.
I had laser treatments about 6 years ago that were very
successful in clearing up the existing broken capillaries and
red spots, done in the dermatology dept. at UCSF by Dr. Roy
Grekin. LOVED him! I think the technology/lasers have
improved since then, but I would def. investigate getting laser
treatments from an M.D. rather than an esthetician if you want
to go that way. I need a touchup (Rosacea is forever!) but
it's nowhere near as bad as it was before the first laser
Saunas and hot tubs are problems, as is hot water on your face.
You want to avoid flushing, so sometimes if I have a glass of
wine and feel my face getting warm, I'll put an ice cube in a
napkin and rub it on my face! Extreme, but it beats looking
like Mrs. Claus with rosy chipmunk cheeks. Good luck!
Not a drunk, it's just Rosacea!
I went through one round of antibiotics when my rosacea was
diagnosed, that cleared all the pimples (I had a very bad
breakout due to hot weather), then I used metronidazole cream
exclusively as a moisturizer and treatment, then I weaned myself
off of that after a year or so (you're supposed to stay on it or
don't use it at all), and now maintain my ruddy but zit-free
complexion with oil-free moisturizers containing alpha-lipoic
acid, which is supposed to reduce redness. I avoid scubbing or
steaming and only use very mild face cleanser, no soap.
There is no cure for Rosacea, and if you are lucky, you will get
red and not get the disfiguring kind (think WC Fields). That
seems to be more common in men, but women can get it too.
I do not believe there is anything topical that you can do about
it. What worked for me was lasers. It was EXPENSIVE. A few
grand, and I am supposed to go back every now and then for a
touch up. But I have not felt the need.
I have had rosacea for probablly 10-15 years. In my experience,
insurance companies do not consider this a ''cosmetic'' problem -
my insurance coverage over the years has been great, and I have
had different carriers. I was on a metrogel cream for years
that worked pretty well, then stopped working, and now I'm on a
different medication. There are several for the doctor to work
with. When the medication works, you would never know I have a
problem. When it doesn't, my skin looks terrible. I have not
changed diet, exercise or anything else. Good luck!
I'm also dealing with a red face and have researched
possible ''cures'' over the past few years. One suggestion often
found is to adjust your diet. Well, no way was I going to give
up my beloved cheese but after having a baby, I needed to adjust
my diet while breastfeeding due to the baby's allergy. And so I
discoved that the lack of cheese (eggs, soy, corn, sugars,
alcohol, caffiene) in my diet was quite detrimental to my
wellbeing and had absolutely to effect on my skin color! So I
continue to doubt the ''change your diet'' folks who suggest that
will cure my redness. My latest attempt will be (just bought
today) to use vitamin C topically. You can read some online
with a quick search under ''redness and ascorbic acid.'' And like
many products, you can pay $70 for the designer brand or $20 at
your local drug store. We'll see if it helps!
I have rosacea also and treat it by using pure aloe vera gel on
my face at least once a day. I have tried the antibiotics (in a
gel form) which work well for bad breakouts, but daily use of
aloe seems to keep it under control. I also found that sun
exposure helps, even though info recommends otherwise. I love
spicy food, sun and don't mind sweating - all the things that are
supposed to agitate the condition. However, the only thing I
found that really aggravates it, for me, is stress, harsh soap or
heavy lotions. Good luck!
I have had bouts with rosacea for at least a decade. When it got bad, I would go to
the dermatologist for topical and oral antibiotics--the topical creams only made it
worse. I finally discovered a line of products called MD Formulations, specifically
their ''Critical Care'' line, and my skin has never been happier. It is not cheap--but it
is so much better (and ultimately less expensive) than the medical alternatives. You
can find it at Bare Escentuals on 4th St in Berkeley.
rosacea no more!
I found out I had rosacea about 10 or 12 years ago. At that time
I started wearing a slightly tinted sunscreen lotion on my face
and it has made all the difference. I use Iminance by Lancome...
I like that the tint evens out the redness, but you could use any
sunscreen face lotion that agrees with your skin. Sun exposure
seems to have been the biggest trigger for me, because I sure
haven't given up hot beverages, spicy foods and everything else
that can make me flush!
Another note: another symptom I had as a result of Rosacea was a
chyllaseum (sp?) on my eyelid. I had it for almost a year before
an Optometrist asked if I had rosacea. He recommended using a 10
to 1 ratio of warm water and baby shampoo to clean off my eyelids
every night. To get rid of the existing unsightly chyllaseum, I
used hot, wet compresses a few times a day. It took a long time
to go away, but now I never have any problem, and don't even use
the baby shampoo procedure. I just need to clean my lids if it
seems like one might be coming in.
Good luck.... and don't let all of the literature scare you and
make you feel hopeless!
A former Rosacea sufferer
Everyone seems to have a different opinion about this---
including dermatologists. Here's what has worked for me:
I discovered that I was allergic to aloe vera, which triggered
the rosacea. It turns out practically all soaps have aloe in
them, so this is one thing to look out for.
I switched (completely) to products made by a German company
called Dr. Hauschka. All natural and very soothing (though
expensive). You can get them at Whole Foods or Rainbow Grocery
in San Francisco. They have a rosacea treatment, which really
worked for me. I also use the cleansing cream, the rose day
cream, and the toner.
Also, I read somewhere that one theory is that rosasea is a
reaction to a staph bacteria that many people have on their
hands and body. So as a precaution, I always dry my face with
a clean towel, and try to keep my hands away from my face.
I have gone from lots to red splotches to just sort of a red
nose (which I cover up with makeup).
According to a natural living website and newsletter that I subscribe to, rosacea is
caused by eating too many grains especially wheat and too much sugar. I have
recently discovered that I also have rosacea. I eat a lot of chocolate and bread! And
my diet has been like this for the last year, since I have had the problem. I haven't
been to the dermatologist, but I am going to try to cut out sweets. Search on
mercola.com for more info. I hope this helps.
red in the face too!
Traditional Chinese Medicine for Rosacea
Rosacea is hard to live with, and western medicine does
nearly nothing for it.
I have had rosacea for three years now, and have been
nearly totally healed with chinese medicine treatments
which include diet changes, herbs, compresses, and
The diet is very important, and is in line with what many
western doctors recommend: no caffeine, chocolate,
alcohol, spicy foods (including garlic and onions), and other
foods that cause your capillaries to dilate, which is what
triggers outbreaks. I can eat all the rice, bread, etc I want,
along with cooling foods like tofu, chicken, pork, fish (but not
shellfish) any vegetable, and most fruits with the exception
of tropical fruits (papaya, mango, strawberries, pineapple).
The herbs also work from the inside out to balance your
system. The compresses and ointment work on the skin
from the outside in.
I can't recommend this course of treatment enough. I was
initially going to a dermatologist who prescribed antibiotic
cream, which had no effect. With Chinese medicine, I went
from a very bad state to nearly perfect, smooth, non-ruddy
skin in less than three months. Initially, there was a major
improvement within 3 DAYS.
And now, 9 months later, I've even been able to start
drinking a little white wine again with no ill effects, which is
There's an excellent, nationally known practitioner in SF: Dr.
Jialing Yu, 415-337-0308. She's not very warm and fuzzy, but
boy does she know her stuff.
Best of luck.
I read the website and didn't find exactly what I'm looking for
so hopefully this will work: I'm seeking a natural medicine
person in the Oakland/Berkeley area. I have rosacea that is
getting increasingly worse as I age (I'm 40). I tried the
antibiotics and creams for about six months but didn't have any
luck. I am also developing more skin issues lately: toe fungus,
athlete's foot, eczema, psoriasis, itchiness. I have started
some anti-redness supplements and that seems to keep the
redness in my face in check.
I've read and heard that all these issues could be related to
something called ''leaky gut'' or too much yeast in the body and
a strict diet can help or get rid of the problem. However, I'm
horrified by the diet because it sounds impossible to stay on
and no fun at all (I love to eat, drink, entertain, cook).
I'm looking for someone who will be supportive, give me
guidance in making this radical lifestyle change, and, perhaps
someone who might be able to take a moderate approach toward
addressing this. Affiliation with Alta Bates Medical Group
would help financially, but things are bad enough, I need to do
I just wrote a response to the person looking for help with stomach problems, so
forgive me if I repeat myself. You may do well seeing a naturopathic doctor or
another type of practitioner who works a lot with supporting and balancing the
digestive system. I have worked with patients who have rosacea and have often seen
that the digestive system is indeed the culprit. The candida diet is one appropach
(and it IS hard!!!), but there are some supportive therapies that can make that MUCH
easier, and there are also tests that can be done to determine if that is indeed what
is going on. There are some excellent ND's here in the east bay who I'm sure would
be able to help you. Check out www.calnd.org to find a doc near you, or you can e-
mail or call my office at 925-602-0582 if you want more info. Good luck to you!
Tara Levy, ND
I just discovered that I have rosacea and I was wondering if anyone has any advice
about more natural treatments for this condition. And has anyone had any experience
with treating rosacea homeopathically? Any recommendations for a good homeopath
would also be appreciated. I noticed the archives are pretty out of date, in terms of
recommendations for homeopaths. Thanks!
My question to you is what is your real goal? Is your goal to do
whatever it takes to address this completely? Or is your goal to
manage it to be as comfortable as you can be in the moment?
An alternative treatment for rosacea is to begin drinking
HOMEMADE kefir daily. It will get worse for a few months while
everything is being pulled to the surface, and eventually will go
away altogether. The bad news is that it takes quite a long time
to fix this. The good news is that it FIXES it, rather than what
you can get otherwise, which is to address the symptoms, but not
the underlying issue.
The kefir_making group on yahoo is a great place to start, to get
information, etc. I have read a few accounts of people doing this
with great success. You just must have patience and see it
through. If you go this route, you need to start with small
amounts so you don't overwhelm your body with the die off.
I have to say that traditional Chinese medicine treatments
with a nationally acknowledged doctor have made all the
difference to me. I have gone from severe rosacea to
smooth, clear skin, all done with herbs, compresses,
ointment, and a restricted diet. This diet DOES NOT include
any large amounts of dairy like kefir, which Chinese
medicine principles say builds heat in the body which
exacerbates skin disorders.
If you are interested in trying these treatments, you can
contact Dr. Jialing Yu at 415-337-0308. People come from
all over the country to see her for a variety of skin ailments.
I suffered from Acne in my teen years and for past 7 years of
Rosacea. I would like to try Homeopathy. Does anybody know
anybody in this field.
My midwife mentioned that she has had great success with flax
seed oil for her rosacea. She drinks it in liquid form daily
and has found it very helpful- she mentioned that her rosacea
was previously very severe and I barely notice it at all now!
I was recently told I have rosacea. Can anyone recommend a sun
screen and daily moisturizer that doesn't make rosacea worse?
I have rosacea too -- oh joy! I have started using the Rodan
and Fields Calm regimen, and also got their book ''Unblemished''
with my order which details which sunscreens and moisturizers
are helpful, and not aggravating to this condition. I use
Eucerin Extra Protective Moisture Lotion for sensitive facial
skin -- it has an SPF of 30. It has worked well for me.
hope this helps
Two suggestions for you: Either Eucerin 30 or 15 sunblock is
good, and available at most drugstores, or you could go with a
more upscale product my facial lady suggested that I've been
very happy with - Dermalogica sheer moisture spf 15. It's a
very light moisturizer that uses zinc oxide as its blocking
agent. I've seen a marked improvement in my rosecea since I've
been using it. You might also try the Dermalogica anti-bacteria
wash. I've had fewer breakouts with that as well. Good luck!
I use the RS2 products, specifically made for rosacea and
sensitive skin, from the Pevonia Botanica skin care line. I
wouldn't normally pay this much for moisturizer and such, but
was sold when I went to a spa that uses Pevonia for their
facials. For the first time in my life, I walked out without
the red blotches I usually have because of my highly sensitive
skin. I've tried many products since this condition developed
and am most happy with Pevonia, so I've stuck with it. And
we're talking over 15 years of living with embarrassing patches
and redness! If used properly (our skin doesn't need as much
product as we think), the Care Cream (with UV protection) can
last for over 6 months. I purchased mine at the spa, but I'm
sure you can find the line with a quick Google. Good luck!
Cetaphil, definitely! My new dermatologist decided on my first
visit that what my previous dermatologist had been treating as
adult acne for years was really rosacea. So it's been the end
of antibiotics, various drying gels, exfoliant scrubs and alpha-
hydroxy products and the start of a soothing regimen of Cetaphil
cleanser morning and evening, Cetaphil daily facial moisturizer
w/ SPF 15 every morning, applied lavishly and a prescription
Sulfacet cream at night which seems to really help the rosacea
and acne-like symptoms. Good luck!
Clear skin at last
I've been told that I ''probably'' have rosacea, so this may not
be specific enough for you, but I've used Banana Boat ''faces''
for many years, and it's really the only sunscreen that I've
trusted not to cause a problem for my sensitive facial skin and
still effective at blocking the sun (I first discovered it when
doing long backpacking trips at high elevation, so was fighting
intense sun and heavy perspiration). I've never tried the
fancier things that everybody else mentioned: a dermatologist
once recommended a pricey everyday sunscreen/lotion to me, which
I tried and found that I ended up with sunburns, so I've stuck
with the cheaper things that I've found effective.
Has anyone had success at treating rosacea? I've tried the
prescription creams and gels. I also do my best to avoid the
activities that agravate it- like alcohol, chocolate, and sun
exposure. I'm hoping that there is a choice of treatment that is
herbal or of natural origin. Thanks.
I too have struggled, or more rightly, given up! I did read a
year or so ago, a study suggesting to eat red foods - cranberry,
raspberry, blackberry, beets and that many of these red foods
have a natural ingredint that can help. I did not put myself on
such a diet though.
Sorry this is so long and sounds like a commercial...but hope it
will help you.
Regarding rosacea, I've had it since I was at least 18, and
(finally!!) found some really useful information in a book by a
Dr. Nase (www.drnase.com). I was hesitant to buy the book
(about $39?) as I've been disappointed by the ''learn to love
your blemishes'' books that either tell you to avoid your
triggers and live in a bubble (what a horrible life!) or to give
up and hide them with makeup. Why no one seemed to try to help
fix the real problem (why your body overreacts to the triggers)
I was never sure. Also, I discovered this book on the internet,
and I tend to assume most things there are scams, but it was
highly recommended by several rosacea support groups (yes,
they're out there), so I tried it. I was so pleased with my
results that I recommended the book to my mother. The author
had a very severe case at a young age (college/med school) and
after trying treatments I consider very extreme (antibiotics,
steroids) he found some ''gentler'' ones that worked for him.
I've never even had a dermatologist who'd had rosacea before, so
this was really enlightening.
If you're like me and enjoy scientific data you'll love this
(finally understand more of the ''why''), but also has a summary
section if you just want the quick & dirty. There's a big
section reviewing different cleaning regimens & treatments
recommended by different people (think he did a survey), and I
found some really useful.
As far as natural (or at least non-extreme) remedies go, I've
had wonderful luck with a cleanser, lotion & a supplement
recommended in this book. The non-soap, non-drying cleanser is
made by Zia (has ''algae'' in the name) - its green. A little
pricey, but wonderful stuff - its really helped with my morning
symptoms. And, of course, not washing your face with hot water
helps too. I've also used Oil of Olay moisturizer with SPF 15
(fragrance free) for years and swear by it - get flushes every
time I try something else.
I also took grape seed extract until I found out I was pregnant,
and it really seemed to help. I think its an antioxidant, so
like Vitamin C can't really hurt unless you get carried away
with it. I read up on it elsewhere and found out that its
supposed to help make your capillaries stronger, so maybe that's
why it worked for me. I had no side effects, just less
Ironically, being pregnant (which is, after all, natural) seems
to have almost totally supressed my symptoms, which makes me
wonder how much of mine was due to hormone imbalances or
something I've stopped eating/drinking. Also think I was much
worse when I worked in a different skyscraper, but that's
As an aside, and I do hate it when people tell you to just hide
your breakouts, I've had wonderful luck with a powder makeup
called bare minerals (from bare essentuals). I hate makeup, but
its super light and really does hide the discoloration
beautifully. Someone gave to me as a gift, and again, its not
cheap, but has lasted me for months and is great on the days
when I just feel like WC Fields.
Good luck to you - I know its not fun! I recommend the internet
support groups if you get really frustrated - lots of nice
people eager to talk with you about it.
I am a nursing mother with rosacea and am curious to know how other
people deal with the frequent flare-ups.
While I have not had your experience, I have read about rosacea for some
clients. In some cases, low HCl in the stomach may cause rosacea. It's
hard to test for low HCl, however. One could try a digestive aid and see if
that mitigates the reccurence. Betaine HCl is sold in some supplements.
Follow the instructions carefully.
I have rosacea & have started to research different solutions. Has anyone in this group
had experience with laser treatments, photoderm or photofacials? Does anyone have a
particular dermatologist to recommend in relation to rosacea (I did look through the
archives)? Also, does anyone have any input on Dr. Ernest Bloom? I went to him for a
consultation & wanted to get some input.
Before trying anything drastic (including prescription drugs) you should probably know
that many rosacea "treatments" are ineffective. I tried two or three rounds of
antibiotics, plus various creams and gels, before giving up. I found that simple
treatments are the best: start with pure aloe vera gel and see if there is any
improvment (give yourself a month). Then try Gold Bond medicated lotion - it's
available at any drugstore and has some mysterious ingredient that has worked
wonders for me. I'm finally finally free of outbreaks - after two years of frustration with
the dermatology establishment!
I saw your posting on the UCB Parents Network about rosacea. My daughter has a port
wine stain and we've rec'd a number of treatments from two doctors:
Dr. Beech-Shay at Kaiser Fremont
Dr. Iona Friedan UCSF Medical Center
Dr. Friedan is very well known in her field and has extensive experience and research
background in laser treatments. My daughter's port wine stain has lightened
considerably and we get yearly treatments to keep it from getting darker. I believe
rosacea is easier to treat and has a higher success rate. I know less about Dr.
Beech-Shay but have used her on
several occasions. We have found Kaiser is very friendly to laser treatment for port
wine stains, they've covered it completely and without question for several years now.
Health Net on the other hand stopped covering the laser
costs, claiming it was cosmetic when there are known health-related issues to port wine
stains. I hope that helps. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
There is a lot of info on the internet as well.
You don't mention whether you are currently taking medication for this. If not, I would
recommend seeing a dermatologist as soon as possible and getting started. It can take a
couple of months to get an appointment, and months for the medication to start having
its effect. I have found the medication to be quite helpful, and can even get rid of it
in some people.I can recommend both Camilla McCalmont (El Cerrito) and Cornelia
Pessoa (south Berkeley). I have no
experience with lasers, etc to get rid of the after-effects, however.
I was so glad to see your posting. I just found out I have rosacea and am trying to figure
out what will help. FYI, the National Rosacea Society sent me a list of doctors in the
area who specialize. In Berkeley/Oakland, one is not taking new patients, one won't
take Healthnet/Alta Bates Medical Group but his name is Leslie Hilger 652-8091. The
other one is taking appointments in August, Ervin H. Epstein 444-8282.
I also just found out that I have a mild case of rosecea. My dermatologist recommended
an antibiotic called Metrocreme (it's also available in gel form). Although evidently this
doesn't work for everyone, it has worked wonders for me. My flare-ups had been very
common on days when I was out in the sun even for a short while (in spite of having
applied sunscreen) or in the wind, on my bike, etc. It seemed increasingly difficult to
avoid flare-ups (which consisted of my cheeks beginning to tingle first, then really burn
as though I'd gotten a sunburn; if the trigger wasn't removed, this flare-up also
involved my eyes). About two weeks after beginning the Metrocreme, exactly the
opposite is true: now I don't remember the last time that I had a major flare-up, and
even minor flare-ups are very infrequent. My dermatologist, by the way, specifically
recommended *against* using aloe vera, which he said can irritate the skin for many
He also recommended a wonderful, reasonably priced, no-nonsense
suncreen/moisturizer from a company called Person & Covey (in Glendale;
800-423-2341). It used to be that I could not use moisturizer with suncreen without
flaring up at least a little, particularly with higher SPF numbers. But I am able to use
the #15 and #50 by this company (which specializes in products for problem skin)
without any negative effects whatsoever. To find this moisturizer, you need to call the
company directly. I ordered some over the phone, and it arrived with no problems or
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