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Tips for treating rosacea

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Reviewed by Marta July 21, 2010 10 Comments

I recently found myself in Europe with an outbreak of rosacea and none of my tried and trusted cures to hand. The silver lining is that I realized that by trial, error and research I have come up with a few rosacea treatments that are worth passing on. In particular, you might be surprised to learn that next time I go away I’ll be packing my vitamin D supplements.

In recent years, scientists have been connecting some dots between rosacea and vitamin D. First off, in 2007, Dr Richard Gallo of the University of California discovered that peptides known as cathelicidins and the proteolytic enzymes that activate cathelicidins in the skin are abnormal in patients with rosacea. This revelation turned out to be a breakthrough and sent a whole bunch of scientists off in a new direction. Then a study in Belgium aggregated all the research in the last couple of years has made a connection between the regulation of cathelicidins and vitamin D.

Concidentally, I was diagnosed last year as vitamin D deficient and have since been taking supplements. Is this one of the reasons why my rosacea has been so much better in the last six months or so? Is the fact that I went on vacation without the supplements the cause of its return? I’m not sure, but vitamin D is definitely now part of my anti-rosacea arsenal. Apparently, vitamin A interferes with D, so avoid retinols if you decide to give this therapy a go.

It has been a long time since I’ve needed the really heavy guns. But chronic rosacea sufferers might be interested in the prescription-only Desonide lotion. With 0.5% Desonide, this is a low potency cortisone cream to be used very, very judiciously.  On bad days, I find it helpful to reach for Exederm Flare Control Cream. This is really for eczema, but it seems to help my rosacea with its 1% hydrocortisone.

Much to my surprise (since it has alpha hydroxy acids), I have found Chella Enzyme Formula Exfoliating Crema Mask is hugely helpful. Actually, it is billed as for sensitive skins and rosacea. I find it calms things down greatly and it was the first thing I turned to when I got back home to New York.

I also find Your Best Face Balance very soothing.  It has niacin, which helps regulate the skin. Dr Hauschka’s  Rhythmic Conditioner doesn’t treat rosacea, much less prevent it. However, it does help reduce redness and, to some extent, mends broken veins. So far, the best broken vein reducer I have found is E’shee’s Serum – not a rosacea product per se, it has broken vein mending horse chestnut and is does a good job of stopping me look like Mrs Angry.

  • March 11, 2011

    by marta

    Red light, Julie

  • March 10, 2011

    by Julie Kay

    Which light, Marta? ~jk

  • March 10, 2011

    by Angela J

    I will be anxiously awaiting the final verdict and in the mean time, I'll do as little as possible in the hope that less is more.

    Thanks, Marta!

  • March 10, 2011

    by marta

    Angela, I do sympathize and I have had a similar problem and was at my wits' end as well.

    Then I got an idea last week when I was at an Osmotics press event. They claim that Blue Copper works for rosacea and one of Osmotics people peered at my cheeks and recommended it for me. So I've been using LED light (Aurora) with a smear of Blue Copper 5 Molecular Repair Treatment. Its been 5 days (with day 3 being an involuntary day off as there was too much else going on) and it has definitely helped a lot. I'm trying not to jump the gun and get too excited, but if it carries on like this then I'll write a post early next week.

  • March 10, 2011

    by Angela J

    Hi Marta,

    I've been plagued by a severe rosacea flare-up since early January and I'm at my wits' end. All the tried & trues in my arsenal haven't helped - YBF Restore, Jurlique Calendula Cream, Astara Blue Flame Mask, Skin Nutrition Cell CPR, Osmosis Replenish (old formula), L'uvalla Regenerating Day & Night Cream.

    It's so bad I even resorted to western medicine after the nasty potion my acupuncturist gave me didn't help. My m.d. gave me an Rx for topical Metronidazole which I've been using for the last few days but I'd like to steer away from long-term use of antibiotics (the instructions make it seem like I'll need to use it forever -- assuming it actually works) as I believe they upset the skin's balance just as they upset intestinal balance when taken orally.

    I can't decide if I should try the Rhythmic Repair, E'shee serum or perhaps ReLuma or something else. Do you have any ideas/suggestions on which might be the best to deal with not only extreme redness, but bumps and whiteheads/pustules.

    Thanks as always for your sage advice.

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