Ask Kitty Magoo: Treating Rosacea Naturally
My dermatologist told me I have rosacea. What is it, and what can I do to treat it?
Signed, Rosy in Rosendale
According to Susan West Kurz, esthetician and author of Awakening Beauty the Dr. Hauschka Way, “Rosacea is an inflammation of the capillaries within the dermis. The capillaries may become so swollen that they become visible, creating a spidery web of inflamed vessels that are sometimes covered with a thin layer of oil.” A more acute phase, called acne rosacea, is a combination of swollen capillaries and blemishes.
While rosacea’s causes are not well understood, diet, heredity, food allergies, and alcohol may be factors. In addition, many people with rosacea find that it’s triggered and/or exacerbated by spicy foods, wine, and caffeine. Esthetician and product formulator Evan Healy points out that sun exposure, hot or cold weather, and emotional stress can also worsen rosacea.
To alleviate symptoms, both Kurz and Healy advocate dietary changes; Kurz suggests keeping a food diary so you can note any correlation between symptoms and specific foods. It’s probably a good idea to eliminate common offenders like alcohol and caffeine. Not easy, I know, but hopefully worth it!
In terms of topically treating rosacea naturally, Healy recommends a treatment regimen that balances oil production, shrinks pores, calms redness, and detoxifies blemishes. Use a gentle, creamy cleanser to soothe, a facial oil to help regulate sebum, and, when you’re not experiencing an active outbreak, a clay mask to help detoxify skin and minimize pore size. Combining dietary changes with this regimen should help ease your symptoms.