Acne Rosacea

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Latest Edit: Hector 2014-05-06 (EDT)

Acne Rosacea, sometimes referred to as rosacae, is a chronic skin condition that involves inflammation and redness of the nose, forehead, chin, eyelids or cheeks. It is more common in fair-skinned individuals and those between 30 and 60 years of age. It is more common in women (a ratio of three to one), but more severe in men. [1]

Rosacea face.jpg

Causes Dietary Factors, High Acidity, Stress, Environmental Chemicals
See Also Skin Conditions, Hypochlorhydria, PMS
Books Books on Skin Diseases such as The Clear Skin Diet and others.
Articles Articles on Dermatology / Skin Conditions

Naturopathic Assessment

Causal Factors

Rosacea is an inflammatory condition it can be triggered by many different factors.

Check out this book Rosacea: Your Self-Help Guide


  • Rosacea is often exacerbated by ingestion of hot or spicy foods and drinks.
  • There is often a correlation between alcohol consumption (especially red wine) and rosacea flare-ups. This is associated with increased vasodilation due to alcohol's action on the brain and subsequent flushing[2]
  • Food intolerances can trigger rosacea. The specific food triggers are unique to each person, but can include soy[3]
  • Strenuous exercise can exacerbate rosacea.


  • Emotional stress can trigger a flare-up. Those with rosacea tend to have more stressful situations in their life.[4]
  • The onset of rosacea itself is associated with increased anxiety, depression and emotional stress.
  • Social anxiety may increase facial blood flow, and hence rosacea episodes, when embarrassed.[5]


  • Climate
  • Sun exposure may be aggravating.[6].
  • Climatic phenomenon such as El Nino may be implicated in the occurrence of skin conditions such as rosacea due to increased heat exposure known to exacerbate the condition [7].
  • A local infection may trigger the onset of rosacea.


Medical Interventions

  • Prescription Medications
  • Topical corticosteroid use can lead to Rosacea like dermatitis [9].


  • Upto 50% of the Asian population is known to have aldehyde dehydrogenase deficiency which is associated with flushing as seen with alcohol consumption, which is known to exacerbate rosacea and acne [10].
  • Increased expression of Toll Like Receptor 2 (TLR2) is seen with rosacea which is associated with the it's pathogenesis and may explain the overactive inflammatory response seen with environmental stimuli [11].
  • Northern European origin is correlated with high levels of rosacea with about 1/3 having associated family history [6]

Diagnostic Testing

The assessment and diagnosis is typically made by inspection of the skin. Laboratory tests are not required unless ruling out other associated conditions or testing for suspected causal factors.

Related Symptoms and Conditions

Rosacea involves swelling of the blood vessels just under the skin. It is often associated with other disorders such as:


  • More commonly refers to those between 30 and 50 years of age.
  • Frequent redness (erythema) of the face including forehead, cheeks, and nose and around the eyes.
  • Easy flushing and blushing
  • Sometimes a burning or stinging feeling in the face
  • Small, red lines or spider-like vessels (called telangiectasia) under the skin
  • Pimples or other eruptions similiar to acne. The number of skin lesions is typically low.
  • irritated, bloodshot, watery eyes
  • Severe cases can have numerous pustules, telangiectasia, diffuse erythema, oily skin, and edema of the cheeks and nose.
  • Chronic, deep inflammation of the nose can lead to irreverisble skin thickening condition called rhinophyma. This is more common in men.
  • Other symptoms that can occur include red, dry itchy eyes which may cause vision problems.

Common Questions

When assessing rosacea your naturopathic doctor will examine your skin and inquire about the following:

  • When did your rosacea develop?
  • Is it acute or chronic?
  • What makes it better or worse?
  • What are your hygiene habits?
  • What other symptoms are associated with the rosacea?
  • What impact does it have to your health and activities of daily living?
  • What are your other health concerns?

Naturopathic Treatment

The goal of naturopathic treatment is to support and work in tandem with the healing power of the body and to address the causal factors of disease with individual treatment strategies. Rosacea is a chronic disease with acute flare-ups. Treating other associated skin conditions will often alleviate the frequency and severity of flare-ups.

It is always advisable to work with a naturopathic doctor before engaging in any treatment plan.

Home Care

Home Care strategies include:

  • The first step of any treatment plan is to maintain a diary of symptoms tracking diet, activity level, stress and other outside influences that may be triggering a flare-up.
  • Avoid direct sun exposure, especially during the heat of the day.
  • Avoid a lot of activity in hot weather
  • Avoid triggers such as wind, cold weather
  • Choose chemical-free, natural skin products
  • Pay attention to your reaction to any new products that you apply to the skin


Lifestyle recommendations include:

  • Dietary recommendations
  • Avoid food allergies and food intolerances.
  • Alcohol is a common trigger.
  • Hot, spicy foods and beverages will often worsen rosacea or trigger a flare-up.
  • Consider adding Cabbage juice and Oatmeal to the diet.
  • Ensure you drink adequate water.

Naturopathic Therapies

The prescribing of naturopathic therapies requires the guidance of a naturopathic doctor as it depends on a number of factors including the causal factors, a person's age, prescription medications, other conditions and symptoms and overall health. It is always advisable to work with a naturopathic doctor prior to taking any natural therapies.

Naturopathic Therapies for rosacea include:

  • Diaphoretic herbs aid the skin in the elimination of toxins and promote perspiration.
  • Homeopathics are often beneficial in the treatment of rosacea.
  • Acupuncture can assist in decreases the internal heat in the body.


Reviewed by Iva Lloyd, BScH, RPE, ND [1]

  1. Murray Michael 1996 Encyclopedia of Nutritional Supplements, The Essential Guide for Improving Your Health Naturally Prima Publishing
  2. Kazakevich N, Moody MN, Landau JM, Goldberg LH (2011) Alcohol and skin disorders: with a focus on psoriasis. Skin Therapy Lett.;16(4):5-6 PMID: 21611681
  3. Guin JD, Hoskyn J (Oct 2005) Aggravation of rosacea by protein contact dermatitis to soy. Contact Dermatitis.;53(4):235-6. PMID: 16191023.
  4. Sowińska-Gługiewicz I, Ratajczak-Stefańska V, Maleszka R (2005) Role of psychological factors in course of the rosacea. Rocz Akad Med Bialymst.;50 Suppl 1:49-53. PMID: 16119626.
  5. Drummond PD, Su D (Apr 2012) The relationship between blushing propensity, social anxiety and facial blood flow during embarrassment. Cogn Emot.;26(3):561-7. PMID: 21942555.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Yamasaki K, Gallo RL (2009) The molecular pathology of rosacea. J Dermatol Sci;55(2):77-81. PMID:19481425
  7. Gutierrez EL, Galarza C, Ramos W, Mendoza M, Smith ME, Ortega-Loayza AG (2010) Influence of climatic factors on the medical attentions of dermatologic diseases in a hospital of Lima, Peru. An Bras Dermatol;85(4):461-8. PMID:20944906
  8. Jappe U, Schnuch A, Uter W (Feb 2005) Rosacea and contact allergy to cosmetics and topical medicaments--retrospective analysis of multicentre surveillance data 1995-2002. Contact Dermatitis.;52(2):96-101. PMID: 15725288.
  9. Rathi SK, Kumrah L (2011) Topical corticosteroid-induced rosacea-like dermatitis: a clinical study of 110 cases. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol;77(1):42-6. PMID:21220878
  10. Kazakevich N, Moody MN, Landau JM, Goldberg LH (2011) Alcohol and skin disorders: with a focus on psoriasis. Skin Therapy Lett.;16(4):5-6 PMID: 21611681.
  11. Yamasaki K, Kanada K, Macleod DT, Borkowski AW, Morizane S, Nakatsuji T, Cogen AL, Gallo RL (2011) TLR2 expression is increased in rosacea and stimulates enhanced serine protease production by keratinocytes. J Invest Dermatol;131(3):688-97. PMID:21107351.