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Rosacea

Rosacea

Rosacea

Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

Rosacea is a chronic, inflammatory, acne-like eruption on the face of middle-aged and older adults characterised by facial reddening.  Most cases are associated with moderate to severe sebum production, which can give rise to pustules.

It primarily occurs over the cheeks and nose. More common in middle-aged to older women, but more severe in men.

Causes / Triggers of Rosacea

  • Hormonal imbalance (e.g. perimenopause)
  • Thyroid disorders
  • Demodex infection on skin
  • Poor digestive function – in particular low stomach acid and small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO)
  • Exposure to sun and heat (e.g. hot baths, hot weather)
  • Emotional stress
  • Food allergy
  • Spicy foods, alcohol and hot drinks may all exacerbate symptoms as they cause facial blood vessels to dilate
  • Topical corticosteroids: have a profoundly harmful effect and should be avoided

Signs & symptoms of Rosacea

  • Facial erythema especially forehead, nose, cheeks and chin
  • May also involve telangiectasia, raised papules and pustules

Differential diagnosis

  • Acne vulgaris
  • Seborrheic dermatitis

TREATMENT STRATEGY FOR ROSACEA

  • Address endocrine dysfunction (adrenal, thyroid, sex hormones)
  • Assess gut integrity for infections and bacterial overgrowth, improve digestive function and balance bowel microflora
  • Avoid food triggers
  • Reduce skin inflammation
  • Support immune system
  • Manage stress

Diet plan guidelines for Rosacea

  • Identify and avoid food triggers
  • Food allergens may be involved in rosacea – casein, in particular, is implicated.
  • Spicy foods, alcohol, coffee, hot beverages and sugar should also be avoided as they may exacerbate rosacea
  • Minimise pro-inflammatory foods: sugar, refined carbohydrates, trans fats, excessive commercially produced red meat, omega-6 fatty acids, caffeine and alcohol
  • Emphasise anti-inflammatory foods: in cold-water oily fish, berries, nuts and seeds, turmeric, ginger, green tea, olive oil
  • Emphasise antioxidant-rich foods to promote tissue repair: berries, green tea, turmeric, fruits and vegetables
  • High fibre diet to support bowel function and growth of beneficial gut flora, and promote clearance of estrogen metabolites
  • Probiotic foods to support healthy immune response and reduce intestinal permeability
  • Include bitter foods, lemon juice and/or apple cider vinegar to support digestion of food
  • Include adequate protein and healthy fats to support hormone synthesis
  • Include phyto-estrogenic foods in estrogen dominance or deficiency
  • Include cruciferous vegetables to support liver clearance of estrogen metabolites

Supplements that support Rosacea

  • Digestive enzymes/betaine hydrochloride: to support digestive function
  • Omega-3 EFA’s: to reduce skin inflammation. Cod liver oil is a good source of omega-3’s, vitamin A and vitamin D
  • Vitamin C and bioflavonoids: to support immune health
  • Probiotics: to support immune and digestive health, especially Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (LGG) and Bifidobacteria longum BL999. Saccharomyces boulardii has been found to reduce intestinal permeability
  • Glutamine: to reduce intestinal permeability
  • Zinc: to support immune and skin health
  • Curcumin: powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory

Herbal medicine treatment for Rosacea

  • Digestive stimulants: gentian, ginger, goldenseal, andrographis, dandelion
  • Antimicrobials: barberry, goldenseal, chamomile
  • Anti-inflammatory: turmeric, ginger
  • Hormone balance: depends on individual case

Lifestyle / Physical measures to improve Rosacea

  • Avoid environmental triggers e.g. too much sunlight, overheating, hot weather conditions, heavy exercise etc.
  • Manage stress: yoga, breathing, meditation
  • Avoid topical corticosteroids

FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE TREATMENT OF ROSACEA

The above considerations may help in the management of Rosacea symptoms.  For long term resolution it is important to assess underlying dysfunction. 

Our functional medicine approach resolves the root causes of rosacea by addressing key areas that drive the condition such as gut infections, bacterial overgrowth, hormone balancing and estrogen clearance.  Poor methylation function is also a contributing factor in the clearance of estrogens.

If you or a family member are suffering from rosacea or require assistance with another skin condition we would love to hear from you.  What triggered your Rosacea?  What are the best treatments you have implemented to improve your Rosacea?  Please write a comment below.

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Jarrod Cooper – ND

Jarrod Cooper – ND

Jarrod Cooper - ND is the founder of Advanced Functional Medicine Australia. He is a Naturopathic Doctor with extensive functional medicine training from leading practitioners in the USA and worldwide.

He is leading the way with advancements of functional medicine, clinically implementing worldwide best practices in Functional Medicine throughout Australia.

Jarrod consults in person from Perth, Western Australia and also online via Telehealth throughout Australia and worldwide.

If you are looking for personalised treatment, we highly recommend contacting Jarrod Cooper’s Advanced Functional Medicine clinic in Australia.

1 Comment

  1. […] Rosacea, or acne rosacea, is a non-contagious skin inflammation that only affects the face. The small surface blood vessels (capillaries) of the skin enlarge, giving the appearance of a permanent flush. The forehead, cheeks, and chin may develop yellow-headed pimples. Unlike acne, rosacea does not scar. […]

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