Do you have pimples, but also extremely sensitive skin, flushing of the skin, and redness all the time? You may not have acne, but acne rosacea. This changes everything, and it’s possible that another approach, from within, could help.
Acne rosacea is an inflammatory skin condition characterized by facial flushing and tenderness.
This condition is more and more frequent, and it is very difficult to live with. Above all, she really likes to cover her tracks.
- Acne rosacea is often inconspicuous on young skin, and can therefore go unnoticed for a long time. It tends to get worse after the age of 30, and it is usually after that age that it is noticed. In women, from peri-menopause (which can begin 10 years before menopause, so often in the early 40s), under the influence of the loss of progesterone, rosacea tends to ignite.
- Called “the curse of the Celts” in popular culture, it tends to affect people with pale skin. But it will sometimes also be found in people with darker skin.
- Despite its name, it should not be confused with acne vulgaris. Acne rosacea is characterized by “flushes”: embarrassing hot flashes that set the skin on fire and easily make it scarlet. It is also accompanied by hypersensitivity of the skin, making any choice of cosmetic product very difficult.
This is why if your skin is red and you have pimples, the first good instinct is to go to a dermatologist. In general, simple clinical observation will allow him to make the diagnosis, which is essential.
So be sure to be sure of your condition, and listen to his advice. A dual approach is often what gives the best results.
Some facts about acne rosacea
It is a progressive skin condition. In other words, it tends to get worse, which makes prevention essential. Allopathic medicine will recommend above all to avoid aggravating factors, such as alcohol, spicy foods, temperature variations, sun exposure.
The causes of acne rosacea are not well understood. We recognize its inflammatory and vascular nature, but the various theories incriminating the presence of a skin parasite (Demodex) and a bacteria of the stomach (Helicobacter pylori) remain unproven.
No definitive treatment
There are no treatments that can permanently cure rosacea. This is why most allopathic treatments rely on:
- Local treatments (Metronidazole, Azelaic acid) and general treatments (antifungals, antibiotics) to stem attacks and fight pimples.
- Vascular lasers or pulsed light to reduce redness.
What I recommend when people come to me for acne rosacea (naturopathic approach)
Acne rosacea has two indisputable characteristics: it is an inflammatory and vascular problem. This is why an internal approach, aimed at reducing inflammation and strengthening the health of the venous system (which depends on the liver) is in my opinion essential.
My advice is above all to adopt an anti-inflammatory lifestyle, the main points of which are:
1. Anti-inflammatory diet
- No sugar, high glycemic index foods, gluten, alcohol, and dairy products. These are the most inflammatory foods, and also those to which we are most often intolerant. These foods are rich in arachidonic acid which increases prostaglandins E2 (a metabolite of pro-inflammatory arachidonic acid). Gluten should often be avoided altogether, as even minimal and intermittent exposure can reignite the condition.
- Fruits and especially fresh organic vegetables, some of which are raw, are anti-inflammatory and “feed” the good bacteria in your intestinal flora, which is very important at this stage.
Eat a lot of omega-3s. Either in the seeds or oils of flax, hemp or in fish such as sardines, herring, anchovies, mackerel, salmon, wild trout. An imbalance in the ratio of omega-6s and omega-3s can help increase inflammation through the production of prostaglandins E2.
- Zinc is a micronutrient that has been shown to moderate inflammation. Oysters, wheat germ, pumpkin seeds, lentils are rich in them. If necessary, supplementation with chelated zinc may be considered. Zinc supplementation at a relatively low dose of 20 mg per day resulted in an approximately 75% reduction in rosacea symptoms over a 3-month period.
- Be very generous with all the anti-inflammatory herbs and spices (if tolerated of course): turmeric, garlic, ginger, onions, carrots, all the cabbage.
- Drink green tea instead of coffee (no more than 3 cups per day)
2. Restore a healthy intestinal flora
This is one of the points where the natural approach differs from the allopathic approach. Indeed, according to many naturopaths, including J.E. Pizzorno, rosacea is often the consequence of food or digestive problem. Therefore, reconstituting the intestinal flora is an essential gesture. However, taking antibiotics, often recommended in allopathic medicine, harms the balance of this flora …
- Identify possible food intolerances: People with food intolerances and/or bowel disease are most likely to suffer from rosacea. If necessary, consult to request intolerance tests (unfortunately poorly reimbursed, quite expensive, and often unreliable) or first eliminate the 4 groups most likely to trigger intolerance (gluten, sugar, alcohol, dairy products, etc.) some people) and if the improvement is not felt after 4/5 weeks, consider testing.
- If possible, do not take the contraceptive pill, which is harmful to the intestinal flora and/or antibiotics.
- Eat Lacto-fermented foods (and therefore make them regularly).
- Take quality probiotics, at least 3 courses per year, starting with 5 billion strains, then 10 billion.
- Make sure that you are making enough digestive acids: if you suffer from reflux or bloating, possibly take betaine hydrochloride.
- Control stress, which is always an aggravating factor. It acts like gasoline thrown on a fire.
- Get a massage at least once a month.
- For women: spend enough time with other women (which stimulates oxytocin, the hormone that protects us under stress).
- Practice moderate physical activity (daily walking is ideal).
- Meditation or cardiac coherence have a medically recognized effect on our perception of stress. It only takes 10 minutes a day to reap the benefits.
- Take magnesium on a regular basis (2 to 3 cures per year minimum)
4. Avoid environmental toxins (pesticides, plastics, mercury, etc.)
5. Wear sunscreen every day at the first rays of the sun.
6. Do not smoke….
How to set up a skincare routine?
My product-level advice depends mainly on the intensity of the rosacea. I use the following criteria to determine the intensity (note, these are personal criteria):
Stage 1: Pre-rosacea: sensitive skin, with a tendency to hot flashes, flushing or occasional flushing (less than once a week)
Stage 2: Mild rosacea: sensitive skin, with hot flashes, flushing or frequent flushing (more than once a week)
Stage 3: Moderate rosacea: permanent redness with hot flashes, flushing, or frequent flushing.
Stage 4: Severe rosacea: permanent redness with hot flashes, flushing or frequent flushing, with pimples and pus peaks (very common in women after 30-40 years).
Stage 5: Very severe rosacea: in addition to various signs of stages 1, 2, 3, 4, this stage is accompanied by additional signs: for example a tendency to edema (water retention, swollen face), and/or thickened skin (especially around the nose), and/or skin that is grainy to the touch.
Stage 6: Hypertrophic rosacea: Rhinophyma or hypertrophic phase of thickening of the tissues of the nose. It is rare to get to stage 6, and it usually affects men.