Here at Organics.com we stock an abundance of natural products we have hand selected and highly recommend. As the chronic inflammatory skin condition Rosacea now seems to be affecting one in ten people in the UK alone, we felt it was necessary to look at natural solutions which help combat this skin condition.
Several members of our own Organics.com team suffer from Rosacea and have had amazing results with Mama Nature’s Proskin Rosacea treatment but we wanted to dig a little deeper and look at not only what we could put on our skin but fundamentally how we could heal this skin condition from the inside by addressing some of the root causes of Rosacea.
How Can Your Diet Help With Your Rosacea Symptoms?
We decided to ask UK based Nutritional Therapist, Sarah Brookes and Founder of www.autoimmunehub.co.uk who has treated many Rosacea candidates with diet and nutrition for her advice. We are delighted Sarah has shared with us her research on the potential causes of Rosacea, the link between the skin and digestion, food sensitivities and foods and products to avoid if you suffer from Rosacea. Sarah has many Rosacea soothing tips and guts healing protocols to share alongside lifestyle advice such as avoiding alcohol and too much sunlight which can aggravate the condition.
We hope these recommendations help you on your healing journey and don’t forget there is a natural calming solution immediately to hand with Mama Nature’s Proskin Rosacea Natural Skin Cream. A very effective natural skin care cream which contains calendula extract and a unique blend of essential oils. These oils have been clinically proven to be able to heal the Rosacea skin condition and relieve the symptoms of redness, inflammation, pain, and itching around the cheeks, nose, and face.
What is Rosacea?
Rosacea, or acne rosacea, is a chronic inflammatory skin disorder that affects the nose and cheeks and is usually abnormally red and may be covered with pimples or pustules similar to acne vulgaris. Rosacea inflammation is vascular and occurs between the ages of 25 and 70 and is more common in people with fair complexions of European descent. It is also more common in women (3:1) but symptoms can be more severe in men.
What is the main cause of Rosacea?
The cause of Rosacea is poorly understood, however, there are numerous theories and several suspected causes. Due to more people of northern European descent being affected it is hypothesised that there may be a genetic component, which has not yet been fully identified. However many of the causative triggers are experienced by people without rosacea, therefore it is thought that people with rosacea must have some kind of inherent sensitivity to these triggers. Otherwise, it is thought to result from a combination of immune dysregulation, abnormal neurological and vascular signalling and an imbalance in the gut bacteria, which lead to skin sensitivity and inflammation (Weiss & Katta, 2017).
Other causative factors include alcoholism, menopausal flushing and the mite (Demodex folliculorum).
Many people with acne rosacea are thought to have a particular strain of H.Pylori infection as it is closely associated with its occurrence and its eradication may have a therapeutic benefit (Yang, 2018). This specific strain (CagA) is thought to increase vasoactive histamines as well as other inflammatory mediators.
Studies have also shown small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) to be connected (Parodi et al. 2008). This is not a strain of bad bacteria, but rather a collection of good bacteria functioning in the wrong place having migrated upwards from the large intestine to the small intestine. This is best addressed with the guidance of a nutritional therapist or with your GP. Studies have shown eradication of both H.pylori and SIBO can help put rosacea into complete remission (Parodi et al. 2008).
Other gastrointestinal disorders such as celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and IBS have been found to be associated in a large population-based cohort study. Therefore if other GI complaints exist further investigations should be sought (Egeberg et al. 2017).
What Foods should I avoid?
In addition, causes associated with diet directly have been found to have an impact and could include food allergies or intolerances, vaso-dilating triggers or a vitamin B deficiency. To eliminate the causes of flushing there could be some quick wins to try but each individual will need to go through a process of identifying their own. These could include:
● Hot spicy food
● Caffeinated drinks
● Exposure to extremes of hot and cold temperatures including ingestion of hot liquids
● Excessive sunlight
● Cinnamaldehyde found in tomatoes, citrus, cinnamon, and chocolate is less common but worth investigating.
Effective Dietary Treatment for Rosacea
Everyone is different and I would never suggest a one-size-fits-all approach, however here are some areas that could help:
Address low stomach acid
H.pylori infection as well as stress, worry and depression can lead to a low production of stomach acid. This low output could also impact the secretion of your digestive enzymes so an HCL and pancreatic supplement could be beneficial.
Zinc & B complex supplementation
Zinc is necessary not only for stomach acid production but also good for immune and skin health. Many sufferers may be deficient. While you should avoid high dose Niacin (B3) deficiencies in the other B vitamins have been found and a B complex supplement could help.
Stabilize blood sugars & insulin
This is recommended for good health in general, but can also support people who are stressed. Aim to avoid foods high in refined sugars and carbohydrates such as soft drinks, sweets and flour products such as bread, noodles, pancakes, pasta, cakes, and biscuits. Aim for whole grains, legumes, and pulses such as rice and oats in their harvested form, lentils, chickpeas and beans as well as other high fibre foods such as whole fruit and vegetables, nuts and seeds. Dietary fibre can also act as a prebiotic which can feed and improve the diversity of our gut bacteria. In addition make sure you are eating good quality protein from meat, fish and vegetarian products that are whole and not processed. Go for organic if you can.
Eliminate trans fats
Avoid dairy such as milk and cheese and hydrogenated oils found in margarine, shortening and fried foods, etc. These fats can be inflammatory. Aim to eat good fats such as flaxseed, olive oil, coconut products, and avocados. Oily fish provides good amounts of omega 3 which is anti-inflammatory. Try salmon, mackerel, anchovies, sardines, and herring.
Avoid vaso-dilating foods & investigate intolerances and allergies
Try Eliminating foods mentioned above such as spicy foods, coffee, alcohol, and hot liquids as well as chocolate, citrus and cinnamon. Work with a nutritional therapist to identify food intolerances or allergies. If migraine headaches accompany rosacea then this could signal food intolerances more specifically. Avoid foods high in iodised salt.
Finally, always keep your GP well informed of what you are doing and make sure any nutritional therapist works alongside your GP too. Nutritional therapy is evidence-based and can help you relieve your symptoms naturally and effectively.
Agnoletti, AF. DeCol, E. Parodi, A et al. (2017). ’Etiopathogenesis of rosacea: a prospective study with a three-year follow-up’, Italian Journal of Dermatology & Venereology. 152 (5), pp.418-423.
Gravina, A. Federico, A. Ruocco, E et al. (2015). ‘Helicobacter pylori infection but not small intestinal bacterial overgrowth may play a pathogenic role in rosacea’, United European Gastroenterology Journal. 3 (1), pp.17-24.
Parodi, A. Paolino, S. Greco, A et al. (2008). ‘Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth in rosacea: clinical effectiveness of its eradication’, Clinical Gastroenterology & Hepatology. 6 (7), pp.759-64.
Pizzorno, J. Murray, M. Joiner-Bey, H. (2016). ‘The Clinician’s Handbook of Natural Medicine’. Third Edition. Missouri. Elsevier.
Weiss, E. & Katta, R. (2017). ‘Diet and rosacea: the role of dietary change in the management of rosacea’. Dermatology Practical & Conceptual. 7 (4), pp. 31-37.
Xingzhe, Y. (2018). ‘Relationship between Helicobacter pylori and Rosacea: review and discussion’. BMC Infectious Diseases. 18 (1), pp.318.