Rosacea Strikes Again

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Published: 20th January 2011
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Winter is often a bad time for rosacea sufferers. Heated rooms, hot drinks, hot showers and roll neck sweaters may all contribute to flare ups of redness across the cheeks, nose and anywhere rosacea affected. There are some particular triggers rosacea sufferers should be aware of particularly in winter including alcohol, heating, particularly vented air, high necked jumpers, no air flow in a room, hot drinks and stress.

Despite these flares ups and issues rosacea can be managed effectively even during the winter months:

Zinc and Grape Seed support skin integrity and capillary health. While you can get zinc through your diet during times of stress, both physical and emotional the body has a greater need for nutrients. The body uses more nutrients during stress. This can lead to a worsening of any skin condition. This is even more true with skin issues as the body channels nutrients go to the essential organs first (heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, brain) and lastly the skin.

Improve your circulation. Frequently rosacea sufferers have poor circulation in their hands and feed and ironically too much blood flow in their faces. The result of gentle exercise is both a reduction in stress and an increase in circulation with increased blood flow to the hands and feet but not necessarily the face. Strenuous exercise is not advisable as it may increase blood flow to the face so choose something gentle. Yoga and walking are generally suitable but any exercise that is gentle in nature and avoids getting too hot will be ideal.

Have shorter, warm showers instead of long, hot showers. Avoid getting hot water on your face, instead use a flannel to clear off makeup.

Use mineral make up instead of liquid foundations. Liquid makeup makes it harder for skin to breathe. Mineral makeup also provides better cover and has less additives such as fragrances which may irritate sensitive skin.

Leave the windows open or a fan on. Air flow will minimize the risk of overheating either from a stuffy room or heating.

Topically use a centella based gel. Centella (Gotu kola) is a herb that when used topically helps to strengthen the blood vessels and reduce vascular hypersensitivity.

Take some B vitamins to help support my nervous system and consider addressing any digestive issues. Low hydrochloric acid levels may be an underlying factor in both the initiation and progression of rosacea by may encourage the overgrowth of certain bacteria on the face. To work out what the cause a visit to a doctor or naturopath is advisable.


Ananda Mahony ND is a naturopath and holistic skin specialist. Her practice focuses on the treatment of skin conditions. Ananda also owns Vitale Natural Skin & Body Care, a natural & organic skin care store in Paddington.

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