Do you have Acne Rosacea?
I can totally relate to this topic as I have, in the past, suffered with this myself. It is said to occur in middle age and although I may fit that bracket now I certainly wasn’t in it when I first started with rosacea. I had never related excessive facial flushing with an ‘actual’ condition. Whenever I had a hot drink or an alcoholic drink my cheeks and nose would go red. To begin with it wasn’t all of the time, but it took me a while to realise that there was a pattern to certain drinks and sometimes spicy food. This was years ago, way back, well before I knew anything about nutrition.
As the problem developed I began to get acne on my cheeks too. Not like normal spots from around the time of my period or teenage acne but red blotches on my cheeks that were there all of the time. This was when I began to think something was wrong. I googled my symptoms and worked out that it was rosacea. At first, I saw a GP who gave me steroid cream which does help for a while but then it comes back and since I didn’t want to keep using steroids I decided to look for more natural solutions as this was about the time that my interest in nutrition had begun.
So, what symptoms will you have if you have it too?
- Redness of the cheeks and/or nose
- Burning or stinging sensation of cheeks
- Visible small veins on cheeks
- Red pustules / pimples and / or thickened skin
- Occasionally, enlarged nose (usually men)
There are different triggers to an ‘attack’. I’ve mentioned a few already but they include:
- Hot drinks
- Hot or cold weather
- Spicy foods
Years ago, most of these gave me a problem but now, with the dietary changes I’ve made I only really have a problem with cold weather when I still do a very good impression of Rudolph!
Doctors don’t actually know the specific cause of acne rosacea. It is postulated that it may be due to an abnormal reaction to microscopic mites on the skin (gross I know but we all have them!) or a blood vessel abnormality.
From a nutritional perspective there are different possible causes of rosacea, these include:
- Low stomach acid
- An infection with Helicobacter Pylori
- Poor blood sugar balance
- Food allergies / intolerances
- Deficiency of B Vitamins
Changes you can make on your own:
- Eliminate food / drink that causes flushing – this one is hard because it includes tea / coffee and alcohol! My advice would be drink your hot drinks cooler than normal and do a little research with alcohol – some drinks won’t cause flushing so stick to these if you fancy a glass of something! (I even found certain grape varieties were better than others for me)
- Eat foods high in B Vitamins – dark green leafy vegetables, fortified whole-grain cereals, brown rice, lentils, eggs, chicken, salmon, avocados and nuts
Changes that you’ll need some help with:
- Stabilise your blood sugar – this is a little complicated as it involves not just cutting out certain food but also changing the ‘way’ you eat. There will be an article coming up on the Food Physio website to explain how to do this.
- Eradicate H.Pylori infection – you can either see your GP to get antibiotics or try natural remedies. Research into natural remedies is varied, there are several studies that suggest garlic, broccoli, green tea, Manuka honey, liquorice and probiotics can be beneficial.
- Find and eliminate food intolerances – you can buy a test from the Food Detective which uses a blood sample and tests your reaction to different foodstuffs. You are better getting a nutritional therapist to help you with this as sometimes it can give you multiple foods to remove from your diet. It isn’t safe to remove lots of different food groups all at the same time as you need to ensure that you get all of the right vitamins and minerals so this is best done with a professional.
- Improve stomach acid levels – you can take different supplements to help boost stomach acid levels if you think this may be a factor in your rosacea. Again, it’s best to do with a nutritional therapist as they can recommend the appropriate things to take and at what levels. If you take too much acid you can get a stomach ulcer so it’s not advisable to do this one alone!
Of course, we seldom just have one problem. If you are interested in getting an assessment from a nutritional therapist then we’ll look at this and any other issues that you have and we’ll probably find a few things that you weren’t even aware were a problem. Book a session now or if you’d like more information please just give us a call on 0800 0248460.