Coping With Rosacea -- Part I
Rosacea is a long-term abnormal skin condition that results in redness, pimples and sometimes thickening
of the skin. There are many different degrees of rosacea with a range of severity and extent of skin
involved. Rarely it affects other parts of the body, but in most cases rosacea is limited to the face.
About one in two people with rosacea have eye problems associated with the condition that can include
redness, itching and burning. Although many theories are the subject of medical research, no one knows
what causes this disease.
There are many rosacea treatments, ranging from prescription
medicine to natural
remedies. No treatment acts quickly, and usually it takes a few weeks or even months to notice
significant improvement in symptoms. Among the prescription drugs used to treat rosacea, the most
common are antibiotics, both topically applied such as metronidazole, and oral, such as tetracycline or
erythromycin. Eye symptoms can be treated with antibiotics and with steroid eye drops. Laser surgery
and electrosurgery can improve the appearance of affected skin in some people suffering from rosacea.
To control the severity of rosacea symptoms, many doctors recommend that rosacea patients regularly use sunscreens to
protect against both UVA and UVB ultraviolet radiation. It may be particularly helpful to use sunscreens
combined with skin moisturizers, but it is very important to avoid ingredients that can irritate the
skin or cause allergic reactions.
For more detailed medical information about rosacea, and to find out about advances in
rosacea research and rosacea treatment, the
websites of the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases
and the American Academy of Dermatology
www.aad.org are very good places to start.
What about natural remedies for rosacea? Do herbal rosacea treatments work? The answer is yes,
but not for
everyone, and not always as well as some of the online advertising about rosacea would lead one to
believe. A big
problem with supplements and herbs is the lack of oversight to assure high quality products and accurate
label descriptions. Even when companies intend to sell only the highest quality products for rosacea treatment
honest labels, the natural factors in growth or harvesting of plants can create variability. Buying and
using natural products to treat rosacea can be very beneficial, but should be done with care.
In some cases, there have been scientific studies conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of herbal
remedies for rosacea, but in general the best approach is for each individual to carefully conduct a
personal assessment. Some of the herbal treatments to be considered as rosacea remedies
in part two of this article are
licorice, green tea, oatmeal and lavender.
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