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 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 with absolutely 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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