Coping With Rosacea -- Part II

Natural Herbal Remedies for Rosacea

Rosacea is a long-term abnormal skin condition that results in redness, pimples and sometimes thickening of the skin. Although many theories are the subject of medical research, no one knows what causes this disease. There is no cure for rosacea, but there are many treatments ranging from prescription medicine to natural remedies. This article considers some of the natural remedies that might be helpful to people with mild to moderate rosacea.

Green tea as a rosacea treatment: Many benefits of green tea have been observed over the years and it is widely used as a beverage both for its pleasant flavor and also because of belief in its healthful properties. In addition to the traditional tea beverage, extracts of green tea formulated into creams and lotions, are increasingly popular to help reduce the signs of skin aging. Green tea contains relatively high concentrations of natural compounds with scientifically-documented anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. These properties may be the basis of green tea extracts reducing sun sensitivity and reducing the signs of rosacea. In addition, some people report a benefit of green tea extracts even without significant sun exposure. It is very important to use reliable formulations and to start very carefully to avoid unexpected allergy or irritation from the use of a new botanical extract.

Lavender as a rosacea remedy: Lavender has been long used in Iran for treatment of several different inflammatory diseases, but the active ingredients that may be responsible for the benefical effect are not known. Essential oils of lavender have been used in many cosmetic products, skin ointments for treatment of burns and insect bites, and many claims have been made about the relaxing or antidepressive properties of lavender fragrance. There is little direct evidence that lavender is helpful in the treatment of rosacea, but for some individuals, it may prove to be useful.

Treating rosacea with Oatmeal: The FDA recognizes collodial oatmeal (powder suspended in liquid) as effective for "minor skin irritation and itching due to poison oak. . .and insect bites." The same properties of oatmeal make it effective for many people in reducing the symptoms of rosacea. Oatmeal is reported to both relieve itching and also to contain antioxidants with anti-inflammatory properties which may be useful in treating rosacea. There are many commercial sources of oatmeal formulated into skin cleansers and ointments which may be helpful rosacea treatments.

Licorice for treatment of rosacea: This plant has been used for many centuries in Chinese medicine and as a folk remedy in Europe since at least the middle ages. One of the active ingredients in licorice, glycyrrhizin, is used in some commercial skin ointments and creams and has been shown to be effective in treating certain types of skin itching and redness. There are also synthetic chemical drugs related to glycyrrhizin under scientific investigation as potential therapies for various skin disorders.

Remember when considering the use of natural remedies that quality control of the products, and reliability of the claims on the package labels, are not closely regulated in the same way that drug quality and effectiveness is regulated. It is important to experiment carefully with a new skin treatment, being careful to avoid allergic reactions and irritation. It is also important to keep your physician informed about your use of natural rosacea remedies if you are also using prescription medicines to treat or prevent rosacea.

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