22 May, 2017

Natural anti inflammatory treatment options for rosacea (still being updated for now)

There are many ways in which you can treat and try to control rosacea symptoms. What works for one person with rosacea, might not work for another. This could be called the "X factor". This causes often confusion and debate in online health groups. Some people swear by their treatment protocol and state that anyone who isn't willing to try the same regimen, simply doesn't want to be cured. Or when they do and have poor results, there must be something they are doing wrong.

Unfortunately, this often isn't the case. Some people with rosacea can tolerate topical or systematic steroids, but most will find that their rosacea eventually worsens from it, especially once they stop with the steroids. Some people have very good results with antibiotic creams like metronidazole or rozex. For others, the creams are too harsh or they make the redness and burning actually worse. It's trial and error. It probably has to do with the idea that rosacea is a manifestation in the skin that can be rooted in different underlying causes (and it also mimics quite a few other illnesses). Someone with a severe food allergy can have rosacea symptoms, when triggered. Someone with eczema can get a butterfly rash all over the face, which is a very different underlying cause. Some people have demodex mite infections, others have issues with the central nervous system and/or hyper reactive blood vessels that don't function like they should. There are many more possible causes, but for now, there is not enough research done, to figure all of this out once and for all.

For me personally, regular medication is helping me most with my rosacea symptoms. For others, it is IPL or laser treatment that keeps symptoms at bay. Red light therapy helps some people to suppress the skin inflammation. Diet is a factor in many peoples rosacea, but not for everyone. Natural anti inflammatory supplements and herbs can also help with rosacea symptoms. They are part of the X-factor puzzle, and the same product might not work for everyone. They are considered 'natural' often, as they are extracted from natural sources, but don't be fooled; natural supplements can still cause side effects. An antidepressant herb called St. John's Worth, for instance, can cause photo sensitivity; irritation and flaring from sun exposure. Just like several tetracycline antibiotics can.

My medication (clonidine, propranolol, mirtazapine and xyzal) help with my flushing but they are not strictly anti inflammatory medication to combat the inflammation that is going on in the blood vessels and deeper inside the skin. They mainly help to keep the smaller blood vessels in your skin constricted, and to limit the flushing. As such they can also help to get inflammation in the face down, but they are technically not anti inflammatory medication. As you could read I have tried the anti inflammatory medications plaquenil and mepacrine recently (anti malarials), which are successfully used to limit inflammation in the skin of people with skin conditions like lupus. My dermatologist in London also has rosacea patients who benefit from these medication. I tried them too, twice over time, but unfortunately
I either flushed more from one of them (mepacrine), or developed an eye side effect from the other (plaquenil). The plaquenil did seem promising and to reduce my redness a bit as well, but I kept getting gritty painful eyes from it, unfortunately. Plenty of people with rosacea are using them with success however. 

So, I am still on the lookout for the right and perfect anti inflammatory supplements that can help me combat the rosacea redness and swelling. Some natural anti inflammatory herbs have a decent track record on helping to deal with the inflammation that comes with rosacea. I tried to do a little investigation on them.

BTW: I don't believe in combining bags full of different types of vitamins and supplements.. If you mix and match too many, you might end up with too high levels of vitamins, and you won't know anymore then which of them might cause your skin to improve or deteriorate.. When you start taking more than one supplement or medication at the same time, if often becomes difficult to pinpoint later what it or isn't helping you. It can help then to try one thing first, to give it a good few weeks to start working (unless it makes you flush like mad straight away of course). Try to not eat weird things or face too many other triggers during your trial time, to be able to really evaluate in an honest way. And when you start adding more supplements, make sure you either do a proper google search on possible interactions, or ask your pharmacist or doctor about it.

Besides, with a balanced diet most people seem to get all the needed vitamins. If you suspect a vitamin deficiency, please have your blood levels tested by your local doctor. Vitamin D is one vitamin that is often too low in people with rosacea, especially if they avoid the sun. It is wise to try to keep your vitamin D levels in a healthy range, because it plays a role in the protection against all sorts of cancers. And low vitamin D levels are also linked to auto-immune diseases, including multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, type 1 diabetes mellitus, and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). A new study conducted at Monash University in Australia has now shown that low vitamin D3 status in SLE was associated with higher disease activity while an increase in serum vitamin D3 levels reduced SLE activity. This study provides hope that many patients with SLE and other autoimmune disorders may benefit from vitamin D3 supplementation.

And last but not least, 'natural' doesn't always equal 'safe'. Just think of arsenic, daffodil or Belladonna which are so poisonous that they can kill you. Herbs and plants can also interact with each other or with regular prescription medication.

Here are two quotes from people with rosacea, who concluded that their skin improved once they cut down on their many supplements.

Oldlady wrote on August 17, 2011: "Oddly enough, after having an increase in p&ps a few weeks ago I quit the zinc (after reading about it being a known testosterone booster) and then everything else for a week to see what would happen. It's been 2 weeks now and my skin is better than ever, very few p&ps, virtually no dryness and except for the broken capillaries I wouldn't know I had rosacea at all. Just my experience, but apparently for some (as myself) multiple supplements/vitamins are too much for the system to handle."

Spencer replied to her on August 17, 2011: "I stopped taking the majority of supplements I was on last year and, what do you know, my skin improved, my sleep improved, mood, etc. Taking a lot of supplements can be really taxing on the liver and this can affect the skin greatly. At the time I began cutting out supplements, including zinc, I started incorporating a castor oil pack for my liver. This was something recommended by my naturopath. This caused a few healing reactions, but ultimately helped clear up my skin as well. It also improved the texture of my skin. Keeping it simple is key, I find. I now only use 2 or 3 basic supplements a day. I would like to be taking a multivitamin, but I find it too stimulating. The B vitamins make me feel wired. That's interesting about the zinc boosting testosterone."

Not all doctors or dermatologists are interested in dietary changes or herbal supplements for rosacea, unfortunately. If your doctor is, fabulous, discuss you trials with him or her. If not, still tell your doctor when you take supplements, because your doctor needs to know this, as well as your pharmacist (in case you take prescription medication as well).

If you try supplements on your own, just realize that not one thing works for all, when it comes to rosacea. When you notice that your rosacea worsens from a supplement, and this flare isn't temporary, then I would always advise to stop taking it. Wait for your skin to calm down again, and maybe try the supplement in question a second time, if you want. If it turns out that it really was the supplement that you were reacting to then don't think that your skin always has to become worse before it gets better; this is rarely the case. Rosacea is a fickle beast, and not everything that's good on paper works out well for our rosacea faces. One example; zinc and magnesium are supposed to be really good for the skin, but when I take them, they cause me to flush. The same happens with vitamin D supplements for me. Another example; fish oil is deemed healthy, but the histamine in fish oil can simply cause you a flare. In that case, avoid it. Flaring you skin day in day out with foods or supplements that you can avoid, might just make matters worse on the long run. It might take some trial and error, but many people with rosacea found relief in the end from supplements and diet. 

My friend IowaDavid said some years ago about supplements for rosacea treatment: 

"Most of the supplements we take are going to be preventative of further damage, rather than "curative" for symptoms. They may help calm down your face to some extent, but I have a hard time seeing how a supplement will have dramatic effect like a pharmaceutical will (I'd love to see any studies to the contrary, though--that'd be interesting). 

I think the problem with healing capillaries that are damaged may lie in the heart of this disorder--the very reason we manifest signs of rosacea is because our bodies can't handle repeated flushing like normal people do. That's why laser treatments are helpful--they take out the damaged vasculature that we can't heal with our own repair mechanisms. 

Due to the amount of time it takes me to write about each of these supplements, and my limited free time to do so, I will publish the first 6 supplements now and keep adding the rest of the supplements and their information in the upcoming weeks. 

Discussed anti inflammatory supplements (in random order)

1. Alpha Lipoic Acid
2. Boswellia (Serrata)
3. N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC)
4. Milk thistle (silymarin)
5. Flax Seed Oil
6. Fish Oil
7. Bromelain
8. Curcumin / Turmeric
9. Astaxanthin
10.Grape Seed extract/Pycnogenol
11. Aloe
12. Oregano Oil
13. Zinc
14. Evening Primrose Oil
15. L-Lysine
16. Vitamin C
17. GliSODin 
18. White Willow Bark
19. Neem
20. Ginger
21. Licorice Root
22. Solgar MSM
23. Probiotics

24. Vitamin D 
25. Apple cider vinegar

1. Alpha Lipoic Acid

Possible effects: anti inflammatory, reduction in redness 

Alpha lipoic acid (ALA) is a fatty acid, found naturally in every cell in the body. It's needed by the body to produce the energy for our body's normal functions. Alpha lipoic acid converts glucose (blood sugar) into energy. Other names for it are lipoic acid, thioctic acid, and ALA. Alpha Lipoic Acid is a coenzyme that also acts as an antioxidant (a substance that neutralizes potentially harmful chemicals called free radicals) and has anti-inflammatory properties, protecting blood vessels and the fatty tissues of the brain and nerves. 

Alpha Lipoic Acid is easily absorbed when you take it in pill form orally. It can regenerate other important antioxidants, like vitamins E, C and glutathione. Alpha lipoic acid is the only antioxidant that can boost cellular levels of glutathione, the body’s most important antioxidant to overall health and a long life. It is also important for regulating aspects of the immune system, in particular, T-lymphocytes.

Not all types of rosacea are linked to auto immune activity, but some cases certainly are. You can be tested by your doctor or internist for auto immune activity through blood tests, but regardless, rosacea is an inflammatory disease of the skin and blood vessels, and benefits as such often from anti-inflammatory supplements, medications or diets. The inflammatory process in the body is complex. Sometimes the body produces its own inflammation (in case of auto immunity), but otherwise there are also other ways in which your body endures inflammation; free radicals also promote inflammatory reactions, which antioxidants have been successful at diminishing.

What are free radicals: 

They are a byproduct from what scientists call 'oxidative stress'. Oxygen in the body splits into single atoms with unpaired electrons. Electrons like to be in pairs, so these atoms, called free radicals, scavenge the body to seek out other electrons so they can become a pair. This causes damage to cells, proteins and DNA. Free radicals are associated with human disease, including cancer, atherosclerosis, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and many others. They also may have a link to aging, which has been defined as a gradual accumulation of free-radical damage.
Substances that generate free radicals can also be found in the food we eat, the medicines we take, the air we breathe and the water we drink. These substances include fried foods, alcohol, tobacco smoke, pesticides and air pollutants. Think of free radicals as waste products from various chemical reactions in the cell that when built up, harm the cells of the body.

But they aren't all bad, we also need free radicals to turn air and food into energy for our bodies, and to keep our immune system functioning (free radicals are floating through the veins and attacking foreign invaders).

The danger of free radicals: once free radicals are formed, a chain reaction can occur. The first free radical pulls an electron from a molecule, which destabilizes the molecule and turns it into a free radical. That molecule then takes an electron from another molecule, destabilizing it and tuning it into a free radical. This domino effect can eventually disrupt and damage the whole cell.
The free radical chain reaction may lead to broken cell membranes, which can alter what enters and exits the cell. The chain reaction may for instance change the structure of a lipid, making it more likely to become trapped in an artery. The damaged molecules may mutate and grow tumors. Or, the cascading damage may change DNA code.
Oxidative stress occurs when there are too many free radicals and too much cellular damage.
And oxidative stress plays a role in the development of many conditions, including macular degeneration, cardiovascular disease, certain cancers, emphysema, alcoholism, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, ulcers and all inflammatory diseases, such as arthritis and lupus. Symptoms of oxidative stress may include fatigue, headaches, noise sensitivity, memory loss and brain fog, muscle and joint pain, wrinkles and gray hair, vision trouble and decreased immunity.

Antioxidants (like Alpha Lipoic Acid) keep free radicals in check. Antioxidants are molecules in cells that prevent free radicals from taking electrons and causing damage. Antioxidants are able to give an electron to a free radical without becoming destabilized themselves, thus stopping the free radical chain reaction. They also clean up the free radical waste in the cells. Well-known antioxidants include beta-carotene (found in carrots) and other carotenoids, alpha-lipoic acid, lutein, resveratrolvitamin C, vitamin E, lycopene and other phytonutrients.
Our body produces some antioxidants on its own, but an insufficient amount. Oxidative stress occurs when there is an imbalance of free radicals and antioxidants (too many free radicals and too few antioxidants). There are many antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables, especially colorful ones, for instance berries, tomatoes, broccoli, spinach and nuts.

Note: it is usually more effective and potentially safer to get antioxidants through whole foods rather than through supplements.

Of all the supplements mentioned here, ALA is the main one that really helps me. I still take it in powder form with a smoothie or drink, on and off. Helps to cut down on my flushing a bit.

Natural food sources of Alpha Lipoic Acid:

You can boost the production and benefits of alpha lipoic acid by consuming more of these foods:

Brussels sprout
Red meat
Rice bran

Side effects of Alpha Lipoic Acid:

Consuming too much alpha lipoic acid is linked to some symptoms, like headache, skin rash, itching or hives, and muscle cramps. There have also been a few reports in Japan of a rare condition called insulin autoimmune syndrome in people using alpha lipoic acid. The condition causes hypoglycemia and antibodies directed against the body's own insulin without previous insulin therapy. 
Animal studies indicate that alpha lipoic acid may alter thyroid hormone levels, so it could theoretically have the same effect in humans. People taking thyroid medications such as levothyroxi ne should be monitored by their healthcare provider.
Dosage Recommendations: 25 to 30 milligrams is adequate for a young healthy person. Dr. Perricone recommends anywhere from 200 to 400 mg of alpha lipoic acid per day to patients with specific health concerns and those who are seeking to lose body fat. Consult with your physician first.

Research done with Alpha Lipoic Acid:

In this research, the effects of the antioxidants alpha lipoic acid and vitamin C and E were tested on NF-kappaB activity, which regulates the production of many inflammatory cytokines and adhesion molecules that play a role in inflammation and oxidative stress. Certain cells were treated first to cause and show oxidated stress. Then alpha lipoic acid, Vitamin E and C were added, to see if there was an effect. Both vitamin E and vitamin C had no effect, but Alpha Lipoic Acid reduced the oxidated stress. It has also shown to reduce inflammation in this and this research.

Alpha Lipoic Acid and rosacea:

In this research, rosacea patients were treated with topical Alpha Lipoic Acid. It was added in 5% strength to a cream with a lecithin base. In a blinded study, eight patients between 20 to 51 years of age, diagnosed with rosacea and photographed were given the 5% lipoic cream and an identical looking cream with no lipoic acid in it. The patients did not know which of the two creams they were given. They had to cleanse their faces and then apply one cream to one side of their faces twice daily during the duration of the study, and apply the other cream to the other side at the same time.

Patients were evaluated every two weeks. In every patient, marked improvement and a decrease in skin redness was seen on the face side that was treated with lipoic acid after two weeks. After four weeks, skin redness was even more markedly reduced on the face side where lipoic had been applied in every patient.

Alpha Lipoic Acid and rosacea, patient testimonials:

Mistica wrote on May 2009: "I have taken Alpha Lipoic Acid for about four years. I was in remission at the time, but it didn't prevent me from developing horrendous rosacea. Nor has it helped reduce any symptoms during my battle to beat the beast this time round. I suppose it might be helping at some level, by perhaps reducing further tissue damage? It is a potent antioxidant. I have also tried topical ALA and it was very irritating."

But on June 2011 Mistica updated: "I have recently started taking R-Alpha Lipoic acid on the advice of my GP, mostly for other reasons. I feared it thinking it would increase rosacea symptoms. So far I am pleased with effects on my rosacea, as they are a bit less."

KHM wrote on June 2005: "I started this when I was at my worst and the improvement was very noticeable - my naturopath immediately asked me what I had added to my regime."

Steve95301 wrote on September 2006: "I've recently upped my dosage of Alpha-Lipoic Acid from 100mg twice daily to 300mg twice daily, per Dr. Nase's website. Preliminary results are excellent, I'm glad I upped my dose. Has anyone else had success with ALA? [..] I noticed a reduction in redness the first day I took 300mg instead of my usual 100mg. I'm normally a little flushy mid-afternoon, and I noticed it knocked that down quite a bit. I've been very pleased with it. If anyone else has tried a large dose of ALA, I'd like to hear their results as well. As for myself, I would definitely recommend it."

And Steve95301 updated: "I just started the whole supplement thing, after I found that ibuprofen decreased background redness for me. Got me thinking that supplements might actually help. First, I started taking boswellia and fish oil. There was noticeable improvement, so I added some other stuff. I bought some Alpha Lipoic Acid, and Zinc Gluconate. I think the ALA really did it for me, I've been almost pale lately. I'm going to start taking more, to try to find the optimal level."

Bethanne wrote on September 2006: "I've tried several trials of ALA (most recently Swanson Vitamins brand) and although it really knocks back the redness, it causes me to break out. I've tested this cause and effect a number of times now. It even happens at 100 mg twice daily. So sadly, I have to give up on ALA."

Miltom: "I had the same exact reaction. Made me break out."

Twickle Purple wrote on October 2006: "I take this every day as well. It doesn't do anything for the flushing, I take it for other reasons. I get it direct from my old MDs office where I lived before, he focuses strictly on nutrition. I wonder when I read about the breakouts if it could be a filler that's causing it? I get a reaction to some of the fillers and dyes used in vitames and nutraceuticals. If you're seeing some good effects, it may be worth hunting about for a different brand, with different filler. Maybe inquire with the local pharmacist. [..] I use it for its antioxident properties (R + Lipoic Acid), along with N-acetyl L-carnetine. I use l-carnetine eye drops too."

DukeCity wrote on October 2006: "I've been taking 600 mg. ALA w/ 30 mg. grape seed extract combined in one capsule. -- I take 2 capsules a day."

Andy wrote on August 2005: "I've also been having great success with supplements the past few months. What works really good for me also is Alpha Lipoic Acid. I'm really amazed how well supplements in combination with Clonidine works. [..] I take 250 mg twice a day, a brand called Now Foods."
And: "Speaking for myself, since starting these (Barleans Omega Twin, Grape Seed Extract, Pycnogenol, Ester-C and Alpha Lipoic Acid) my skin has really improved a great deal and I've been going out these past few days with nothing on my skin, no Citrix, no ZincO, and let me tell you it was a long time since I had the courage to do that! My skin seems to be less sensitive, less red and less prone to flush."

lwemm wrote on October 2015: "I had type 2 and type 4 rosacea first with type 1 following. Diet did not become an issue for me until the type 1 arose, when it became obvious the flushing was linked to dietary triggers. Avoidance of triggers has been the only diet that I have followed. I've taken a lot of different supplements but the ones that have clearly helped the most are evening primrose oil for the ocular symptoms, triphala for digestive problems and alpha lipoic acid for redness. That's not to say the other supplements I take like zinc and probiotics aren't helping. I think a lot of them are but the change is too gradual to be very obvious."

IowaDacid wrote on November 2013: "You may experience flushing to ANY supplement you take, though it's rare. A quick list of what I take:
Grapeseed Extract
Fish Oil
Evening Primrose Oil
Alpha Lipoic Acid
Coenzyme Q 10
N-Acetyl Cysteine

The last 6 can be purchased in bulk powder and you can make your own capsules--way cheaper. They're extremely potent anti-inflammatories and mitochondrial boosters."

ShaunD wrote on May 2014: "I've got texture damage and lost the ability to sweat in the area where

I was treated with IPL. I've read that damage goes down to the dermis, I'm trying to gather as much information as possible on repairing damage. [..] I do think treating inflammation from within is a good start for damage and will help flushing as well, diet changes would help. Grape seed extract and vitamin C supplement has helped to an extent in reducing skin sensitivity which has been a relief. It's a good antioxidant and has properties to assist with damage. I've read that people have had good results using an alpha lipoic acid supplement, apparently it has the ability to slow down or prevent further damage by helping the body heal itself, don't know how effective it really is but something worth looking at. I will keep posting on anything I find."

Banshee wrote on April 2010: "I rarely devote individual threads to singing the praises of something, but this had an effect I felt was worth mentioning. Few supplements make my face go noticeably cooler...one is Ester-C, but I would say R-Alpha Lipoic is even more marked. I believe R-Lipoic is more bioavailable. It's used by cells more effectively and thus works better as an anti-oxidant et al.Within about an hour, I can feel it working. I've taken plain Alpha Lipoic with not as good results. It's not a miracle, but especially in conjunction with Superoxide Dismutase my face has been acting calmer in situations it would typically flush (like a cold barn). Both are anti-oxidants. I get the NSI Brand which are sold on vitacost.com. Add the C and pycnogenol to the above, and I have a fairly effective anti-flushing cocktail.
Hope this helps-

Royguy wrote on May 2013: "I started developing rosacea in my early 20s long before I knew it even existed. [..] I tried some things the oil cleansing method and other natural remedies. But since im really a health freak and I go to the gym too I found a new antioxidant while browsing in the supplement section of the online store I usually buy protein etc. I researched and read that it helped with big pores. Honestly I've gotten used to the redness and gave up trying to fix it. My major concern were the big pores. I read that Alpha lipoic acid was water soluble an I usually do my own tonics with basically just water since anything else harms my skin. In my search for a homemade pore minimizer I came across a recipe. skim milk mixed with brown sugar. What I do is first massage my skin with that mixture.leave it on for some minutes.Rinse and pat dry. And then I dissolve 1 capsule of ALA..alpha lipoic acid in a small container with water. I gently massage over and over again my face. I have to tell you it exceeded my expectations. In one day use you will see a difference but if you really stick to it and use it 2 or 3 times a day you will get smooth skin back. I honestly never thought I could go back to have normal skin around my nose. Its scary the change is dramatic.

I do look many years younger. Now I can touch the skin around my eyes,slide my finger down an I don't notice any difference in texture.truly amazing.If I don't use it for a day I see some dead cell flaky skin and pores,but if you are consistent this is amazing.
I'm not taking it internally yet, just topically. Now i can see my freckles again cause they stand out over the light skin. Before it was all read that you could barely see the freckles.
Don't buy creams lotion people. There always going to be a certain ingredient that irritates your skin.Find the ingredient that works for you,try to find it isolated and create your own tonics with water, chamomile tea, or green tea..Anything that work for you and doesn't irritate.
The same for moisturizer. My advice is buy the supplement. Either oil capsules, aspirin and create your own recipes. Its not only safer but cheaper and funny! My ALA bottle cost is 15. And with 1 capsule I have tonic for a whole week. Brings 90 caps. So do the math. Better than an expensive lotion.[..] I've suffered form rosacea for years.Not an extreme case but I work in modeling and it has hurt my self confidence having to go to castings and all that.
So I hope it helps you as much. If you don't get rid of redness at least I guarantee you will get an skin texture improvement. No doubt about it. And trust me I've tried everything."

I am optimistic about the promises of Alpha lipoic acid. I hope it will act as an anti inflammatory for me and reduce my redness and flushing. I might also get the additional papular outbreaks that some patients mentioned, but I normally don´t have any paps, just the redness and flushing. In fact, since stopping the plaquenil again I haven´t had one papular (that med gave me quite a few) and didn´t need the zinc cream anymore to cover them. I think I will try this supplement soon.

2. Boswellia (Serrata)

Possible effects: anti inflammatory, reduction in redness, reduction in seb derm, p&p's and sebum. 

Boswellia is a substance extracted from a Bonsai-looking tree that is known scientifically as Boswellia serrata. It is even mentioned in the Bible, as a substance of sacred significance, called frankincense (it was one of the gifts fit for a king that the magi brought with them to present to the newborn Christ).  
Boswellia is an interesting herb, because it works as a natural anti inflammatory. In Ayurveda traditional Indian medicine, boswellia is used to treat conditions like diarrhea, parasites, skin and blood diseases, cardiovascular disorders, respiratory infections, hair loss, hemorrhoids, and asthma. Evidence also shows that it’s an effective remedy for arthritis.
Many studies have also shown that Boswellia is just as effective as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID's), which are the most commonly used treatment for issues of inflammation and chronic pain. NSAID's work by inhibiting the inflammatory promoting cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) enzymes. Unfortunately, these drugs also inhibit COX-1, which is essential for a healthy stomach lining. This is why these medications can cause stomach bleeding or stomach pains. Not ideal, therefore.

It's interesting to read that science says that Boswellia also reduces inflammation, but  through a different mechanism. It adjusts the pro-inflammatory enzyme 5-lipoxygenase (5-LOX). 5-LOX is the first enzyme released in the cytokine metabolic pathway (the chain effect of inflammation). This pathway creates leukotrienes, which are strong inflammatory substances that play a role in many diseases including cancer, rheumatoid arthritis and asthma. Boswellia reduces inflammatory chemicals and symptoms of inflammation. And Boswellia also reduces another inflammatory enzyme, called human leukocyte elastase (HLE). HLE and 5-LOX are both classically elevated in inflammatory conditions and diseases. Boswellia also reduces the cytokine tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-a),which plays a part in arthritis. Because of this, Boswellia has a proven positive effect on arthritis. And unlike NSAID's, Boswellia doesn't cause stomach bleeding. This is because NSAID's inhibit prostaglandins, which not only play a role in inflammation and pain sensations, but who also help to build up proper stomach lining. With fewer prostaglandins, the stomach lining will become thinner, causing stomach irritations and sometimes even ulcers, as the stomach acids can easily do such harm then. The same goes for the lining of the bowel.
The good thing about Boswellia is that it does not pose such problems, although it could still slightly upset your stomach and bowel as a possible side effect.

So Boswellia helps to reduce inflammation in the body, and is used to treat all types of inflammatory diseases, including Crohn's disease, Rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, allergies, osteoarthritis, & ulcerative colitis. But the boswellic acids are also powerful pain relievers that actually work better than non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin and ibuprofen. On top, Boswellia can help when you have gas, constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, cramps, and other forms of gastrointestinal discomfort. Studies have repeatedly shown that Boswellia is also a powerful immune system booster, helping to protect against harmful bacteria and viruses. When you suffer from an overactive immune system, this might be something to be careful about. Boswellia has also been shown to help balance hormone levels and prevent the excess buildup of estrogen that can lead to health problems in both men and women.

Boswellia is said to be helpful for the following health conditions:

*conditions of the heart and arteries
*skin conditions
*bowel diseases

Types of Boswellia

While Boswellia serrata is the most popular type of boswellia used to treat various disorders and symptoms, it’s not the only type. There are at least three other popular forms of boswellia: boswellia carteriboswellia frereana and boswellia sacra. Each comes from a different plant species, although all are closely related and medically used in similar ways. The four species of boswellia all produce frankincense resin, or extract, which comes in varying concentrations or “grades”. Boswellia carteri for instance, is used sometimes for tumor prevention and has anticancer effects.

Dosage and side effects of boswellia:

Boswellia is generally taken as a capsule or tablet, but it can also be taken as a dried herb, a standardized extract or as a pain-relieving gel. It is not entirely clear what the optimal dose is to balance safety and efficacy. The manufacturing of Boswellia products varies from one produce to the other and this makes it even more difficult for standardization to happen. In general, when you buy a Boswellia supplement, it is good to look for a brand that clearly indicates on the bottle what levels of boswellic acids it contains.

typical dose of boswellia is 350 or 400 mg 3 times a day of an extract standardized to contain 37.5% boswellic acids. You best take the Boswellia in with some oil, because this improves the absorption. This dose should be effective for relief from arthritic, asthmatic, or auto-immune symptoms. The dried herb can be put in smoothies and shakes and used throughout the day. Research has shown a greater absorption rate when taken with other forms of food.

Reports of boswellia side effects are relatively rare, but they do exist. In general, it seems to be well-tolerated - both when used topically and taken internally. The following side effects have been reported by people taking boswellia: diarrhea, skin rashes, nausea, abdominal pain, bloating, vomiting, burning sensation in stomach. In certain rare cases, allergies to boswellia are possible and could result in chest pain, wheezing, shortness of breath, anaphylaxis. You need to see a doctor right away then. An important possible side effect is that it makes the skin a bit more dry. This could be good for people with oily skin. Not so great for people with dry skin, like me. 

There are also possible drug interactions. Boswellia may increase the effects or toxicity of some drugs, according to Aetna Intelihealth, for instance medicines used to treat asthma such as Singulair; certain anticancer drugs; cholesterol-lowering supplements such as garlic or red yeast; antifungal agents such as tea tree oil; and supplements used to treat joint diseases, such as glucosamine or chondroitin. Boswellia may also reduce the effectiveness of anti-inflammatory pain relievers, such as aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen and may interact with immunomodulators, drugs broken down by the liver, antibiotics, fat soluble drugs and sedatives. When in doubt, check with your doctor about any medications you’re currently taking and their possible interactions with Boswellia. Do not take Boswellia when you are pregnant.

Another possible unwanted side effect of supplements like boswellia, is discussed here.
Very basically, some studies suggest that the boswellia and other '5-LOX products', and Leukotriene B4 in particular, are quite probably a very key portion of our immune response and that blocking these 5-LOX products, and Leukotriene B4 in particular (something that boswellia also does), may lead to the unintended side-effect of increased infections (bacterial, fungal and viral).
Dan writes in that link, that he believes that:
"pathogens play some role in the pathogenesis of rosacea and co-conditions such as seb derm, etc, you may find that while 5-LOX inhibitors seem to help with symptoms for a period of time, at some point they may make rosacea and associated conditions worse over time. This is what seemed to happen for me when I took Boswellia personally. It relieved my symptoms almost completely for several months, but then my rosacea, allergies, seb derm, etc went nuts, and when I tried to wean myself from the Boswellia I realized I was much worse off than before I started taking it.
Please be careful when taking 5-LOX inhibitors or Leukotriene B4 blockers. Short term gains may really lead to long term pain..."

On the other hand: if rosacea is due to an overactive allergic/immune response on the skin as the Gallo studies suggest, then the anti-cathelicidin and anti-neutrophil properties of Boswellia may be useful in moderation, and could help dampen the immune response (high immune responses cause problems in many skin conditions and with allergies).

Research done on Boswellia:

In this PubMed research, the effect of Boswellia on Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is investigated.
The aim was to evaluate the antioxidant and antiarthritic activity of Boswellia Serrata gum resin Extract in collagen induced arthritis. In rats with arthritis, Bowellia was administered at doses of 100 and 200mg/kg body weight once daily for 21 days. The effects of treatment in the rats were assessed by biochemical (articular elastase, MPO, LPO, GSH, catalase, SOD and NO), inflammatory mediators (IL-1β, IL-6, TNF-α, IL-10, IFN-γ and PGE2), and histological studies in joints.

Boswellia was effective in bringing significant changes on all the parameters hat were studied. When Boswellia was taken in pill form orally, it turned out to significantly reduce levels of inflammation. There was a decrease in arthritis, probably because Boswellia modulates the immune system.

In this research, researchers looked into Boswellia as well. Again, in vitro studies and animal models showed that boswellic acids were found to inhibit the synthesis of pro-inflammatory enzyme, 5-lipoxygenase (5-LO) including 5-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid (5-HETE) and leukotriene B4 (LTB-4). Other anti-inflammatory plant herbs, such as quercetin, also block this enzyme, "but they do so in a more general fashion, as an antioxidant, whereas boswellic acids seem to be specific inhibitor of 5-LO. 5-LO generates inflammatory leukotrienes, which cause inflammation by promoting free radical damage, calcium dislocation, cell-adhesion and migration of inflammation-producing cells to the inflamed body area". And they work with less side effects than the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) give.

In vitro studies by Ammon et al. in 1993 also found that boswellic acids had anti-inflammatory effects, by the same mechanism as I described just yet. Boswellic acids have also been observed to inhibit human leukocyte elastase (HLE), which may be involved in the development of emphysema; a lung disease in which the lungs become stretched and breathing becomes difficult. It's good to have HLE levels reduced, because it also plays a role when too much mucus is built up, for instance in cystic fibrosis, chronic bronchitis and acute respiratory distress syndrome. HLE causes injury to the tissues which, in turn, triggers the inflammatory process. Boswellia both reduces this inflammation, as well as the substance that causes this type of inflammation to start in the first place.
The researchers also say that Boswellia has four different types of boswellic acids. The most powerful one is called 3-acetyl-11-keto-β-boswellic acid (AKBA).

Boswellia also proved to reduce paw oedema and inflammation in rats and mice, and Boswellia reduced arthritis around 45 to 67%. The boswellic acid from Boswellia serrata was also tested and shown to cause 35% reduction of inflammation. Boswellia works different than aspirin and steroidal drugs. A clinical trial conducted by Raychaudhuri and co-workers in India has shown that Boswellia serrata can reduce pain and considerably improves knee-joint functions, in some cases providing relief even within seven days.

This is a very interesting medical paper, detailing the positive effect of Boswellia Serrata on subtype 2 rosacea: 

"Recurring acne rosacea resistant to Metrogel, was successfully treated with Boswellia serrata."

Case Report: a 65 year old man with acne rosacea - intermittent episodes of blotches and pustules on his forehead, cheeks and neck - for more than 15 years; after being diagnosed he was treated with topical metronidazole (Metrogel), initially with some degree of success, but after about 2 years of treatment Metrogel had become ineffective against rosacea. Treatment with a topical steroid cream didn't give lasting improvement either. This man also suffered from arthritis, gastro-esophageal reflux disease, gastritis, hypertension stage 2 and type 2 diabetes (treated with metformin).
This man was given Boswellia serrate; 4 capsules a day of 500 mg dry extract of Boswellia serrata, taken for 2 months. Doctors decided to give Boswellia serrata a try, because regular anti-inflammatory medication would be too harsh on his stomach, since the man had gastric problems. Boswellia serrate doesn't have such side effects typically.
It worked well for the man; not only did he have a reduction in his arthritis pain, but his rosacea was also effectively treated, according to this paper. When he stopped Boswellia serrate after 2 months, his rosacea symptoms didn't return. The author of the paper, Felician Stancioiu, M.D., wrote:

"Treatment with Boswellia serrata 2 g/day in two divided doses for 4-8 weeks has minimal to none side effects and the effect is as close to a cure as possible."

"Even though the underlying pathological mechanism of acne rosacea is not fully understood
(besides an increase in inflammation on a predisposing hormonal background), the persistence of the
disease-free status after the discontinuation of the treatment and the lack of side effects of this
treatment are very strong arguments for which Boswellia serrata should be tried for this dermatologic
pathology, especially for difficult-to-treat cases of acnea rosacea."

Felician Stancioiu, M.D. continued to explain that in vitro studies and animal models show that boswellic acid inhibits 5-lipoxygenase selectively and has anti-inflammatory anti-arthritic effects. Boswellia reduces edema (swelling of the face) and inflammation in rodents. Boswellic acid also markedly decreases the production of the pro-inflammatory key cytokine TNF-á and the chemokine MCP-1 (17). Unlike other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, however, boswellic acid does not decrease fever however.

Other known actions of boswellia extracts at cellular level are:
- inhibition of the leukocytes infiltration and initial antibody formation
- inhibition of the classic and alternate path of complement activation
- inhibition of the leukocyte 5-lipooxygenase and elastase

It is important to note that boswellia is one of the very few substances with anti-inflammatory action
which does not cause gastric ulcers in animals. This suggests that the action of boswellic acid is
through other mechanisms than the inhibition of prostaglandin synthesis, which was confirmed
through studies - which shows that cyclooxygenase path is not inhibited by boswellic
acid. Combined with the fact that boswellia, unlike NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs)
does not inhibit the synthesis of GAGs (glucose aminoglucans, which are important for the structural
integrity of the cartilages in the joints) there is a strong argument for its use in arthritic disease.
So far, based on the known inflammatory effects of this plant and the studies which were performed
to show its efficacy and safety for the treatment ot arthritis, asthma, colitis, inflammation and menstrual cramps. Dosage in the range of 1,5 - 2g/day divided in three daily administrations will maintain a useful plasma concentration for an anti-inflammatory effect in most patients who can benefit from it.

Boswellia and rosacea:

YankeeRTheBest wrote: "I've controlled my flushing over the past couple years, but continue to get broken blood vessels and telangetasia. I've been looking for something oral that can at least prevent them from continuing to form. ester C made me flush after a couple weeks, I had a weird burnings sensation from it after a while all over my skin and body. Grape-seed made my cystic acne break out, I'm not sure if it's cause it made toxins release quickly? Boswellia controlled my flushing and redness, but made me breakout in red bumps on my hands and elbows."

SoSickOfThis wrote: "Hey I tried Boswellia for about a month once. It seemed to help a little, but not enough. Maybe it would have worked better if I gave it longer. You could try it and see if it works for you."

WinnieM wrote: ´I tried Boswellia before. It worked well for my seb derm but it caused some red bumps on my chin, probably it was an allergic reaction, then I had to stop it.´

KHM wrote: "Actually it has worked very well for me - is regular part of my regime now."

And: "I use Natures Way standardized to 65% Boswellic Acids (right now anyway). Divided doses - 1 am, 1 pm. It has to be separated from calcium, so needs to be taken before my morning vitamines. It helps with the "dermatitis" rashy stuff. I don't see it helping with my flushing. BTW - I have P&P form, dry skin, and Ivermectin is like a wonder drug for me. Other things I take/use that help are Protopic, Alpha Lipoic Acid (I think this does help with the flushing, which keeps the P&Ps down as well). I also use Singulair and it definitely helps as well. What gets me nervous is that almost everything that works for me (ALA and Ivermectin excepted) is an immune system modifier. A slightly "over busy" immune system does run in my family - we have Lupus, Addisons, and Fibromylangia in the family. And my allergic reactions are through the roof (most allergic people have reactions in the 1-4 scale range. Many of mine are 10+). So that may be a hint as to the type of people/skin this will work for."

Indian-boy wrote: "I took it once a few years ago. It dramatically reduced my sebum production after a couple of days, and with it a lot of my facial redness. Unfortunately, I had to stop because it was making me dizzy and a bit spaced out."

Joan wrote: "I started using this a couple of weeks ago. It makes me slightly lightheaded about 15 mins after I take it but my flushing doesn't last as long as it did and my permanent redness is about 10% less than it was, I will continue taking this, despite the lightheaded feeling!"

Max wrote: "I am saying this because I have been on Boswellia for 6 weeks, and it does not compare with accutane. What I've read both zileuton as well as boswellia (serrata) block same enzyme. In contrast to zileuton there are not many studies on boswellia (or i haven't been able to find those). maybe it's a matter of dose? I've tried boswellia and it had showed light anti-inflammation effect for me. (similar to cox-2 inhibitors I've tried). I couldn't get any information on how much boswellia matches one zileuton pill - maybe it needs more to show same actions?"

Steve95301 wrote: "I just started the whole supplement thing, after I found that ibuprofen decreased background redness for me. Got me thinking that supplements might actually help. First, I started taking boswellia and fish oil. There was noticeable improvement, so I added some other stuff. I bought some Alpha Lipoic Acid, and Zinc Gluconate. I think the ALA really did it for me, I've been almost pale lately. I'm going to start taking more, to try to find the optimal level."  

Mistica wrote: "Ages ago, iDan reported delayed adverse reactions to the supplement boswellia. He found a study/studies which showed that the inhibition of leukotrienes (using a different agent), resulted in increased pathogen load. Boswellic acids inhibit leukotrienes and as a result can be useful anti inflammatory agents. However, it would appear that the story is not as simple as it might appear. Plants are notorious for having multiple effects, many of which aren't documented. Prof Ayers used to tell me that plants were no friend of his, as it was impossible to determine all the effects, some of which are not always friendly. That aside, it would appear that the multiple effects of boswellic acids are many and they might include some anti bacterial effects. What that might mean to us, I have no idea. Perhaps it might be helpful against gut infections, but have the opposite effect on systemic infections due to absorption problems? What I can report is this. Recently I had an IPL treatment as my upper cheeks were a mess. (My antibiotic regime won't repair this). Despite discussion with the doc prior to treatment, he used too high an energy and my face swelled badly. I was very distraught and not wanting to take prednisone, I cautiously tried boswellia.

The brand I have is very high dose. That is all I could get. I felt weird, kind of spacy. My facial swelling did decrease however, although I am now much redder and have more visible vessels than prior to treatment <sigh>. Now I will have to have another treatment:( I had researched boswellia before testing it, but there always seems to be more info to find... after side effects set in! It would appear that in high doses, it can lower blood pressure. ( I have been monitoring mine over the past week and yes, it does). I hit the internet again and found it might have ACE inhibitor effects. Some people take these to reduce flushing. I began to wean myself off boswellia as I fear horrible rebound. The mention in the literature was attributed to boswellia elongate, not serrata, but seeing no one has fully documented all effects of the acids, I am not ruling out that my brand isn't capable of this effect as well. Especially as lowered blood pressure is mentioned in the general literature. I have noted that some people find their script ACE inhibitors start to lose their benefits and I have to wonder if this might be happening in those who initially find boswellia helpful, only to find they worsen over time? Irrespective of any other adverse immunomodulation which might happen?"

Andy wrote: "When it comes to Boswellia some members of a seb derm discussion group I'm in have had good results with it. Almost like a natural Accutane, without the side effects and maybe not so powerful, but still effective.."
And: "I've been using regular Skin Eternal, Pycnogeonol and Boswellia (all from Source Naturals) for little more than a week now and it could all be in my head but I think I do see a slight improvement, especially when it comes to my usual after work/evening-flush. It doesn't seem to last as long as it used to, and not so "intense"."

Fut wrote: ´I have been trying a natural way to stop sebum production - zinc gluconate and boswellia for a couple of weeks no. It doesn't seem the oil is stopping. My face gets so oily. Is accutane the only approach left? This is tough for me as I am in the middle of IPL treatments."

Clsykes00 wrote however: "I have been taking boswellia for about 2 months now with good results. that is, my sebum production has been cut by maybe 25%, which is better than nothing. i take four 300mg a day, and drink a cup of water with it. do not eat or drink things high in calcium. i'm using nature's way.| 

Faust405245 wrote: "So is the weakening of the immune system the only negative impact of too much anti-inflams? I've been taking a lot of anti inflammatories the past few days and I've seen some improvement in my skin already. I don't want any long term side effects, of course I don't, but I am willing to carry on doing this if the only side effect is a crappy, ineffective immune system."


Dfries2003 wrote: "I'm still seeing the following while taking Boswellic Acids: 1. A decrease in the number of Rosacea flares and almost complete reduction of redness and what was near constant burning on my face. 2. A very large reduction in sebum and P&P's - I'd agree with the findings of reduced sebum by 65% and reduced papules, pustules and acne by around 75%. I may be seeing even a better than 75% reduction in P&Ps - I'm almost completely clear. 
3. A reduction or elimination of of some of my triggers - heat and hot showers are no longer seem to be a trigger - nor are hot liquids
4. Almost complete elimination of the Seb Derm on my scalp
5. Almost complete elimination of the odd KP like rash I had on my stomach, arms and legs
6. Reduction in the number of headaches I usually get - I still have not had one while taking Boswellia alone.
7. Clearing of allergy symptoms - almost complete clearing of sinuses and itchy/wather eyes, etc.
8. Greatly increased hydration of my normally oily, yet very dry skin.
The other group member reported positive results also. One of the possible side-effects with Boswellia (and Zileuton) is dyspepsia and other gastric upset. As I posted earlier, I started experiencing these side-effects after 10 days or so of use. The other group member noticed them almost immediately. Have currently been using calcium successfully as an antacid. Amino Acid Chelated form of Calcium Carbonate seems to work the best. Nature's Herbs Boswellia in the form of Boswellin, trademarked by the Sabinsa Corporation. Nature's Herbs is a division of TwinLabs. The supplements contain 250mg of Boswellia serrata Gum Extract standardized for 60% boswellic acids (or 150mg of Boswellic Acids). I take it 3x per day along with 1/2 of a 250mg cheap store brand Amino Acid Chelated Calcium Carbonate supplement. I take both with meals. The other group member is currently taking a whole 250mg Amino Acid Chelated Calcium Carbonate supplement along with the Boswellia, 3x per day."

Dan later updated: "Hi All, I thought I'd post an update. It's been 10 days, and I'm still
seeing remarkable and continually improving results with the Boswellia with still no negative side-effects. I should tell you that I'm lucky enough to be struggling with trying to roll back the last vestiges of rosacea. As my dermatologist put it recently, most people wouldn't realize I even have it anymore. I just refuse to put up with the continued - although greatly decreased - burning sensations, the occasional flare, and the resulting P&P's that I had been experiencing after successful treatment with Accutane, IPL and Noritate over the last 2 years, even though my Dermatologist suggested there was nothing further that could be done for this.  Also, I refuse to avoid the few Rosacea triggers that remain for me for the rest of my life, again as my doctor suggests I will have to do.
The Boswellia seems to have taken me another big step towards disease regression (for a lack of a better term). In the last week, I've discovered a hot (still not too hot) shower seems to no longer a be trigger for me, and I cannot tell you, after taking cold showers for the last 10 years, how nice this is. I'm sure some of you completely understand what I mean by this.

The benefits I'm seeing from the Boswellia may still reverse in the future, but I am hopeful. And again, some of the results I'm seeing may be due to where I was at in disease regression before starting the Boswellia. Also, I'm still very nervous about taking the supplements. Finally, I may soon start taking a baby Aspirin per day along with the Boswellia since the long-term effects of inhibiting 5-LOX with out inhibiting COX production worries me. I'll monitor my progress and stop taking the Aspirin if I see any decrease in benefits with dual inhibition. Dan"

Earlier, on January 12th 2005, Dan Fries (dfries2003) had written: "Hi all, I don't have a science post on Zileuton, I was interested in learning more about 5-lipo-oxygenase, what it does, what might block its effects, etc and I came across an article, along with many others on the subject. All of the research on Boswellia (Boswellic Acids) as a natural
background, but after reading Dr Nase's inhibitor of 5-lipoxygenase peaked my interest so I did some further Google'ing. There seems to be plenty of other research on Boswellia, but not being a scientist, I'm not sure of its basis. Most of the  research seems to be in the area of inhibiting 5-lipo-oxygenase for asthma or arthritis, but it appears that Boswellia helps with these two disorders and might be potentially useful for 5-lipo-oxygenase inhibition for Acne and - it appears to me - Rosacea too. Thus the Zileuton trials for Acne and Dr Nase's interest in it for Rosacea.

Always willing to experiment, I ran down to the local healthfood store a week ago and purchased some Boswellia Serrata Gum Extract. According to a couple of the articles I read on Asthma, you should take at a minimum 150mg of Boswellic Acids 3 times per day to see results. The Gum Extract I purchased was 250mg standardized at 60% boswellic acids or 150mg of Boswellic Acids. I am having remarkable results with the Boswellia, with none of the harsh side effects of the Ivermectin I took. The first day I took Boswellia, I noticed an almost immediate - within 2 to 3 hours - reduction of sebum production. Since then, I've seen a further decrease in sebum production, burning sensations, P&Ps, the odd KP like rash I get on my arms, legs and stomach and the seb derm in my scalp. Each day, my skin seems to get better, and at this point, my skin is in AMAZING condition - the seb derm on my scalp is gone, my skin is pale (yes, this is a good thing), I've only had a couple of very short lived instances of burning sensations in the last week - one after way too much wine, and my skin looks clearer than it has in 30 years. My skin was in fairly good condition after the Ivermectin I took, but I was seeing a trailing off of the results, and I had a huge flare just before starting to take the Boswellia, with an increase in all symptoms listed above. It appears that much - although not all - of the benefit I personally saw from the Ivermectin (Stromectol) was due
to the side effect of sebum reduction or something else that was fairly short lived.

One odd thing I noticed in the article above is about Asprin and its affect on 5-LOX:
" ...Aspirin inhibits COX-2, but also COX-1 even to greater extent. Inhibiting only COX-2 leads to increased production of substances produced with the help of 5-LOX. For example aspirin can trigger asthma attack, because it inhibits COX-2, which leads to increased production 5-LOX products leukotrienes, which are involved in initiating asthma attack...."

Since my last HUGE rosacea flare was after taking aspirin for several days for headaches, I did a little more research on it too. Again there seems to be much more research about this in the Asthma arena.  It appears that large numbers of Asthmatics have problems with Aspirin and other NSAIDS due to the affects on 5-LOX products, and one of their symptoms is FLUSHING. Interesting since I've seen so much about Aspirin and its potential to help with the inflammation we experience. Potentially Aspirin and other NSAIDS might cause additional problems for SOME of us. I'm thinking they might for me. For the last several years, I have usually taken Tylenol instead of
Aspirin for headaches that on average I have had 4-5 times a week since I was 13 (I'm now 42). Every now and then I get worried about the effects on my liver so I switch back to Aspirin. Recently I had two episodes where after drinking 3-4 glasses of wine - wines I have consumed in the past - I took aspirin before going to bed. Within 2 hours, I woke up flushing like crazy (ears, face, neck, hands and feet), and itched so bad from head to toe that I had to take Benadryl to get the itching to stop. For several days following the episode, my Rosacea symptoms were at their worst. I assumed I was having an allergic reaction to the wine, but couldn't understand why I would be allergic to wine that I had consumed before, and without incident since. Now I'm really wondering if the aspirin might have been the culprit.
I have noticed that I haven't had a headache since taking the Boswellia. I even failed to have a headache when celebrating my birthday the other night with WAY too much to drink - an episode which should really have caused a massive headache and a horrible rosacea flare. Instead I had neither a headache nor the a big rosacea flare - just a little burning the next day with no flushing or other symptoms. While it will take weeks or months before I would be able to link Boswellia to headache reduction due to the nature of my headaches, the research I have read on histamines and headaches makes me hopeful. Also, my sinuses have cleared so much while taking the Boswellia that this may be the reason for lack of headaches. Finally, I'm concerned about a couple of other things. One is that since Boswellia is considered an herbal medicine, it is not regulated for purity - at least not here in the US. In my mind, it would be very important to find a source that we could trust for purity. Dan"

Dan wrote in direct response to the decreasing of the immune system: "I believe strongly that the inflammation underlying rosacea is caused by infections, likely multiple infections, and that the only way to completely eliminate rosacea is to treat these infections rather than interfere with our bodies' already hindered immune response to these infections. Curcumin / Turmeric has been shown to be a potent 5-LOX inhibitor, which interferes with our bodies' ability to fight infections through the blocking of downstream Leukotrienes, particularly Leukotriene B4, as Leukotriene B4 has been shown to have very important interactions with internally produced antimicrobial peptides, including the very important human cathelicidin (LL-37). In short, although I'm certainly no expert, I'd recommend boosting the immune response through Vitamin D3, zinc and magnesium supplements. Studies suggest that zinc and magnesium are required for proper Vit D3 metabolism and use. I'd also highly recommend a good probiotic, particularly those that include L. reuteri since this probiotic strain has been shown to have antimicrobial effects against multiple pathogens in its own right."

And one of Dans last updates on his Boswellia serrate use was:  "I'm still seeing the following while taking Boswellic Acids:
1. A decrease in the number of Rosacea flares and almost complete reduction of redness and what was near constant burning on my face
2. A very large reduction in sebum and P&P's - I'd agree with the findings of reduced sebum by 65% and reduced papules, pustules and acne by around 75%. I may be seeing even a better than 75% reduction in P&Ps - I'm almost completely clear.
3. A reduction or elimination of of some of my triggers - heat and hot showers are no longer seem to be a trigger - nor are hot liquids
4. Almost complete elimination of the Seb Derm on my scalp
5. Almost complete elimination of the odd KP like rash I had on my stomach, arms and legs
6. Reduction in the number of headaches I usually get - I still have not had one while taking Boswellia alone.
7. Clearing of allergy symptoms - almost complete clearing of sinuses and itchy/wather eyes, etc.
8. Greatly increased hydration of my normally oily, yet very dry skin

The other group member reported positive results also. One of the possible side-effects with Boswellia (and Zileuton) is dyspepsia and other gastric upset. As I posted earlier, I started experiencing these side-effects after 10 days or so of use. The other group member noticed them almost immediately. So we have been trying different combinations of supplements to help prevent these side-effects. As I posted earlier, I tried Ginger. It helped prevent the gastric troubles, but after a couple of days, seemed to decrease the effects of the Boswellia. It may be due to the COX inhibitor qualities or the vasodilator qualities of Ginger. We both tried Curcumin (a reportedly fairly potent COX inhibitor) and it made us both flush when taken with the Boswellia. I also had a huge headache after 2 doses of Curcumin, and didn't go away until I stopped taking the Curcumin. So long story short, we have currently been using calcium successfully as an antacid. We've tried a couple of different forms of calcium, and the Amino Acid Chelated form of Calcium Carbonate seems to work the best. In fact Calcium Citrate didn't seem to work for the other group member at all.

In summary, here is what I'm currently taking: Nature's Herbs Boswellia in the form of Boswellin, trademarked by the Sabinsa Corporation. Nature's Herbs is a division of TwinLabs. The supplements contain 250mg of Boswellia serrata Gum Extract standardized for 60% boswellic acids (or 150mg of Boswellic Acids). I take it 3x per day along with 1/2 of a 250mg cheap store brand Amino Acid Chelated Calcium Carbonate supplement. I take both with meals. The other group member is currently taking a whole 250mg Amino Acid Chelated Calcium Carbonate supplement along with the Boswellia, 3x per day. Since dyspepsia (heartburn) and gastric upset are listed as only a "possible side-effects" of Boswellia, not everyone may need the calcium supplement.

Finally, several have asked. Due to the possible side-effects Accutane has on the liver as well as its sebun reducing effects, I don't think it would be wise to take Boswellia while taking Accutane. Also, it might be risky to take Boswellia while undergoing laser treatment. I'm not really certain about this, so check with your doctor to be sure. If anyone finds an answer to this, please let us know... Hope this helps... Dan "

A friend of mine took boswellia for a while too, for his rosacea that both gives flushing and p&p's:  He said boswellia did nothing for his p&p's and made his skin more dry. 

I am no expert and every case of rosacea is a different one, but I know that in my case there is an overly active immune system, that has to be slowed down, rather than boosted. My immunologist stressed this at the time, and all types of immune boosters seem to make my rosacea redness and flushing flare; multivitamins, vitamin C etc. My London derm also experimented with immuno-suppressive medication on his worst rosacea patients (flushers) and found significant improvement. Downside of such serious medication are the side effects and the risks of infections. But with herbal supplements like boswellia, I think that a mild calming down of the immune system and inflammation could be a good thing. I don't believe that secondary infection is the underlying motor of all types of rosacea, although it certainly can be a factor. But in my own case, I am fairly convinced that it is the immune system being in overload and creating inflammation in the body, the fires it all up. I for instance also have colitis which fuels my rosacea, as well and have arthritis, Raynauds, allergies. 

I like how this supplement Boswellia is supposed to reduce inflammation. I like that it is natural and I like that some rosaceans have stated that it reduced their flushing as well. I am weary of the fact that it seems to reduce sebum: my skin is very very dry and I have no way of moisturizing it, as my skin can´t handle any topicals. What if my skin gets even more dry in this supplement? Stil it seems worth a try.

More link:

Antistaphylococcal and biofilm inhibitory activities of acetyl-11-keto-b-boswellic acid from Boswellia serrata (Link)
Blockade of Endogenous Leukotrienes Exacerbates Pulmonary Histoplasmosis (Link)
Another look at boswellic acids (Link)
COX Inhibitors (Link)
Arachidonic Acid Metabolites (Prostaglandins and Related Compounds)  (Link)

Human Genome Screen to Identify the Genetic Basis of the Anti-inflammatory Effects of Boswellia in Microvascular Endothelial Cells (Link)

3. N-Acetyl Cysteine

N-Acetyl Cysteine, also known as NAC, is an altered version of Cysteine. Cysteine is an amino acid containing sulfur. NAC plays a role in the replenishment and maintenance of Glutathione levels in the body. NAC in fact it boosts the blood levels of glutathione, which is an antioxidant that removes oxygen radicals - which cause cellular and tissue damage - from cells. On top it will help fight viruses and the flu. NAC has also been found to reduce inflammation in tissues and is named a "powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant" in this pubmed article.

NAC inhibits the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines, suppresses NF-kappa B and regulates the gene for COX-2 thereby preventing inflammation and pain. These chemicals are involved in hundreds of inflammatory conditions and diseases. In other words, N-A-C is anti-inflammatory and can either blunt or reverse chronic inflammatory conditions. NAC not only can be ingested into the body orally, but also through inhalation.

NAC is also said to prevent LDL-cholesterol (“bad” cholesterol) from being oxidized and causing inflammatory damage to the blood vessels. NAC promises to lower the levels of homocysteine, which prevents the buildup of plaque in the arteries. The lower the homocysteine, the less likelihood of arterial blockage. NAC also dissolves mucous, making it easier to cough up, and as such can help treat conditions of the lungs like chronic bronchitis, asthma and sinusitis. Here are more benefits of NAC listed.

Research done on NAC:

A recent 2012 study by a team of scientists led by Dr Ahmed Sahib wanted to examine the effect of oral antioxidants on the severity of acne. A group of 56 acne patients were divided up into four different groups. They received either 200 mcg of selenium, 1200 mg of n-acetyl-cysteine, 210 mg of silymarin from milk thistle, and one group received a placebo. Acne hardly changed in the placebo group. Total acne lesion count in the selenium receiving patients fell by nearly 40%, which is pretty respectable. But it was the silymarin/milk thistle and the NAC group where the most astonishing drop in acne occurred. In both the silymarin and NAC groups, total acne lesion counts fell by a massive 50%.

N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC) and rosacea:

Phlika wrote: "I tried NAC in combination with D3 but found that I could not tolerate the increased flushing (that may or may not have been the result of die off)." Link

IDan tried it as well: "I have taken NAC, but I stopped taking it when I read some studies that suggest that our immune system's defensins have disulfide bonds too (and theoretically the NAC could break these bonds just as it theoretically does with the disulfide bonds of Cpn)... This is my personal thought and not necessarily one supported by anyone on CpnHelp.org...." I think with my overactive immune system this could be a good thing though? 

Jamie1088 mentioned NAC: "Amino acid NAC for blushing? Was on BBC breakfast programme that this has been proven to help with a load of anxiety disorders. On the programme was a women who pulled her hair out when nervous or anxious. She just couldn't help it and would pull strands of hair at a time in a nervous reaction. She has now been on NAC and hasn't pulled any hair since. She said that studies prove that a deficiency in this vitamin causes nervous type reactions in people. It is proven to be as, if not more, effective than taking a course of CBT. I'll try to find a link to the interview. Very interesting."

Phlika replied: "I tried taking NAC when I was first trialling vitamin D3 about 2 years ago. One of the supplements made me flush quite badly. Whilst I cant say 100% which one I would go for the NAC as I am now taking vitamin D3 by itself and that is okay." 

Mistica wrote: "Whey also fights pathogens, plus it raises glutathione levels, which supposedly help fight pathogens as well. Perhaps it even has an affect on intracellular forms? NAC also raises glutathione levels. Dr Stratton believes it breaks down the cellular bonds. Something Dan took for most of this treatment. I dabbled in it recently, and found it caused too much flushing. I only tried it for about 5 days. I developed the well known NAC flu, but only mildly compared to others on the Cpn forum. Vitamin D is also supposed to raise glutathione levels, but perhaps not as much. I don't know."

She updated: "I mention this here as since this hell, I no longer react to NAC. It has a similar action on EB, without the antibiotic effect. I have never seen anything written about NAC's effects on biofilms, but I have to wonder if it might have some small impact. I developed the typical NAC flu after a couple of days initially. Have you tried it?". "If you find the infectious theory sparks your interest, you could test this by taking NAC 600 mg, once per day. If you experience what is termed 'the NAC flu', and (as in my case, inferno face), you probably carry a significant pathogen load."

-She later wrote more about NAC and using it as a means to kill of infections: "NAC dosage. 600mg x once daily. Perhaps you could test this for a week? If nothing happens, take 1200mg daily. When taking NAC for a prolonged period of time, it is necessary to take around 3 times the amount of vitamin C to ward off oxidation. Dan took GliSODin, which is another option. NAC also binds metals, so do your homework. Die off includes any of the following. A flu type syndrome, a running nose, a cough, headache, an increase in symptoms in any other health issue you might have. The first two are pretty common effects. And of course, an increase in rosacea symptoms. Because most of us react to so many supplements, it could be said this doesn't mean much by itself. In my opinion, if Cpn has only set up shop in the face, systemic die off can't be expected. My mentor didn't have any side effects from NAC, yet she responded wonderfully to the CAP. My personal experience was a very mild running nose, a mild productive cough, so mild I barely noticed it. Given my impressive history of respiratory infections, I was a little surprised. I did experience a very noticeable flu type sydrome though. NAC works in a similar way to amoxicillin, without the antibiotic effects. In Cpn, supposedly it breaks down the Elementary bodies (The infectious phase) causing them to die and release toxins. This is what causes the side effects. Anyone who is seriously interested in the role of Cpn in chronic inflammatory diseases should read the Cpn website. It is rather tedious to navigate in some ways, but nevertheless it is full of information and very helpful people." 

John111 wrote: "Hi firstly can I say that I'm currently taking vitamin d3 and N-acetly cysteine NAC for 3 weeks and they have reduced the diffuse redness by approx 10-15 percent and also the burning and pain are almost gone from my cheeks even though i still flush.This has certainly helped and is the  first improvement i have seen after trying many supplements."

millerlite181 wrote on 18 Nov 2005: "Hey group, just thought i'd help you out a bit since i feel we should share anything that helps. Well, here it is. FOR ALL YOU WHO LIKE TO HAVE ALCOHOL AT TIMES. N-acetyl cysteine is a must. After doing much research on this natural antioxidant, there are many facts that it help detox alcohol, especially acteylaldehyde, which is responsible for such reactions to alcohol such as flushing, sweating, increased heart rate, etc.
DO a google search on this topic. "n-acetyl cysteine alcohol"..............from my experience so far......I have seen 75% reduced redness/flushing after drinking alcohol while ingesting NAC. I used NOW brand NAC with molybdenum/selenium. I take one 600 mg before drinking about 30 min with 1 more after 3 beers or cocktails/whatever......with 1 more later in the evening. works very efficiently. Sorry, as i'm kinda intoxicated as I wrote this, but I was soo excited at this that I needed to tell everyone here.....please do not let this go to waste, it really works and the theory behind it makes perfect sense. ACETYLALDEHYDE IS RESPONSIBLE FOR FLUSHING DUE TO ALCOHOL IN MOST CASES...1000 MORE TIMES TOXIC THAN ALCOHOL ITSELF!!!
I read somewhere that you should take 200 mg before drinking and then 200 mg for every ounce of alcohol you consume. This ounce is referring to hard liquor ounces, such as shots. SO, for every beer you should have about 200 mg or a tiny bit more, theoretically.
One more thing for all you health gurus out there. Vitamin C helps protect N-acetyl cysteine from causing kidney stones when used in high doses. It stabilizes it in the body. Take a low dose of vitamin c with your NAC just for extra protection, which is fine because C also helps with blood vessel stability and repair!!! Most sincerely, Chris"

Anonymous replied on 18 Nov 2005: "Chris, that's a very good and germane point. The acetylaldehyde (break down product) is probably one of the biggest instigators in flushing. I will look up NAC on the PDR Herbal Edition to see if they say anything else. Thanks for the info."

InverseCascade wrote a year ago: "Yeah, I am trying to help my body produce glutathione. Another option is N-Acetylcysteine (NAC) taken with alpha lipoic acid. They both help produce glutathione which is a powerful antioxidant and they both seem to affect metabolism (research). But, NAC can increase histamine issues. I do take alpha lipoic acid. Milk thistle is another, but I have ragweed allergy. Turmeric and green tea also help the body produce glutathione. I take Turmeric and one cup of de-caffeinated green tea (decaf has less antioxidants).
My situation is challenging because my condition was induced by Mirvaso (as I mentioned), which caused severe nerve pain and allergy-like intolerance to food and supplements. This experience has been extremely traumatic for me and has caused severe anxiety because of the nerve pain and reaction to eating, sleeping, breathing, relaxing. That's why I can't tolerate any caffeine because it increases my anxiety. I am still trying to recover from Mirvaso. It's pretty devastating that I was fine, healthy, happy. And this was all caused by a dermatologist. I'm having a very challenging time coping with the reality of this situation. I will look into taking MSM. Here are some other things that turn on the body's innate production of antioxidants (especially glutathione): Curcumin from turmeric, Green tea extract, DHA (omega 3 fatty acid), Sulforophane (contained in broccoli), Bacopa extract, Ashwaganda, Silymarin (milk thistle), Resveratrol (grapeseed & berries), Alpha lipoic acid, and N Acetylcystiene (NAC)."

Skyguy2005 wrote on 11 January 2017: "This is an open question: How often do you take NAC? For me it's a pretty damn powerful supplement. If I take it more than 3 days in a row I feel seasick. If I skip it for 3 weeks and then take 1 it's like "woah!". I don't wanna take it too often then, in fact recently I've been taking it (600mg/day, the usual dose) mondays, tuesdays, and wednesdays. 3 on. 4 off. This seems to achieve good things.

 Perhaps the feeling sick is due to too much antioxidants, which is supposed to inhibit some vital processes like autophagy. Perhaps we should seek to keep the antioxidants level "just so" it seems."

Dosage and side effects of NAC:

There are no accepted ideal dosages for NAC. You could start at 600 mg daily and gradually build up to a maximum of 3000 mg daily. But one single 600 mg cap a day is usually good enough. If you want to take more, taking between 800 mg - 1,800 mg of NAC is usually recommended. Ideally, you should take it with an equivalent amount of vitamin C for maximum free radical scavenging effects.

Side Effects

Despite more than 40 years of clinical use by naturopaths, holistic medical doctors and nutritionists of virtually every stripe, NAC has a well-established safety record even at very high dosages over long periods of time. Some people experience nausea when taking NAC on an empty stomach, but the majority does not experience any side effects if they take it with food. Other potential side effects are vomiting, diarrhea, or constipation. NAC should be taken with food, at any time, but preferably in the morning.

4. Milk thistle (Silymarin)

Milk Thistle is a flowering herb used for thousands of years for all sorts of health problems, and also as a liver remedy.
Its herbal extract is standardized to 80% silymarin (and 20% fatty acids, including linoleic acid, known to help maintain healthy cell membranes and control cellular metabolism), and helps the body support healthy liver function by regenerating liver cells so that damaged areas of the liver may be renewed.
Silymarin is an antioxidant that protects against cell damage.

The Ancient Greeks and Romans used it to treat everything from liver ailments to snake bites; in the Middle Ages, it was considered a remedy for liver toxins. It's been an antidote for 'death cap' mushroom poisoning for centuries, and today, homeopathic practitioners use the compounds in milk thistle seeds to treat a range of disorders including jaundice, gallstones, and peritonitis.

Recently, Milk Thistle has been popping up as an herbal acne cure and anti-aging ingredient.

Silymarin may protect the body from chemicals by blocking toxins from entering the cell or by moving toxins out of the cell before damage begins. They can strengthen cell walls, stimulate enzymes that make toxins less harmful to the body, as well as block free radicals - responsible for signs of aging - from attacking cells.

And last but not least, milk thistle has a proven effect as an anti-angiogenic, meaning it can prevent the formation of new blood vessels. This is interesting for rosacea, as many people with rosacea have a more than average amount of blood vessels in the skin, and are also prone to the skin making even more blood vessels. On top of that, rosacea patients have often blood vessels that lay too close to the skins surface, and blood vessels that dilate too quickly and widely. 

And milk thistle can do wonders for the skin as well. All of these cleansing properties that milk thistle exhibits are thought to serve as a acne treatment from the inside out. Herbalists have been prescribing it for centuries, and recommend milk thistle as an oral supplement for acne sufferers. It is considered a 'bitter remedy,' and therefore  has cooling propertiesMilk thistle is thought to clear up acne along with other chronic inflammatory diseases of the skin. Ultimately, this antioxidant-laden herb is supposed to increase your liver function, therefore promoting more cleansing and consequently eliminating acne, according to Dr. Simon Mills at AcneToHealth.com.

It appears that milk thistle can work from the inside out, the outside in, and is a safe herbal supplement and product ingredient that's full of a powerful antioxidant. It also comes with a bonus benefit: it is a helpful cure for hangovers, flushing out liver toxins after one too many glasses of wine.

One of the possible underlying causes for facial flushing in females can be menopause. Patients experiencing menopause flushing may benefit from hormone therapy with estrogen to help alleviate symptoms, including facial flushing (always consult treatment with your healthcare provider). Milk thistle may be effective in decreasing menopausal symptoms.

Research done on milk thistle:

Milk thistle is also a popular herbal ingredient in topical creams, because of its antioxidant and cooling properties. In a double-blind study done on patients suffering from Stage I–III rosacea, patients were treated for one month with a topical cream containing silymarin, the powerhouse antioxidant component in Milk Thistle. A significant improvement in skin redness, papules, itching, hydration, and skin color occurred. 
In another study focusing on UV-induced Oxidative Stress, "Silymarin inhibited UV-induced oxidative stress in both epidermal and dermal cells." Its ability to block free radicals within the body can apparently also translate into topical skin creams as well, shielding the skin from UVB damage. I'm hoping that down the road, all of its toxin-blocking and cleansing properties within the liver will be translated to skin cells and milk thistle will be a real triple threat!

In this study, 46 patients with stage I-III rosacea participated in a double-blind, placebo-controlled study. They were given a topical treatment with silymarin/methylsulfonilmethane (S-MSM, to see if it would improve erythematous-telangiectactic rosacea (red skin with spider veins). Subjects were treated for 1 month. Their skin was evaluated after 10 and 20 days, and at the end of the study. Itching, stinging, erythema (redness of the skin), and papules were investigated clinically as well as hydration and erythema instrumentally with capacitance and color measurements.
A statistically significant improvement was seen, especially of skin redness, papules, itching, hydration, and skin color. The researchers concluded that silymarin and S-MSM can be useful in managing symptoms and condition of rosacea skin, especially in the rosacea subtype 1 erythemato-telangiectatic phase. "The action can be considered multicentric and multiphase because of the direct modulating action on cytokines and angiokines normally involved and up-regulated in the case of such skin condition."

This study found that milk thistle supplementation reduced the activity of the inflammatory master molecule NF-KappaB, which controls the release of many pro-inflammatory chemicals. That’s a good power to have, but it’s also found elsewhere, in sweet potatoes, garlic, bananasresveratrol and vitamin D.
It helps to improve the metabolization of hormones, which could help to reduce unhealthy estrogen metabolites like 4-hydroxy and 16-hydroxy estrogen. Those villains can cause acne through oxidative stress and inflammation.

A recent 2012 study by a team of scientists led by Dr Ahmed Sahib wanted to examine the effect of oral antioxidants on the severity of acne. A group of 56 acne patients were divided up into four different groups. They received either 200 mcg of selenium, 1200 mg of n-acetyl-cysteine, 210 mg of silymarin from milk thistle, and one group received a placebo. Acne hardly changed in the placebo group. Total acne lesion count in the selenium receiving patients fell by nearly 40%, which is pretty respectable. But it was the silymarin/milk thistle and the NAC group where the most astonishing drop in acne occurred. In both the silymarin and NAC groups, total acne lesion counts fell by a massive 50%.

You can use milk thistle in herb/pill form or as a cream

I would personally first try milk thistle as a herbal supplement, not as a cream, but there is a product out there in case you want to use it topical. David Pascoe wrote about a topic cream called Rosacure, from Canderm. "The product’s genesis and marketing are  good, so lets look at some of the available background information and product reviews.

The marketing for rosacure says :
“Its two key ingredients are methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), a sulfur compound that is used in the treatment of inflammatory conditions and silymarin (Lady’s or Milk Thistle Extract), a bioflavonoid. The combination of MSM and silymarin exerts a synergistic effect in reducing the appearance of facial redness.”

Info from the product:
"Managing facial redness (erythema) is an important cosmetic goal in rosacea treatment. A cream combining silymarin, tacopheryl acetate, acetyl glucosamine, and hyaluronic acid in a hydrating oleosome base was formulated to provide control of cutaneous erythema and to improve homeostasis of cutaneous microcirculation. We conducted an open, prospective evaluation of results of applying this cream twice daily to reduce facial redness in both new and existing patients with rosacea. After 6 and 12 weeks, the mean redness score for all facial areas (cheek, chin, forehead, nose) was reduced (P>.001) in 29 of 32 enrolled patients, and the mean redness score was lower (P< .001) after 12 weeks than after 6 weeks. Concurrent use of topical metronidazole was well tolerated and did not alter the efficacy of the cream. One (3.5%) of the 29 patients discontinued therapy because of burning, stinging, and increased redness. Silymarin cream was safe and effective in reducing facial redness associated with rosacea."

These are the ingredients from this cream:


The cream contains more than one problematic ingredient, unfortunately, including paraben preservatives and propylene glycol, both known possible skin irritants.

Reviews from members of rosacea-support;

rose jill says: “I used rosacure for a very long time, a long time ago no results, at least it did not aggravate my skin.”

Aimee says: “I have been using Rosacure for many years now. It is a very good moisturizer for me and may help to reduce flushing, but I cant say for sure on that. It has not been a miracle for me, but as I have said before on this board that I always try new products that come out and when they don’t work because they are too harsh or too perfumey or any of the other million of things that go wrong with new products, I always go back to Rosacure.”

Marcella says: “I have used it for at least 5 years. Never has burned me….. easily tolerated and a great moisturizer. I highly recommend it.”

Bihbi Cat says: “Rosacure was the first topical I bought even before my derm diagnoses of rosacea, as a GP said they thought that might be what I had and I spotted a nice, convincing ad in a mag for Rosacure. It does moisturize but from memory it’s a bit greasy and I think it caused a bit of flushing for me — certainly didn’t do anything to curb the flushing, though I did hear someone here say you supposedly have to use it for some weeks to see results — they were still waiting for the results to kick in.”

flamepoint says: “I have been using Rosacure since last September. It’s my favorite product. It’s great in the winter if you have dry skin and I just go easy on it in the summer so it’s not too heavy. Shoppers Drug Mart carries it out here for about $35.00. Don’t need a prescription. Just ask for it at the pharmacy.”

Simon replied on April 24, 2008: "I have read the same comments from flamepoint verbatim on another website. blatant marketing campaign. don’t buy this product."

Erika says: “I’ve found that Rosacure didn’t do anything for me, good or bad. I found it too oily which for me results in redness.  I can see where it would be a helpful moisturizer in winter though”.

Mary wrote on October 23, 2007: "I used Rosacure, then Rosacure+, from 1999 to September 2007. It was a good moisturizer, well tolerated, but I never noticed any significant reduction in redness. My doctor said that at best, it would keep me from getting any redder, but I was careless about hot water and other triggers for several years, and am now redder than I was before. (Can’t blame the Rosacure for that, I guess). I stopped using it for a week this September when I ran out, but when I started using it again, I noticed that I would always redden on application, so I have stopped using it for now.
In addition, I looked at the before and after shots on their website, and only one person with severe erythema appears to be improved. The other two pictures show no significant difference to the naked eye. If these are their bragging photos, I wouldn’t be too optimistic about any improvement for most people. I’ve read the linked study, which uses different units than shown in the graph I’ve linked below, used unblinded evaluators — that is, someone who knew which patients were on placebos and which used Rosacure — to assess the reduction in redness. The numbers looks great, with a mean value of about 60% reduction in redness, but the pictures displayed aren’t consistent with those numbers (to my eyes, anyway)."

Milk thistle and acne:

There’s a good explanation for how milk thistle works these acne miracles – its ability to increase glutathione production. The study above also analysed levels of serum antioxidant levels and what they did they find? Blood glutathione levels increased three fold, by 271%. A separate study found that milk thistle boosts glutathione by 35%. Glutathione is the most important out of all the antioxidants which your body manufactures itself. Acne patients have been shown repeatedly to have lower levels than average.
Increasing gluthathione production is also how milk thistle helps your liver, since glutathione is also your body’s most important detoxification agent.

There’s a lot of hype and nonsense about toxins and their effect on acne and rosacea; for example, you should never believe any stories about a weak liver diverting toxins to your skin, where they get forced out through your pores and then collect in your pores. Nor should you believe that toxins get stored in the liver itself and that to cure acne, you have to perform a liver cleanse with an insane acne diet like eating nothing but kale for two weeks. Nevertheless, improving your detoxification systems and providing more resources does allow you to remove acne-causing and otherwise harmful chemicals. For example, glutathione is responsible for detoxifying the heavy metals mercury and arsenic by transferring a molecule to them and preventing them from reacting with cells.
Mercury causes acne through massive inflammation and arsenic is notorious for increasing keratin and dead skin cell turnover.

If you don’t have enough glutathione, these metals as well as many other chemical contaminants like herbicides or BPA can be recycled endlessly back into the bloodstream. They continue to cause acne over and over. Other chemicals, like inflammatory phthalates found in cheap plastics, can be stored long-term in your fat cells.

Possibly the biggest problem is glutathione’s dual function – it functions both as a detoxification agent and an antioxidant. You need glutathione’s antioxidants to keep your skin strong, but if it’s side-tracked with detoxifying toxin after toxin flooding in, your levels get depleted. You won’t have enough to defend against acne from air pollution and cigarette smoke. By supplementing with milk thistle or any other glutathione boosting agent, you can ensure that your supplies are plentiful enough both to detoxify harmful chemicals and directly keep acne at bay. In the 21st century, we are exposed to more acne-causing chemicals in cosmetics, herbicides, heavy metals, pesticides, and food additives than ever. Acne-prone people need more glutathione than ever and that’s why milk thistle can work wonders for acne.

Milk thistle and rosacea:

On Dr. Glenn S. Rothfeld's Nutrition and Healing page, a doctor suggested milk thistle for rosacea.
The patient asked"The rosacea on my cheeks has become so embarrassing that I don’t even like to have my picture taken any more. Makeup is only working to a point, and I’m worried it could make my rosacea worse. I’ve tried over-the-counter creams and even a prescription gel, and I’ve been really disappointed. I’m out of ideas. How about you?"

Dr. Wright replied: "I understand your frustration. Rosacea, an inflammatory skin condition that mainly affects the faces of older men and women, can be notoriously difficult to treat. Fortunately, I may indeed have one more trick up my sleeve that you have not yet tried. In fact, most people have never heard about this course of treatment at all. If you have been reading e-Tips for a while, you’re probably already familiar with the health benefits of the natural remedy milk thistle, also known in the herbal world as Silybum marianum. Milk thistle can protect your liver from a toxic attack, and even helps remove excess iron from your body. But in a study published several years ago, scientists discovered that milk thistle may also help clear stubborn rosacea. In a placebo-controlled clinical study, researchers asked 46 patients battling the condition to apply either a placebo cream or a cream containing silymarin (a concentrated extract from milk thistle) and MSM. The silymarin/ MSM group showed a significant improvement, with big reductions in redness, itching, and acne. General measures of skin health—such as hydration and color—were also dramatically improved.
The good news is that it couldn’t be cheaper or easier to see if a silymarin/MSM topical solution can work for you. There are products available online and in health food stores right now that will run you about a dollar a day. Good luck!"

Jack wrote on March 14, 2009: "I have suffered a lot for high redness of  the face, recently the Derm doc told me this is Rosacea, I am taking Rozex gel for more then 1 year now, the redness improved but still exist and I have flare-ups from time to time. Recently I noticed that Sylimarin (milk thistle) can help with Rosacea. I took Milk Thistle for about 2 years before treatment and stopped it while I was on treatment. My question - would it be ok to take Milk Thistle now? Can it cause any problem? Anyone here know if it can really help with Rosacea? Thank you, Jack"

HCA replied on March 14, 2009: "I've never found anything scientific to support the notion that milk thistle has any hepatic benefit-or that suggests that it's harmful.
I think that even today there is talk of a study dosing it intravenously.
Until some good evidence comes along I think the only conclusion can be-as my first liver doctor said- 'It probably doesn't do any harm!' If I've missed some important news on this I will cheerfully change my opinion."

Hopeful587 replied on March 15, 2009: "My moderate to severe rosacea of the face and eyes gradually improved then completely cleared over my eight years on Milk Thistle.  In fact, all the strange breakouts on arms and shoulders also cleared. None of the meds, topical and oral phased it. I have the fair skin and the sun damage factors. Also followed the general measures afore mentioned. I still flush during exertion, but not as badly. Interestingly enough since starting tx my pigmentation spots on fading. Only in 4th wk of tx, hope that it won't return. Good to know about these studies and more info on tx rosacea.  Just wanted to let you know that Milk Thistle worked for me. Hopeful"

pvk wrote on August 4, 2008: "Is there a connection between hep c and acne or rosacea? I've had hep c for 30 years or more, mild liver damage and haven't treated yet. A year or so ago I started getting pretty dramatic acne-like red sores on my face, especially my nose. I thought this was related to liver function but my hepatologist and a dermatologist were skeptical and thought it was just 'normal' rosacea or adult acne. The dermatologist prescribed some creams which didn't help at all. Well, a few months ago I started taking milk thistle and the problem has diminished significantly. I wonder if the improvement is due to improved liver function due to the milk thistle. I was just wondering whether anyone has any experience with this and whether it's similar to mine or not. Also, if my theory is correct, and the milk thistle is having a positive effect on my liver function, does this mean that I'm in a little less danger from liver damage from the hep c virus?"

j-tah wrote on October 22nd 2009: "Hi. I just learned that milk thistle can be beneficial for rosacea because it cleans the liver. Has anyone had success with this? If so, please explain what brand and
dosage you find works for you. Thanks!"

MasK replied on October 23rd, 2009: "I don't have any brand to give to you, but silybum marianum (the latin name of milk thistle) works great, and is proven by scientific studies to support the work of the liver, and when the liver is detoxifying the chemicals, drugs, toxines, salycilates, histamine, and many other things from the body like it has to do it, it's the whole health and body functions that are improved. Your skin will be cleaner too, digestion etc. But be careful with the "natural" remedies, they could have side effects too, on high dosage. For the liver, I prefer to take desmodium (about 600mg/day when on a 2 months cure, and the liver "cleaning" is more effective on spring according to the eastern medecines).
Add probiotics to your diet, and omega 3 oils (flax oil, or colza oil except if you suffer from thyroid problems since colza and all the cabbage family aggravate hyperthyroidism) because they lessen inflammation over the body (2 tablespoons a day on meal). Choose them extra virgin.
Hope this will help. Best regards."

Jason1984 wrote on February 9th 2009: "Hi, I was wondering if anyone has had any success taking milk thistle? It is mentioned on the Australian Science website being beneficial. Thanks

Yvette replied on February 9th 2009: "Hi, I have Milk Thistle and take it fairly regularly, but I also take a boat load of vitamins, probably 15 or so a day. I couldn't tell you how well it works since I think all the vitamins I'm taking help some. I read it can help the liver and can also reduce inflammation. I think it's worth a shot for you to try. I recently started Quercetin and that seems to be working pretty well also. My favorites are Tumeric, Evening Primrose, Grape Seed, CoQ10, Quercetin, pycengenol, Olive Leaf, and UGN (anti fungal) supplement. Good luck. Regards, Yvette"

brasileirao wrote on July 19th 2007: "Hi Friends! 2 question - can taking Milk Thriste cause some skin reaction? Like flushing? Also, I have been SUPER good about putting on sun screen, but today I was in a hurry and didn't have time. The only time I caught ANY sun was on the walk from my car to my house, seriously like 20 steps. I noticed that my skin has now been a bit redder - is there ANYWAY that 30 seconds in the Sun could cause that? Thanks! Tony"

-ToadStooL- replied on July 19th 2007: "I just want to say my 2 cents...First, I have taken milk thistle before. I generally prefer to take it at night... I do not recall have any flushing reaction to it. I'd also like to assume that you are taking Milk thistle, perhaps because you either have some live condition.. and/or you suspect liver toxicity to play a major role in your symptoms. If you do.. I just would like to add that yes milk thistle is a good idea... many studies support that it has some beneficial properties to it. I'd also like to mention all the MANY other things that in fact go through your liver, which, results in the "toxicity" and or your liver not functioning to its full potential. Everything you eat, drink, put on your skin does sink in and goes through the liver. There is not much we can do regarding food... (unless we buy only organic...) but we can and do have control over what we expose ourselves to. Such as chemically based body washes,, shampoos, toothpastes..chlorine waters.... etc...etc... So if we can limit our exposure to these things.. then perhaps we can give our livers a well deserved break?

I'd like to introduce the idea of sunscreen now. In my personal opinion... sunscreen is the WORSE thing to put on your skin. Its FULL of chemicals.. many of which I wouldn't doubt are potentially cancer causing.... the skin is a sponge. It soaks up and STORES everything.
I too was very sensitive to the sun.. but, when I look back I wasn't always this way. Years spent indoors weakens us to outside assailants.. like UV...Vitamin D is a very natural and important element to our health... to avoid something so important.. simply leads us to more complications... as does a processed diet full of hormones.. and lacking substance.
Complications occur when we do not give our bodies what we need.. All vitamins.. and minerals...
I at one time used to react very harshly to anything and everything.. showers.. .. all moisturizers.... cleansers everything. Eventually I kept up exposing myself to these extremes... I understand that no one case is the same.. I overcame these.. I no longer react to them...  I don't know if I have helped at all... I kinda got sidetracked a little...Good luck hopefully someone else can offer sound advice."

BrunoP wrote on October 10th 2011: "Hi, i saw this info about this product:

Milk Thistle is an herbal supplement you can find at your local store or pharmacy in the vitamin section. It’s quite cheap and readily available. Begin by taking the recommended dosage, but increase the dosage as desired. There are no ill side effects to Milk Thistle and it’s completely safe. It will help your liver heal so it can cleanse and metabolize toxins and other chemicals much more efficiently so your blood doesn’t have to expel these toxins through the skin – the main trigger of rosacea.

I know that some people take this as a pill or tea along with supplements etc, but have it been effective? should i give it a try? Thanks"

Ghost replied on October 10th 2011: "I'm a great believer in clearing out the liver, etc., But do start SLOW on the milk thistle, it's powerful stuff. Take less than the instructions say. If it says 3x per day, do it 2x. You can make yourself pretty queasy when the liver starts releasing stuff. You can also clean your liver quickly by doing a liver flush. You can look up information all over the web. curezone.com has long threads about it that are informative. I did around 25 of these years ago until I was sure I got all the gunk out."

parsonsc6901 wrote on October 10th 2011: "I used milk thistle because my nose was red all the time and around my nose was red from seb derm I bought it at GNC. I did see good results. It did look like the redness had gone down in my skin. It is safe for you to take. I would start off with a small amount. It is worth a try.
I bought herbal plus standardized milk thistle for 23.99. I have never used the tea. It says on the bottle take 1-3 capsules a day.I took two everyday but I am very small. They also have one there for a little bit cheaper for 18$. I would just get the smallest,cheapest bottle to see if it works for you first."

BrunoP wrote on October 15th 2011: "I went to a shop here and I found it, well it's St.Mary's thistle but it's the same (searched on google) in Portugal it's called Cardo Mariano, it's 500 mg and it says to take 3 pills a day before meals! i'll start tomorrow and let you know! it's 60 pills, so it's only for 10 days, i don´t think it's enough, how many days should this be done? how was your experience in this milk thistle? Bruno"

Ghost wrote on October 15th 2011: "Wait -- 3 pills before EACH meal? Or 3 pills per day, one before each meal? Makes a BIG diff. I find milk thistle to be quite effective. Go slower rather than faster."

BrunoP wrote on October 15th 2011: "I will start with 2 pills before meals, this weekend, one before lunch and one before bed, and Monday i'll take 3, in the morning, lunch or bed
i'm sorry if i wrote it wrong, i should had listening more to English classes in the high school
"My condition is redness in my cheeks and nose, and after oral pills and antibiotics, you know the rest... i had 6 sessions of IPL, but i didn't notice any improvement, and as you, i had no ideia the possibility of having mites, and i still don't know cause i never had a test, as you. The IPL was done to eliminate the blood vessels, but in this case it would kill the mites too."
"By the way i bought the milk thistle pills for liver and took 60 pills, 3 times a day. i don't known if i should take another or wait, i couldn't notice changes in my rosacea"

Caran wrote on January 30th 2008: "I have been taking turmeric,milk thistle and various other herbs as much for their antiangiogenesis properties as much as anything else.I would hate not to have something to slow down new blood vessel growth."

Iceman1981 wrote"Hi, I'm 28 and I have a serious acne problem that doesn't seem to want to go away. Here is a a brief history of my diet and lifestyle: I never had acne while I was a teenager (ate the typical american diet). I developed mild acne at the age of 21. Ever since I started getting a zit here and there. I changed my diet around big time. I cut out junk food, no soda, no sugar, no gluten, no dairy and what ever foods I had a allergic reaction to. I drank only water, vegetable juice and herbal teas. I exercised regularly and ate tons of vegetables and some fruit every day with lean meat (chicken, turkey). This really helped my acne and it went away. I have 1 to 2 large, well formed bowel movements per day. I would only get a pimple if I really ate something bad.
Last october 2009 I decided to take a liver supplement containing:
Milk Thistle Extract (Silybum marianum) (Fruit and Seeds) (Standardized to 80% Silymarin Flavonoids) 300 mg
- Dandelion Root Extract (Taraxacum officinale) (4:1) 100 mg
- Artichoke Extract (Cynara scolymus) (Leaf) (Standardized to 2% Cynarin) 50 mg

I read so many reviews on milk thistle and how it helps the liver and people with acne. So, I bought a bottle and used the liver supplement (above) 3 capsules a day for two weeks in October 2009. I started breaking out big time. So, I stopped taking it. I developed severe acne with red cysts and white heads. I would get these every week. It is now may 2010 and I still have these cysts that appear every week and I am really really depressed. It has left a ton of marks on my face. I never had this problem before and I don't know what to do. Do you think my liver is trying to get rid of the extra toxins and hormones by expelling them into my colon and my colon can't eliminate them quick enough, so the excess toxins is coming out of my skin?

I'm taking the following supplements. (I took these before last october and never broke out):

Multi Vitamin
Vitamin D3
Fish Oil Liquid
Coconut Oil
Saw Palmetto
Beta Carotene
Calcium & Magnesium
Digestive Enzymes
Vitamin E
B Complex
Psyllium & Bentonite shake twice a day for the past 2 weeks

I used to wash my face with Proactiv for the last 8 years and it has helped a lot. Now the Proactiv has stopped working. No matter what I put on my face, it doesn't seem to help. I'm using manuka honey, coconut oil, aloe vera and I'm exfoliating. I've narrowed this down to these things: Colon/Intestines/Leaky Gut and Liver. I never had hormonal acne before, so I don't think it's that. It's probably the toxins in my bowels that is getting into my blood causing me to break out. I also want to go on a serries of colonic hydrotherapy to get all of the mucoid plaque out. I'm sorry for the long post, but if there is anyone out there that can help me or put me in the right direction, I would appreciate it very much. It's very stressful to go from smooth clear skin to a face that has acne and marks. Thank You !!!"

SeattleTom replied: "Hi Iceman - You've done some excellent work on your health--good for you. I had an experience similar to yours years ago. I read a lot of good things about milk thistle and dandelion, and started taking them 14 years ago. My liver started detoxing rapidly and I had numerous healing crises for many years. I learned a few years ago that detoxing the liver causes it to dump lots of old toxins into the colon and bloodstream. For this reason, it's better to cleanse the colon and kidneys before one starts cleansing the liver. I had to learn this the hard way. In your case, your liver is probably releasing old toxins faster than your colon and kidneys can eliminate them. This is why it's releasing them through your skin, causing the severe acne. I think you'd be wise to continue the colon cleansing you're already doing, do some colonics, and do some kidney cleansing. You might to read "The Detox Book" by Bruce Fife, ND, to learn more about this. Also, http://www.drlwilson.com
and http://www.arltma.com
Have good articles on detox and related issues. Tom"

Mr Natural wrote on Sep 24, 2012: "Hey up folks just wondering if anyone here ever suffered with Rosacea which is pretty much red rash on the cheeks and neck and various other places. My skin only seems to get like this when training and this does seem to be a symptom of Rosacea as when i was fasting and only having around 2 meals a day my skin was clear but their was no exercise during this period to but now that I'm training and eating more protein it flares up some days and others its fine. Someone at the gym suggested try milk thistle as this would clear up the liver of any toxins etc and one suggest maybe having digestive enzymes with meals. I'm interested in what fellow TM users have to say.
P.S: I'm going to see a dermatologist on Wednesday so would like to have some ideas as most in the medical field are like oh don't have protein shakes and don't train that's what the last one said, I'd like to make them this time actually provide a solution as my skin was always clear just past year seems to have been flaring up."

SK-XO replied on Sep 24, 2012: "I had mild Rosacea on my upper right cheek under my eye and onto nose a bit. Was just red and irritated/sore/itchy. Worth a shot but I know a lot of beauty salon owners and one of them did a facial/micro derm brasion on my face. Not sure 100% which one but it got rid of it, basically removing layers of the skin and allowing for new skin cells to develop seemed to "cure" it. Imo your skin has a huge build up over the months/years of crap/oils/rubbish etc that clogs pours and can result in skin conditions happening. Really can't see milk thistle causing this.... Liver toxins imo has zero to do with it as well. I'm on chemo drugs and my liver is constantly elevated along with gilberts disease which is very high bilirubin so a lot of toxins going on! but my skin is very clear. I think it may just be a result of build up of sh1t, also hormones imo could contribute due to increased oils in the skin or even drying out of the skin which can cause irritation. Noticed you said fasting as well maybe make sure your taking a good multi vit or eating enough to supplement the vital nutrients to get rid of free radicals a , c's and e's.

Mr Natural replied on Sep 24, 2012: "Cheers for the response i was fasting not any more that was around 4 weeks ago but skin was fine so was wondering if i added in some milk thistle as it has been reported to help clear skin as it flushes out the liver and i've never used chemicals so it winds me up that my skins doing this."

brian_harvey wrote on June 4, 2011: "I stumbled across this thread a few weeks ago and I thought I'd give milk thistle a try. It's been 3 weeks now and along with eating a lot healthier (cutting out sugar and diary), drinking carrot juice in the morning, the regular salicylic acid wash, and face wipes my forehead acne has improved greatly. Minocycline and Benzyl Peroxide never did a thing but with a combo of the above my skin has improved such a lot. I've still had a couple of pimples but it wasn't like the clusters I had been steadily getting for years. Also this week I've had a week off milk thistle (heeding the warning here [to not use itfor long periods at a time]!) and ate / drank a ton of crap because I was on holiday and my skin is still doing well. I guess it's still early days but just thought I'd post to say it's worth trying for forehead acne (which can be linked to the liver right?)."

Heyeddy wrote on April 10th 2016: "Hello all, I've been through various acne treatments over the last 15 years. In short topical things do not work for me (I've tried every one of them literally), antibiotics do not work, accutane is to be tested (120mg/kg dosage, i've tried low dose course before). However so far only two things worked:
- ketogenic diet (two days and 95% of pustules/cysts were gone) (i can't follow this diet any more due to personal reasons)
- Milk thistle or NAC (i can use them in exchange) - 2 hours after eating the capsule my acne stops hurting, 2-3 days after it is healing rapidly (although the acne is not cured 100% - i am 95% clear).
Obviously next day I stop the supplements (or the diet) I am getting painful breakouts (cystic) typically all around my mouth and jaw line. The questions is why those supplements help me? I know they are antioxidants but so is vitamin C and vitamin E and they have never helped me (including massive dosage). I've seen one study that claims milk thistle is antiandrogenic and it is helpful for people with prostate cancer. On the other hand though there was a study where they found NAC + selenium to be a testosterone booster. There is one other study saying this is because of this supplement effect on oxidative stress.
So what is the probable explanation here? and what are the chances of accutane nuking it for good in this case? Please keep in mind all my hormones are in range appending to the blood tests. Same goes for liver and overall health. Thanks for hints"

heyeddy wrote on April 21st 2016: "I've made another test, I've stopped eating milk thistle for 2 days and got highly inflamed pimples (cysts) mouth/jawline area within 48hrs. Then again I've used milk thistle and literally over night 85% of inflammation was gone. This is not 100% cure but still something sensational for me. But I still don't understand how can it work so fast !? it makes no sense. My inflammation and pimple size is 90% reduced right now, not painful at all. However my chin is still oily.

heyeddy updated on April 25th 2016: "Ok I'm still on milk thistle + dandelion root my acne seems to still be improving. However I started to have problems with urination - voiding mainly (sign of BPH). This is not severe but it seems to correlate with my theory regarding hormonal influences of this supplement."

I've managed to do some medical tests which confirmed my primary suspects:
After 2 week sylimarin (milk thistle) course - dosage: 500mg:
Estradiol - 56 pg/ml (norm: 20-47) - HIGH
Prolactin - 7 ng/ml (norm: 2.7 - 13.3)
FSH - 5 mlU/ml (norm: 1.27 - 19.3)
LH - 5.7 mlU/ml (norm: 1.24 - 8.62)
DHEA SO4 - 220 ug/dl (90 - 470)
Testosterone - 620 ng/dl (175 - 790)

As you can see the only abnormal result here is Estradiol which seems to be increased. So for two weeks I've stopped the milk thistle supplementation and did one more test just to verify my theory:
Estradiol - 40 pg/ml (20-47) - NORMAL

As you can see my estrogen level dropped to normal levels and acne re-appeared again.
There are some problems with this approach (supplementing milk thistle):
- acne is not solved 100% - I would say 90% better, I still experience breakouts after serious physical activity
- milk thistle makes me tired, can't lift
- brain fog
- prostate enlargement, trouble urinating !!!

Those side effects mostly go away after stopping the treatment but then acne reappears.
I suspect those side effects are due to elevated estradiol. Now questions for you guys:
- Can this situation lead to more problems in the future?
- Secondly would it be better to risk using isotretinoin with hormonal acne like this? "

gamesguru replied on May 30th 2016: "salcylic acid may help. It's also possible milk whistle has selective antibiotic properties toward Acne, which I believe, is how retinols and Accutane work.
I think between the liver protection, antioxidative and antibacterial effect, and antiandrogen activity, milk thistle is kind of a perfect storm. not sure how it ties in with nac and selenium

"... growth of the tested bacteria was completely attenuated after 2–6 h of treatment with the MBC of silibinin, regardless of whether it was administered alone or with ampicillin or gentamicin." 

Vader replied on September 26th 2016: "Milk thistle and NAC should be good combo, NAC should reverse any risk of BHP supposedly."

Adyus wrote on June 20th 2006: "If you have any problems taking doxycycline, you could use silymarin( milk thistle). It's often prescribed by doctors when the patient is taking too many pills, to help the liver and the stomach. Silymarin is also good for rosacea. Regards, Adrian

IowaDavid wrote on February 2nd 2006: "Apparently silymarin is also an antiangiogenic supplement as well? I just read that in passing at the rosacea-support site. I'll have to do some googling on it, but milk thistle supplements are pretty damn cheap compared to others that are mentioned for rosacea. David"

Callah wrote on February 6th 2016: "I can't say I've noticed a hormonal pattern to my rosacea, but I do think milk thistle has helped. I've been taking it for several months and in that time my flushing has reduced considerably, meaning fewer papules and pustules (in my case they seem to be linked). I saw an improvement within the first couple of weeks."

Karen_breeze wrote on January 8th 2006: "I've been taking neem for several months now, and so far it's working very well, it seems to reduce sensitivities to food so I don't flush as much as i used to(but i am very careful with my diet). I take it for about 4 weeks then milk thistle for a week. It's the only supplement i've taken and noticed an improvement. I've tried grape seed extract, ester c, but no noticable improvement. I've started taking superoxide dismutase, I think it's also helping with the flushing. I've had about 10/11 yag laser treatments, which helps to keep the flushing/redness under control. Why stop taking neem every 2 months, not sure, i read this somewhere but gave no explanation as to why every 2 months."
"I also find Milk Thistle has a positive effect on my skin...Neem, Milk Thistle, routine works well for me."

Lwemm wrote on June 21st 2015: "I've also tried milk thistle (a liver cleanser/tonic) for a few weeks but can't say that I noticed a marked difference. I stopped because I did not have clear information on how long it is safe to take milk thistle. After doing a little more reading this morning, I think I'm going to up my consumption of raw broccoli and see if it helps at all. After all, it has to be good for you."

Mrsmoof wrote on May 18th 2011:  "Dr. Meschino [treats rosacea with natural medicine] also uses the herb milk thistle, which contains a flavonoid compound called silymarin. Silymarin concentrates in the liver and has been shown to boost the detoxification enzyme system and to help to regenerate damaged liver cells, he says.

"Some studies have shown that people with psoriasis, for instance, if you give them milk thistle supplementation, it reduces the toxins in the bloodstream, reduces the inflammatory response and their skin will clear," Dr. Meschino says.

"I have had a chance to work with rosacea patients using the same strategy, and, for many, it has been successful. The therapy involves a combination supplement that has indole-3-carbinol and silymarin from milk thistle, given in conjunction with two herbal agents that seem to regulate the immune system quite effectively. They are reishi mushroom extract and astragalus."

Dr. Meschino gives rosacea patients 600 mg a day of milk thistle (studies indicate that up to 1,000 mg is safe), and 120 mg daily of reishi mushroom extract, standardized to 10 percent polysaccharide content. He recommends 400 mg daily of astragalus.

"I have had good success, and other estheticians whom I have worked with and some plastic surgeons have seen good results using this regimen with their rosacea patients," he says. "It is primarily
subjective, with patients noticing improvement. I would say that about 50 percent of patients notice a positive change."

Dr. Meschino uses these doses until the skin condition is under control, and then maintains results by cutting the doses in half. "The problem never really goes away ” what you are trying to do is manage it more effectively," he says.

Mistica wrote on February 11th 2015: "My experience with a low dose B complex was superficial, but marked flushing, buzzing in my skin and the rapid appearance of numerous fine capillaries. It was like the growing of weeds. After nearly one year, I have not fully recovered from this. I took two tablets. For your interest, in case you get the urge to experiment again (much like me, ha ha), I also react very badly to Grapeseed Extract, Milk Thistle, Citrus Bioflavanoids, quercetin and a few other 'goodies' which are supposed to be good for rosacea. My particular reactions to these supplements are very much the same as my reactions to B vitamins. Interesting.
One of the the actions they have in common is the interference with Glucose. The potential for herbal supplements to be deemed toxic by the body is always possible too and that has happened to me as well. My medical team which includes a couple of scientists, have told me that in general it is the minerals that people are more likely to lack. That seems to hold truth with me as well. Again, I have been tested."

Mistica wrote on March 24th 2015: "Many posters find small benefits from grape seed extract, citrus bioflavonoids, milk thistle etc, all of which share a few things in common, one of which is the lowering of blood glucose."

Eastmangoboy wrote on March 2nd 2015: "For me, I never had hangovers from alcohol, for example. Instead, I would get p&p and a flaky red face the days following. When I take dandelion root or Milk thistle, which are liver-assisting supplements, flushing decreases and skin conditions improve."

Foods that can help you increase glutathione, or fight acne inflammation

There are other strategies for increasing glutathione btw, through diet. If you want to increase glutathione synthesis then you’ve got to optimize selenium first. The chance you’ll benefit is huge because acne patients have much lower selenium levels than average. Two 5 gram Brazil nuts per day increases blood selenium levels just as effectively as an actual supplement, according to this study.

Raw milk and eggs are also terrific and are packed with other acne nutrients. Again, one dead easy strategy is to simply eat two Brazil nuts per day; this provides over 200% of the recommended daily allowance for selenium and many other acne benefits such as lowered inflammation.

You also have to optimize zinc, which is another key glutathione precursor. This study analysed the effect of zinc on antioxidant levels in rats. The first group received zinc supplements and easily had the highest serum glutathione levels, while the second group received nothing and had glutathione levels at rock bottom. One study on acne found that 54.1% of acne patients were zinc deficient, whereas in clear-skinned people the rate was just 10%. Milk thistle provides a big bonus but selenium, zinc, and also magnesium are fundamental.

And good old vitamin C was demonstrated in one study to boost glutathione more effectively than silymarin. Vitamin C can also clear cortisol from your bloodstream and accelerate the healing of your old acne. Glutathione is a sulphurous compound, and eating sulphurous foods like garlic or onions or even plain old broccoli can provide the building blocks.

Dosage and side effects of milk thistle:

The standard dosage of milk thistle is 200 mg, 2 to 3 times a day of an extract standardized to contain 70% silymarin. There is some evidence that silymarin bound to phosphatidylcholine may be better absorbed. This form should be taken at a dosage of 100 mg to 200 mg twice a day. For antioxidant effects, 140 milligrams of silymarin taken by mouth three times daily for three weeks is recommended. For rosacea, it is wise to start with a low dose of milk thistle. It's powerful stuff. You best take less than the instructions say. Wait and see how your body and skin handle this herb and whether or not you get side effects, before upping the dose. It is also wise to discuss the use with your dermatologist or GP.

According to the NCCAM, in clinical trials, milk thistle generally has few side effects when taken as an oral supplement. Occasionally, people report a laxative effect, diarrhea, and bloating, heartburn, or a mild upset stomach. Most milk thistle supplements are measured by how much silybin they contain. Some users also reported insomnia. Insomnia is not a good condition for acne or rosacea at all because sleep deprivation can worsen insulin resistance and increase facial flushing threshold.
Milk thistle can produce allergic reactions, which tend to be more common among people who are allergic to plants in the same family (for example, ragweed, chrysanthemum, marigold, and daisy).

The plant is actually the most researched and best understood of all the medicinal herbs. In fact, study after study has confirmed its most significant property: namely, the ability to protect and actually regenerate the liver with new cells. Women who are breastfeeding or pregnant should avoid using milk thistle. If you have a ragweed allergy, you should also avoid milk thistle. Milk thistle may cause a rash or lead to severe allergic reaction.

Since milk thistle may mimic the effects of estrogen, some women should avoid this herb. This includes women who have fibroid tumors or endometriosis. Additionally, women with breast, uterine, and ovarian cancers should not take milk thistle. On the other hand, milk thistle does contain natural estrogens as potent at activating estrogen receptors as the dreaded soy isoflavones, however, these are counteracted by milk thistle’s beneficial effect on your hormone metabolization; this study found that milk thistle led to increased clearance of estrogen overall.

Please note that some liver enzymes play a major role in drug breakdown and detoxification by the liver. Echinacea, milk thistle and chamomile can interfere with some of these enzymes and increase or decrease the effects of some medications. This can lead to increased side effects or reduced benefit from taking these medicines. Levels of these medications may increase if taken by people who are also using milk thistle. This list is not exhaustive:
* methadone
* heart drugs - Tambocor (flecainide), Rythmol (propafenone)

* antibiotics - erythromycin, rifampin

* anti-seizure drugs - carbamazepine (Tegretol)

* antidepressants - St. John's wort, Zyban/Wellbutrin (bupropion), Paxil (paroxetine), Prozac (fluoxetine), Luvox (fluvoxetine) Serzone (nefazodone), Zoloft (sertraline), Effexor (venlafaxine)

* antihistamines - Hismanal (astemizole), Seldane (terfenadine)

* antifungals - itraconazole (Sporanox), Ketoconazole (Nizoral)

* gastrointestinal motility agents - Prepulsid (Cisapride)

* ergot drugs - Ergonovine, Ergomar (ergotamine)

* anti-psychotics - Clozaril (clozapine), Orap (pimozide)

* sedatives/sleeping pills - Ambien (zolpidem), Halcion (triazolam), Versed (midazolam)

* lipid-lowering drugs (statins) - Lescol (fluvastatin), Mevacor (lovastatin), Pravachol (pravastatin) and Zocor (simvastatin), Baycol (cerivastatin)

* transplant drugs - cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune), ProGraf (tacrolimus)

Milk thistle also has the potential to lower levels of the following drugs:
* anti-parasite drugs - Mepron (atovaquone)

* sedatives/sleeping pills - Ativan (lorazepam)

* hormones - estrogen

5. Flax seed oil 

Flax seed oil is a colorless to yellowish oil obtained from the dried ripe seeds of the flax plant. Flax seeds contain lignans, a type of phytoestrogens that have antioxidant and cancer-preventing properties. It contains the highest level of the omega-3 fatty acid ALA among vegetable oils. Regular flaxseed oil contains between 52% and 63% ALA. Some of the fat in flax seed oil converts to EPA and DHA, the same active components in fish oil. Flax seed oil can be a good addition to fish oil, especially if you are on a low-fat diet or have dermatitis — dry, scaly, itchy skin. Or when the histamine in fish oil makes you flush. Some brands of supplement have lignans added during production. Flax seed oil is easily oxidized, and rapidly becomes rancid, with an unpleasant odor, unless refrigerated. Even when kept under cool conditions, it has a shelf life of only a few weeks. Another option is to buy dry flax seed flakes and chew on them or add them to your meal.

There is a story behind the Omega fats. There is omega 3 and omega 6. Our bodies don’t have the enzymes to produce them and therefore we must get them from the diet. No. 3 is considered anti-inflammatory, while omega 6 can be pro-inflammatory. And inflammation may be one of the leading drivers of the most serious diseases we are dealing with today, including heart disease, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, arthritis, Alzheimer’s, many types of cancer, etc. Inflammation is most certainly a problem in rosacea. Omega-6 fats, also known as linoleic acid, are available only in food. The human body can’t make them, so they're considered essential fats. They support brain function, bone health, reproductive health, hair growth and regulation of metabolism. Omega-6 fats also make hormones in the body that, in turn, stimulate the cells and blood clotting. Increasing foods with omega-6 fatty acids may ease insulin resistance for diabetics, but increased omega 6 fats are also linked to a enormous host of inflammatory diseases..
You should always look for a ratio of around 3:1 (omega 6/ omega 3) within your daily diet.

Pubmed states about this:

 Several sources of information suggest that human beings evolved on a diet with a ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 essential fatty acids (EFA) of approximately 1 whereas in Western diets the ratio is 15/1-16.7/1. Western diets are deficient in omega-3 fatty acids, and have excessive amounts of omega-6 fatty acids compared with the diet on which human beings evolved and their genetic patterns were established. Excessive amounts of omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) and a very high omega-6/omega-3 ratio, as is found in today's Western diets, promote the pathogenesis of many diseases, including cardiovascular disease, cancer, and inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, whereas increased levels of omega-3 PUFA (a low omega-6/omega-3 ratio) exert suppressive effects

In the secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease, a ratio of 4/1 was associated with a 70% decrease in total mortality. A ratio of 2.5/1 reduced rectal cell proliferation in patients with colorectal cancer, whereas a ratio of 4/1 with the same amount of omega-3 PUFA had no effect. The lower omega-6/omega-3 ratio in women with breast cancer was associated with decreased risk. A ratio of 2-3/1 suppressed inflammation in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, and a ratio of 5/1 had a beneficial effect on patients with asthma, whereas a ratio of 10/1 had adverse consequences. 

These studies indicate that the optimal ratio may vary with the disease under consideration. This is consistent with the fact that chronic diseases are multigenic and multifactorial. Therefore, it is quite possible that the therapeutic dose of omega-3 fatty acids will depend on the degree of severity of disease resulting from the genetic predisposition. A lower ratio of omega-6/omega-3 fatty acids is more desirable in reducing the risk of many of the chronic diseases of high prevalence in Western societies, as well as in the developing countries, that are being exported to the rest of the world.

Avoid processed seed- and vegetable oils that are loaded with Omega-6

According to Dr. Stephan Guyenet, who has done a lot of research on non-industrial populations, typical Omega-6:Omega-3 ratios for non-industrial populations ranged from 4:1 to 1:4. Hunter-gatherers eating mostly land animals had a ratio of 2:1 to 4:1, while the Inuit, who ate mostly Omega-3 rich seafoods, had a ratio of 1:4. Other non-industrial populations were somewhere in between.
These populations didn’t appear to suffer from the chronic diseases that are currently killing us Westerners by the millions. Keep in mind that none of these populations were eating a lot of Omega-6. It is probably a bad idea to eat tons of Omega-6, then a whole lot of Omega-3 to compensate. Having a relatively low, balanced amount of each is best. Anthropological evidence also suggests that the ratio human beings evolved eating is somewhere around 1:1, while the ratio today is about 16:1!

Not only are people eating much less Omega-3, but they are eating large amounts of processed seed- and vegetable oils, which are loaded with Omega-6. We simply didn’t have the technology to process these oils until about a 100 years ago and we have not had time to genetically adapt to these high amounts of Omega-6.

Here is a chart with some common fats and oils. Try to avoid or limit all that have a high proportion of Omega-6 (blue bars). You can see that butter, coconut oil, lard, palm oil and olive oil are all relatively low in Omega-6. However, sunflower, Corn, Soybean and Cottonseed oils are by far the worst. 

Oils that are high in Omega-6 fats include vegetable oils. Sunflower oil, corn oil, soybean oil, avocado oil and canola oil. Nuts are also high in omega-6 fatty acids, especially walnuts, safflower seeds, brazil nuts and sesame seeds. Also pumpkin seeds and squash, peanuts and peanut butter. 
Ideally you want to have a ratio around 3:1 (omega 6: omega 3), but cashew nuts have a ratio of something like 47:1. The least Omega 3/6 imbalance risk is in macadamias, the second best would be cashews and almonds. Walnuts have the worst Omega 6 / Omega 3 imbalance.
Other foods that are high in omega-6 are snacks like corn puffs, chips, fast food, cakes, pastries, muffins and cookies and pork products. 

People only need to consume 5 percent to 10 percent of omega-6 fatty acids in their diets for health benefits. The recommended intake ratio of omega-6 fats to omega-3 fats is 2:1 to 4:1. This means that you should eat double the omega-6 to omega-3 fats and no more than four times the amount. Western diet however tends to have a ratio of 14:1 to 25:1 of omega-6 vs. omega-3 fatty acids. This can be more harmful than beneficial since some omega-6 fats have inflammatory tendencies.

Eat Animal Foods That Are High in Omega-3

Animal foods are the best sources of the preformed Omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA. Fish and lean meats for instance. One problem today is that animals are usually fed grain-based feeds with soy and corn. This reduces the Omega-3 content. Therefore, if you can afford it financially, organic (or at least grass-fed) meat is still the wisest choice. Some conventionally raised meats like chicken and pork are particularly high in Omega-6. If you want to bring your intake of Omega-6 down as much as possible, then it makes sense to choose the leaner portions of those meats.

By far the best and healthiest way to increase your Omega-3 intake is to eat seafood once or twice per week. Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, sardines and kippers are a particularly good source. Wild caught fish is best, but even farmed is better than no fish at all. You can also consider taking a fish oil supplement. Cod liver oil is best, because it is also loaded with Vitamin D and Vitamin A. The problem for people with rosacea, however, might be that fish oil supplements are naturally high in histamine, which can cause a rosacea flare or flush for some people.

If this is the case for you, then there are also some plant sources of Omega-3. Flax seed is the best one of the bunch here, and chia seeds are considered good too. However, these contain a type of Omega-3 called ALA. Humans are inefficient converters of ALA into the active forms, EPA and DHA. For this reason, animal sources of Omega-3 like fish and grass-fed animals are considered the best.

So, in summary; most western diets are too high in omega 6 fatty acids, and too low in omega 3 fatty acids. And this makes us more prone to (inflammatory) diseases. Rosacea is also an inflammatory disease, and many rosacea patients have underlying other health issues, often of the bowel, digestive tract or allergies and auto-immune conditions. Omega 6 fats can lead to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, inflammatory, and autoimmune diseases. For most people, the amount of Omega 6 fats should be reduced and the amount of Omega 3 fats should be increased. 

Omega 3 is anti inflammatory, but this effect gets wiped out when omega 6 intake is too high as both kinds of fat compete with each other for incorporation into cell membranes.

Flaxseed Oil:

Flaxseed oil is being heavily promoted as an alternative to fish oil. The health benefits of fish oil are believed to rely mostly on two omega-3 fats; eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Flaxseed oil contains a third, plant-based omega-3, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). Other foods (especially walnuts) and oils (canola and soybean, for example) contain ALA. But at about 7 grams per tablespoon, flaxseed oil is by far the richest source.

The main problem with ALA, the plant based omega-3 substance, is that it needs to be converted first, before it gives our body the good effects of omega-3's. Enzymes in our body first need to convert the ALA into 2 two omega-3 fats EPA and DHA. As a result, only a small fraction of flax seeds ALA in the end has omega-3's effects; 10%–15%, maybe less. The remaining 85%–90% gets burned up as energy or metabolized in other ways. So in terms of omega-3 "power," a tablespoon of flaxseed oil is worth about 700 milligrams (mg) of EPA and DHA. That's still more than the 300 mg of EPA and DHA in many1-gram fish oil capsules, but far less than what the 7 grams listed on the label might imply.

Another problem with flaxseed oil though, is its omega-6 content (about two grams per tablespoon). Omega-6 metabolism competes with ALA for some of the same enzymes, so ALA might not reach its full omega-3 potential if there's a lot of omega-6 around.

So, fish oil capsules contain much more omega-3 in the end. However, fish oil can cause a rosacea flare due to its high histamine content, so flax seed oil is still far better than nothing, I reckon. 
Flaxseed oil will give your diet a nice little omega-3 boost in the form of alpha-linolenic acid. 
Fish oil is more condensed and fresh fish might not give you the same histamine problems. I eat fish once a week at least and take an antihistamine tablet half an hour before dinner. Even though flax seed delivers omega 3, don't automatically give up on eating fish. Especially fatty fish types. If you are worried about mercury content: salmon, pollock, and catfish are all low in mercury. And canned light tuna is lower in mercury than albacore ("white") tuna.

Another option could of course be to take mega doses of flax seed oil. Then you make sure that the 15-5% of omega 3 that in the end is formed, is still a high enough amount. Another problem with flaxseed oil is the omega-6 content (about two grams per tablespoon). Omega-6 metabolism competes with ALA for some of the same enzymes, so ALA might not reach its full omega-3 potential if there's a lot of omega-6 around.

Flaxseed oil will give your diet a nice little omega-3 boost in the form of alpha-linolenic acid. You might try adding some to your salad dressing. But it's a backup, not a substitute, for the omega-3s in fish and fish oil because of the conversion factor. If you're in need of omega-3s but are concerned about mercury, fish oil capsules might be a good choice. Some brands are made from fish with little mercury content. But don't give up on eating fish. Salmon, pollock, and catfish are all low in mercury. And canned light tuna is lower in mercury than albacore ("white") tuna.

Unfortunately, like every rosacea treatment, flaxseed oil also seems to not agree with everybodies rosacea. Some people seem to have increased flushing while taking this supplement. But for others it improves the rosacea.

Flax seed oil and rosacea:

Quadrophenia wrote on January 28th 2009: "I have some permanent redness in my cheeks, but my biggest problem has always been flushing. Very annoying when you love sports and beer. I have tried lots of things, including IPL and various supplements. IPL helped for a few months, green tea extract also, but what helped the most was coffee. I have tried fish oil on several occasions, and it always made me worse. Recently, I was made aware of flax seed oil. I decided to try it, although I was 90% sure it would make me flushy. It didn´t. After only 3 days (!) with 2 capsules daily, my flushing problem was almost completely gone. It´s been 7 weeks and I´m still shocked. 2 capsules of flax seed oil each day was the simple solution to my biggest problem for the past 25 years! Now, I can exercise harder and much longer without turning horribly red! My permanent redness is still there, but it has faded a little. Why does flax seed oil help me and fish oil not? Does anybody know?"

And: "Well, after some research, I think I know why flax oil works for me. The capsules I use are lignan-rich. Lignans can reduce hot flushes. Regular bottled flax oil does not contain much lignans.[..]The capsules I use (norwegian brand) has 190 mg lignans. I take 2 each day."

Sweetness & Light wrote on January 22nd 2009: "I have tried many alternative therapies for every ailment I have suffered and pleased to say that I have had success with some. Recently, I started taking Omega 3 Flaxseed oil in the hope that it would relieve some symptoms I have been suffering for several years: aches, pains, digestive discomfort, depression, hormonal imbalances and of course my blotchy, lumpy, dry and inflamed skin. It's only been about 6 weeks that i have been taking Flaxseed oil in increasing amounts and i have to say i have noticed a difference in my skin. I noticed however, that the Flaxseed seemed to show an improvement in my skin only after I started to increase my daily dosage. And I mean a huge increase. I started by taking the recommended dose on the bottle which is 1-2 capsules a day or two teaspoons (5ml) of oil but researched this and found that the people who were having huge benefits from Flaxseed oil were taking one to three TABLESPOONS (15ml) of the oil daily. The capsule equivalent would be about 14 (1000mg) capsules daily. 14 capsules to equal one tablespoon. That's a heck of a lot of caps to swallow!! The oil is recommend but I found it messy (although I could tolerate the taste) and while I was ill with the flu I couldn't be bothered going down to the fridge to take it. Capsules are way more convenient.

My bottled organic flaxseed oil only lasted about two and a half weeks and then it turned cloudy and yukky. And it was refrigerated at all times! I now use capsules again and break them open, pour the oil onto a spoon to make my daily tablespoon or three. It's a lot of capsules to break open but at least I am not having to eat them or waste my money on the bottled oil. Since taking up to three tablespoons of flaxseed oil daily, my rosacea seems to be under control. My face doesn't flare up red at the usual triggers of heat and the dryness is slowly improving although the paps pimples, etc come and go but not as severely or stubbornly as used to be. But this is only maintained by taking a high dose of flaxseed oil, if I let my daily amount slip then I noticed some redness and dryness returns to my face."

Artist wrote on January 29th 2009: "I've had mixed results in the past with flax oil and omega 3 supplements, but I tried again with a fish oil supplement a few months ago and I do think it's helping (or at least not hurting.) My opinion is that adding omega-3 to your diet should help in the long run if you tolerate it. Studies show that it lowers inflammation, but I'm guessing it probably takes a month or two to see results."

Ambily wrote::"Hi, last year I was diagnosed with rosacea, and they said there was not a real cure but just maintenance drugs, or at least this is what they told me. She gave me metrogel and this did nothing to "maintain''. Anyway, long story short, I started taking flax seed oil because I had other health issues (heart) and I noticed my rosacea bumps disappeared, then I doubled my dose and everything went away. I have no idea why or how. I take 6 tea spoons of cold pressed flax seed oil a day. I know that's way over the recommended dose. So I feel like I can not "recommend" that anyone take this. But when i see someone in public with rosacea, I feel for them and I want to tell them what worked for me, but I cant do that because I don't have the guts, and I don't want to embarrass them, and I don't want to get in trouble for giving out medical advice when I am not a doctor. So I'm posting this here, because I saw some one today that looked like my face looked, and I thought maybe he would read a forum like this or eventually , if it works for others like it did for me, the word would get around.
Ps. my rosacea was quite bad. bumps and redness, it would show through my makeup, and now I dont feel like I have to wear makeup, except for lips and eyes bit not on skin."

Ebareaalne replied: "I've been taking flaxseed for about week and half. redness hasn't disappeared, but my skin feels better. How long did it take for you to see difference in redness? Am glad you found something that helps your rosacea. I believe that the main reason flax helps your condition is because of the Omega 7 fatty acid (palmitoleic acid) content. Omega 7 is a rare compound with HUGE benefits to skin and other similar membranes(gastrointestinal, urogenital, etc.) The best source for Omega 7 is actually Seabuckthorn (specifically seabuckthorn fruit oil or pulp)."

Auburn wrote on March 30th 2010: "I had been taking flaxseed oil and flaxseed meal daily for quite some time (a couple of years, I think) when I came across this article. I did some more research and learned that:

"Although studies have found that eating fish (which contains the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA) regularly may reduce the risk of macular degeneration, a recent study including two large groups of men and women found that diets rich in ALA may substantially increase the risk of this eye disease. More research is needed. Until then, people with macular degeneration should get omega-3 fatty acids from sources of EPA and DHA (such as fish or fish oil), rather than ALA."

Flaxseed oil contains the essential fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which the body converts into EPA and DHA rather inefficiently. Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to reduce inflammation and help prevent certain chronic diseases. Studies are mixed about whether flaxseed oil is useful for the same conditions. So I stopped consuming flaxseed meal/oil because, papers aside, I don't really think that humans are supposed to eat massive quantities of any particular substance (and it takes massive amounts of flaxseed to make the same amount of omega-3 you can get from a piece of wild salmon). In other words, if flaxseed/flax oil were something our bodies were designed to use, then it would be readily available, like fish has always been. In any case, I developed mild ocular rosacea symptoms last year, while supplementing with flax. I started supplementing with wild salmon and cod liver oils a few months before I stopped taking the flax so it's been a while now. My ocular symptoms come and go but remain mild. I think that dry indoor air worsens the condition, at least in my case."

Melissa W wrote: "Omega 3's all the way. Aim for at least 1000 mg per day of EPA and DHA combined. Fish oil is better than flaxseed for this. [..] Flaxseed is good but you have to eat loads and loads to get what you need as compared to the supplement or fish."

Stimpson65 wrote on July 27th, 2008: "I am certain this topic has been covered on this board previously, however, I would like to report yet another unmitigated success with this dietary supplement. The interesting thing about this was it was quite accidental and we discovered it as a result of having Flaxseed oil recommended for an entirely different condition: Chronic Dry-Eye. My mother, who is 78 and has suffered with Rosacea since it's sudden onset in her late 40's (most likely due to menopausal symptoms related to hormonal fluctuations), was advised by her doctor to try Flaxseed oil as a dietary supplement to aid with her chronic dry-eye symptoms. My mother was not happy about the exorbitant cost of prescription medication which was proving to be ineffective. Her doctor was also concerned about how the cost of such medications was affecting ALL of her patients.
After reading many things about this supplement, I (and the rest of my family) are convinced. It has COMPLETELY inhibited any effects of Rosacea while also mitigating the effects of Dry-eye.
However, there has been one significant oversight in much of the material I have read about this dietary supplement: The form of the product! After consulting with her doctor, they have made clear the importance of ensuring the only form of consistently effective Flaxseed oil is COLD PRESSED oil in liquid form!

If you have tried this supplement in pill form and had no success, this may be the culprit! Try the COLD-PRESSED liquid form! There are apparently compounds absent in the pill form which have not been removed in the cold-pressed form and are necessary for treating the symptoms. Two tablespoons in any of the food you consume, every other day have resulted in the COMPLETE disappearance of all Rosacea symptoms and dry-eye symptoms. The supplement seems to take from 10 days to 2 weeks to show improvement with all symptoms disappearing completely after 1 month of continued use. We even have empirical evidence, having run out of the cold-pressed form, and attempted to use pills in it's stead. The pill form allowed symptoms to return almost immediately! (shocked) COLD-PRESSED liquid form is the secret  (shh) and we are convinced!
Give it a try if you've had little or no success with the pill form. Be advised that you must be consistent and use it regularly. If your half-assed about it, it won't do much for you. Give it time to work! I think you will be pleased with the results!"

Lisamouries replied on July 29th 2008: "Hmmm. I took Omega 3, 6 and 9 for a while but did tend to get redder/flushed so that would make sense. I did feel it helped with my ocular Rosacea though so maybe I'll try omega 3 only. Thanks for the input. Lisa M."

CrabbyCathy replied on August 1st 2008: "Greetings! I tried Omega 3-6-9 too, and it made me worse. Regular old flaxseed oil (capsules), however, make my skin better. I might try the liquid form, mixed into salad dressing, though. Couldn't hurt! I will admit I bought the liquid form to use topically, thinking that if it was good internally, why not topically? I haven't yet, though. Has anyone else, or is this a hare-brained idea?"

Sweetness & Light replied on February 1st 2009: "I agree that Omega 6 seems to worsen rosacea while Omega 3 (Flaxseed or Fish oils) improves it. I also agree that the organic cold pressed bottled oil seems to work better than the capsules. Sweetness x"

Lookout14 replied on February 1st 2009: "Guess I am the odd man out or I should say odd woman out! I took 2tbs....every other day of high quality cold pressed flaxseed oil from an ND I was being treated by at the time.....and within 10 days my rosacea was off the charts! My face was constantly flushing and burning and beet red constantly.....it was a nightmare.....same experience with FO again best quality (Dr.Sears/Zone Diet) and even my gums and teeth were HYPER reactive/sensitive to the point of pain.....I know this goes against all the published papers out there on the benefits and anti-inflammatory benefits BUT my body actually responds with a huge increase in inflammation! Glad it works for you but anytime I see posts like these where ever I am I feel compelled to share my very extremely negative experiences with these as I would hate to think of anyone out there like myself taking these and having a neg affect and not being able to figure out that it's those oils!
EDIT: I wanted to also mention....I can't use any of the topical omega's either.....oils that are rich in them....olive oil, jojoba oil, safflower, and any other I can't think of them all right now! I just use mineral oil and I have no reactions as it contains NO omega's.....so inside & outside omega's are bad for my rosacea."

And: "In my case I think since I already have an auto-immune disease (hashimotos) that the Omega's turn up my immune system which causes an increase overall in body inflammation....that's why my gums and teeth even became inflamed....I had nothing wrong with them....just those omega's in a high amount which these doc's consider the effective dose but in truth I couldn't even manage the full dose they recommended and it still had a powerful effect on my body's inflammatory response....attacking my organs....skin, gums, teeth and at that time my thyroid gland....I believe they even caused my antibodies count to be sky high!"

JennyD replied on March 10th 2009: "Hi Lookout 14 - I am quite lucky that my Rosacea is confined to my nose (mainly) but it also affects my eyes - now I know that exercise  (tears) and flaxseed affect me. It's that stupid Celtic heritage! I have been taking the Omega 3 Flaxseed oil capsules for about a year now and have had no adverse reaction to them, but reading the posts I see that some people have no beneficial results from the capsules, perhaps that's why I have had no adverse reaction to them - perverse, but perhaps whatever is missing in the capsules that is in the oil itself could be the ingredient causing my issue. Have you found any Omega 3 oils that don't affect your rosacea? I am a vegetarian so fish oil is definitely out."

Research done on Flax seed oil for menopausal hot flushes:

Flaxseed can also help with menopausal hot flushes. They are a common symptom of menopause and there is some evidence to suggest that flaxseed may offer some relief for these symptoms, and reduces the severity and frequency of hot flushes. Menopausal hot flushes are common among women, approximately 80% of menopausal women have to deal with them. Although they are linked to changing hormone levels, they mimic the type of hot flushes and facial flushing we have to deal with as rosacea patients. Both are linked to the central thermoregulatory centre in our bodies. Typically, hot flushes affect the head and neck and last for a few minutes, whereas rosacea flushing can last far longer.

Flaxseeds lignans, a group of chemicals found in plants, can offer a beneficial effect for women experiencing hot flushes.
In research, scientists tend to test ground flaxseed, rather than flaxseed oil, but they work more or less the same. Studies show that a higher intake of omega 3, and therefore a better balance of fatty acids within a woman’s diet, leads to less severe menopause symptoms. Flaxseed is also high in the essential fatty acid alpha linoleic acid (ALA), which the body later turns partly into omega 3.

A review of 2 studies found that a higher intake of omega 3 fatty acids was linked to less severe menopausal symptoms. It is also believed the high omega 3 intake of Japanese women is why they have very few menopausal symptoms at all. Flaxseeds lignans are a natural phytoestrogen, and replicates female oestrogen within the body. This replication helps to balance natural estrogen, as women go through perimenopause and menopause: many menopausal symptoms are related to changes in hormone levels, specifically estrogen and progesterone.

A small study in Canada found that whilst flaxseed had some health benefits in terms of reducing cholesterol, there was no statistically significant improvement in other menopausal symptoms. Although the study was small, it was well designed, with a placebo being given to participants, as well as flaxseed and wheatgerm.

However, another smaller study found that flaxseed did offer reductions in the number of hot flushes women were experiencing. The researchers gave the participants 40g of flaxseed each day. Unlike the previous study mentioned, there was no placebo making the study design weaker. Some of the participants withdrew early because of digestive complaints.

A study by Pruthi et al, found that whilst there was no statistically significant reduction in hot flushes using initially flaxseed and then a flaxseed bar, there was still a reduction in their hot flush scores. The study used the standard 40g dose daily of flaxseed. Again, the study was small but for some of the participants, there did appear to be a reduction in the severity and frequency of their hot flushes.

The most effective dose of flaxseed fibre was found to be 40g per day, usually split into two servings. This could be mixed into porridge, or served on top of fruit and yogurt. It can also be used in cooking and other recipes. As this is a natural remedy, it does need to be given time to work, so allow 2-3 weeks of daily use before expecting to see results. Flaxseed is high in fibre and therefore may cause some digestive discomfort, diarrhoea or bloating. If you have a diagnosed digestive complaint such as IBS, colitis, Crohn’s or any other diseases, seek medical advice before starting to include flaxseed in your diet.

Dosage and side effects of Flax seed oil:

Flax seed oil doesn’t have a set recommended dosage. It really depends on how much EPA and DHA you have in your diet, as well as your overall health. As stated above, it depends whether or not you use ground flaxseed (fibre) or flax seed oil. For ground flaxseed, 40g per day is said to be enough for menopause hot flushes. However, for rosacea I found that most people benefit from higher doses. Many people take 2 table spoons of flax seed oil daily. The general recommendation is 1 to 2 tablespoons per day.

If you’re taking flax seed oil capsules, the University of Maryland Medical Center recommends that you take one to two each day. Your doctor will have to give you an exact dosage to suit your body’s requirements, however. Taking too much flax seed oil can inhibit the absorption of medications, supplements and nutrients.
Flax seed fibre could be mixed into porridge, or served on top of fruit and yogurt. It can also be used in cooking and other recipes. As this is a natural remedy, it does need to be given time to work, so allow 2-3 weeks of daily use before expecting to see results. Flaxseed is high in fibre and therefore may cause some digestive discomfort, diarrhoea or bloating. If you have a diagnosed digestive complaint such as IBS, colitis, Crohn’s or any other diseases, seek medical advice before starting to include flaxseed in your diet. Large doses of 30 grams of flax seed oil per day and higher can cause loose stools and diarrhea. Allergic reactions have occurred while taking flaxseed oil.

Flaxseed oil might increase the risk of bleeding during and after surgery. Stop using it at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.

Fish oil might be a better source of omega 3 and EPA and DHA (here and here you can find a comparison of the two), but it is also loaded with histamine, which makes me personally flush badly every time I try them, and break out on top of that. However, my immunologist swears by fish oil when trying to lower auto immune response in auto immune disease. If you want to avoid fish oil then flaxseed oil, or algae sea weed capsules might be an option for you. They don't have the same amount of histamine and also contain or can be formed into omega 3 (although quite a bit less than the normal fish oil).

6. Fish oil

Fish oil comes from the tissues of oily fish. The best sources are cold-water, fatty fish. When it comes to human consumption of fish oil, you can get it from fish themselves or from a fish oil supplement. Fish oil is a concentrated source of omega-3 fats. Our bodies are able to make most of the fats we need need, but that’s not true for omega-3 fatty acids. When it comes to these essential fats, we need to get them from omega-3 foods or supplements.
Fish oil contains two very important omega-3  polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). DHA and EPA mainly come from fish. Some of the best fish to eat for fish oil are wild-caught salmon, herring, white fish, sardines and anchovies (fatty fish).

Fish oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which decrease the body’s production of a long list of pro-inflammatory biochemicals, including the same ones targeted by most NSAIDs — cyclooxygenase (COX 1 and 2). It also helps to reduce levels of inflammatory interleukins, specifically interleukin-1, a marker of chronic inflammation. In studies, people with rheumatoid arthritis who took fish oil were able to reduce their dosage of anti-inflammatory drugs. They also reported less pain and stiffness. It’s reported to help asthma, cystitis, hepatitis, pancreatitis, prostatitis and dermatitis. Other fish oil benefits include decreasing the risk of heart disease and stroke while also helping reduce symptoms of depression, hypertension, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), joint pain and chronic skin ailments like eczema.

Because fish oil and fatty fishg are both naturally high in histamine, a blood vessel dilator, they can (but not always and not for everyone!) cause skin flushing. Taking an antihistamine might help to prevent this.  

There is also evidence that Omega 3 is actually good for rosacea sufferers, as it nourishes the skin and help it heal faster.

Research done on Fish oil for rosacea/ menopausal hot flashes:

Research indicates that fish oil might help alleviate menopausal hot flashes. A group of 120 women between the ages of 40 and 55 were separated into two groups. The first group of women took three gel capsules containing an amount that added up to one gram of EPA, the omega-3 fatty acid that comes from fish oils, every day for a total period of eight weeks. The women in the second group also took three gel capsules in the same manner. However, instead of taking Omega-3 Fish Oil (with EPA), the second group of women took capsules that contained sunflower oil instead.
The women who had taken the omega-3 fish oils reported significant improvements in their menopausal hot flashes. Before taking the fish oil, the average number of hot flashes experienced by the women was 2.8 times per day. After they started taking the omega-3 fish oils, the number of hot flashes reported dropped to 1.2 per day compared to the women taking sunflower oil of 2.3 times a day. Comparatively, the women who took the fish oil had the same kind of improved results as those women who took hormone therapy and anti-depressants.

Another study from Italy compared the benefits of using a soy isoflavone supplement compared to taking omega-3 fish oil capsules. While the soy isoflavone group had the same results as the placebo group, the fish oil users, again, experienced a steady decline in hot flash frequency.
“PUFAs [polyunsaturated fatty acids], particularly omega-3 fatty acids, could reduce hot flashes through their influence on neuronal [brain cell] membranes and/or the modulation of the neurotransmitter function and the serotoninergic system.” The “serotoninergic system” is the metabolic process that produces serotonin, a key mood-modulating chemical in the brain.
Not surprisingly, some antidepressants that affect serotonin levels in the brain, including Remeron and Celexa, also can make rosacea flushing less severe. They seem to regulate your inner thermostat and make you less likely to flush, and less severely flushed.

Fish oil for (menopausal) depression:

Research also shows that fish oil an help with depression, also depression during menopause.
Researcher Dr. Michel Lucas and his colleagues at Université Laval's Faculty of Medicine
enlisted the help of 120 women between the ages of 40 and 55 and separated them into two groups. The first group of women took three gel capsules containing an amount that added up to one gram of EPA, the omega-3 fatty acid that comes from fish oils, every day for a total period of eight weeks. The women in the second group also took three gel capsules in the same manner. However, instead of taking Omega-3 Fish Oil (with EPA), the second group of women took capsules that contained sunflower oil instead.

Once the eight-week period was over and all the women were tested again, they found that the Omega-3 fish oil capsules had greatly and statistically improved the menopausal symptoms of the women who had mild depression and experienced some psychological distress. Unfortunately, those women who were experiencing severe depression did not have the same positive effects, only those women who had mild symptoms felt better indicating the need for the more severely depressed women to seek professional help and guidance.
"The differences we observed between the two groups are noteworthy," commented Dr Lucas, "especially considering that omega-3s have very few side effects and are beneficial to cardiovascular health."

Fish oil for acne:

This research indicates that fish oil can reduce acne.
"Given that acne is a rare condition in societies with higher consumption of omega-3 (n-3) relative to omega-6 (n-6) fatty acids, supplementation with n-3 may suppress inflammatory cytokine production and thereby reduce acne severity. 13 individuals with inflammatory acne were given three grams of fish oil containing 930 mg of EPA to their unchanged diet and existing acne remedies for 12 weeks. Acne was assessed using an overall severity grading scale, total inflammatory lesion counts, and colorimetry."

"There was no significant change in acne grading and inflammatory counts at week 12 compared to baseline. However, there was a broad range of response to the intervention on an individual basis. The results showed that acne severity improved in 8 individuals, worsened in 4, and remained unchanged in 1. Interestingly, among the individuals who showed improvement, 7 were classified as having moderate to severe acne at baseline, while 3 of the 4 whose acne deteriorated were classified as having mild acne. There is some evidence that fish oil supplementation is associated with an improvement in overall acne severity, especially for individuals with moderate to severe acne. Divergent responses to fish oil in our pilot study indicates that dietary and supplemental lipids are worthy of further investigation in acne."

Oral supplementation with fish oil also proved to reduce dryness and skin itchness

This study evaluated the effect of dietary fatty acids in the skin physiology via an itch-related animal model with and without supplementation with fish oil, a source of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), especially omega 3.

Male Wistar rats were divided into two groups-non-supplemented (control) and supplemented with fish oil (3g/kg/day) for 90 days. Every 30 days, scratching and skin parameters (transepidermal water loss (TEWL), hydration, and local blood flow) were evaluated before and after dorsal skin exposure to acetone to induce the itch-related dry skin. At the end of the study skin samples were collected for fatty acids composition analysis.

Fish oil supplementation reduced the transepidermal water loss and increased the skin hydration, with significant changes from day 60 on, while skin microcirculation registered no changes. It also alleviated the acetone induced skin barrier alteration, revealed by a faster resolution of transepidermal water loss and hydration, and elimination of itch-related scratching induced by dry skin. These changes were associated with the shift in the skin fatty acids incorporation pattern (richer in n-3 with n-6/n-3<5) resulting from the fish oil supplementation.
Skin barrier dynamics seem to be influenced by fish oils omega 3. It reduced the scratching behaviour induced by dry skin. Hence, long-term supplementation with omega 3 fatty acids might reinforce and restore skin integrity and function (reduce skin dryness, improve normal skin function).

However, when you are allergic to fish, fish oil can also cause a rash and facial flushing:

This research described a patient with documented seafood allergy, who arrived in the emergency department 4 days after she had started taking a prescription brand name fish oil capsules. She complained of chest tightness, shortness of breath, tingling of upper extremities, flushing, and pruritus (skin itching), that was only slightly relieved after she was given excessive nonprescription diphenhydramine administration (an antihistamine drug for allergies). During follow-up, the patient later reported that all her symptoms had resolved within 5 days of stopping the fish oil capsules, and after throwing away all medications that had come in contact with the fish oil capsules. Due to the patient's allergic history, timing of onset/offset of the reaction, laboratory evidence, and the use of the Naranjo probability scale, prescription fish oil capsules were deemed the probable cause of this patient's pruritus and flushing of the face and trunk.

Fish oil and rosacea:

Freeme3 wrote on March 5th 2012: "Hi. Does anyone here flush/flare from Omega 3 Fish Oil? Well, my eye doctor told me to increase my intake of fish oil up to 4000 mgs a day (for dry eyes). I began increasing it to 3 a day on Friday and have been doing so since then. Well, today my skin is a mess.. more red bumps am flushier and redder. I'm going to stop taking it asap! I'm confused though because I thought fish oil helped inflammation?? Has this ever happened to anyone else? I am taking Vitamin World Triple Strength Ester Omega 3 Fish Oil 1360 mg (950 active Omega 3). It contains Mixed Natural Topherols, anchovy, mackeral, and sardine). I am was taking 3 of them for the past 2 days and my face is hot and red. I am not sure if it's from that but my face does not normally feel hot to the touch. I ate almonds and strawberries yesterday and on Friday but did not have any today.. I am still in the flare. It could be other things too, I am sure, but I made a huge change to my fish oil consumption, so it got me thinking... Thanks!"

Labrynth replied on March 5th 2012: "Freeme ~ I was checking this brand to make sure it does not contain gluten/dairy/corn/or yeast, and it does not, so you are not reacting to those things. I know that some forms of fish oil, derived from larger fish higher in the food chain, can contain higher incriments of things like mercury and PCB's, contaminants. This brand states specifically that it is free of quantitative amounts, so this is good. I would guess this is a high-quality brand which is unlikely to cause adverse effects. Fish oil is Omega-3 fatty acids, which counter inflammation. They should not have induced an inflammatory response in your skin. It could be coincidence that you are having a flare up at the same time you increased the dosage.  I wish I could help you further...I just wanted you to state this information to help someone else to better answer your question. Hopefully, someone will answer soon..."

Freeme3 replied on March 5th 2012: "Thanks, Meridian for your help and researching the brand of fish oil I am taking. I did a little more research and found that fish oil is high in histamine. I have been wondering if histamine is part of my problem, but am not really sure. I think I will cut it out and see what happens. Thanks again for your help on this!"

Vicky replied on March 5th 2012: "Fish oil makes me flare too. So does seaweed. (Not sure if there's a connection-iodine maybe?) I can eat a piece of fish occasionally without a flare, however. Haven't tried shellfish since being diagnosed--just salmon and fluke. Any smoked fish is a complete disaster. I wonder if reacting to fish oil is somehow connected with having fibromyalgia and rosacea?"

Freeme3 replied on March 5th 2012: "Hi Vicki, Thanks for your response. I think I have trouble with high histamine foods... I am starting to make the connection. I'm not sure though... my flare began after eating a lot of chocolate ice cream,.then almonds, then large doses of fish oil and finally strawberries. ..those are all high in histamine. (Actually, not sure about the almonds). Re: Fibro and histamine... people who have fibromyalgia have overactive mast cells causing histamine reactions. PM me if you want more info: there is definitely a connection. Thanks again!"

Bellableu wrote on March 14th 2010: "I'm wondering if anyone here has had success supplementing with Cod Liver Oil (I did see threads on D3 supplementation, and the jury appears to still be out - could it have something to do with dosage levels & co-factors like Vitamin A?). Would love some thoughts on this topic ... Based on the reading I've done here & elsewhere it certainly seems as tho' we Rosaceans may be deficient in some necessary vitamins, co-factors, proteins, natural hormones, etc. ... My diet is excellent & anti-inflammatory already, but here I am dealing with what has turned out to be a four-month long flare. Diet has always always affected my skin (immediate breakouts, paps, itchy nodules following ingestion of certain foods, for example). But I have always been ultra-careful about the sun, so I'm not someone who has pointedly spent time tanning, burning, or otherwise.
I have ordered an excellent D3 supplement with co-factors to try. But now I am more inclined to begin supplementing with high quality Cod Liver Oil immediately. I would love to have my D levels checked before I start supplementing, but I don't know when or if the clinic here will get me in. Anyway, if you're familiar with Weston Price and his supporters, you know Cod Liver Oil is considered one of the 'superfoods' suggested for boosting one's health. It is is very high in Vitamin D, Vitamin A, EFA', and a few co-factors. Does anyone have any thoughts on Cod Liver Oil or further thoughts on vitamin deficiency /malabsorption as a factor in Rosacea? Do we all agree that the immune system is part of the issue? Does it makes sense that malabsorption/poor processing/deficiency of certain nutrients would could create/cause Rosacea?"

Debbee wrote on March 14th 2010: "Hi, I'm new to the forum, but I have come to believe strongly over the years that my skin is best when I'm taking Vitamins A and B-complex in particular. I used to get my Vitamin A via my Solgar Cod Liver Oil capsule, but now I take a low dosage Solgar A & D3 combo capsule, which I alternate with a low dosage Solgar beta carotene tablet. I like Solgar's low dosage B-complex also. For my skin I also take a couple of times a week a Nordic Naturals Omega 3 caspule, a Solgar Evening Primrose Oil capsule, and a Solgar 30 mg. pycnogenol dry capsule, although not all at the same time. I always take my vitamins after a meal. I'm big on moderation and balance, and I take a low dosage multi-vitamin every two or three days also. I watch the amount of Vitamin A I take carefully; I would personally never take more than 10,000 IU per day from all sources."

Auburn replied on March 14th 2010: "Hi Bellableu, regarding cod liver oil, I have been taking a teaspoon daily of Nordic Naturals Arctic-D, which is high in omega-3s. Honestly, I couldn't tell you if/how it works because I started taking it at the same time I began eating more wild fish, animal fat, coconut oil, raw dairy, and raw honey. My skin has remained calm (I still flush -because of heat /emotions- every now and then but it subsides quickly) and my digestion has improved a lot."

Dpart wrote on March 14th 2010: "I believe in WAPF advice and I do take cod liver oil occasionally for Vit D, A, K2 etc. I'm only taking the fermented cod liver oil, which I believe are the only good one to take (given that there is no other with only natural occurring vitamins). The fermented cod liver oil also has a lot of co-factors and several different variants of D3. I had very good success with this oil together with normal vitamin D3 supplements and juicing in the Vitamin D thread, but unfortunately I suffered from some strange side effects after a while (maybe some sort of overdose effects, I don't know). The side effects was among others, muscle vibrations and dizziness (you can read all about it in the D3 thread). When testing later, the side effects was from D3 alone and not from vit A or cod liver oil in particular."

MissMary wrote on April 22nd 2013: "Hi folks, I'm having a full-on red almost purple flush after eating fish (cod) for the first time in months. Has this ever happened to you? Why would fish cause a flush? (It's painful!) Thanks for any insight. It was cod, baked with sliced zucchini and yellow pepper, s+p, olive oil and maybe 1/4 tsp "herbes de Provence." It looks like cod is moderate or low, but not lowest, in mercury levels...?

Starlite  replied on April 22nd 2013: "Well from my experience.. your millage may very ...  My flushing is directly connected to large fluctuations in blood sugar. For example I could be eating low carb and very high in raw veggies for a week then have some pizza one night. The next day or three is when my blood sugar is just crazy.. eating anything can cause a flush, or when what I have eaten gets burned off I flush too. My flush is never connected to the first day of going off of diet plan. I can recreate this at will.. so I am sure that's what's going on for me. So I guess the next question might be.. have you eaten something that you don't usually eat in the last day or two? Or gezz even better.. how often do you experience flushing? Is this so unusual that it caused you to post on a forum about it?"

Jrlhamcat2 replied on April 22nd 2013: "Histamine intolerance?"

Arb161 wrote on April 22nd 2013: "Hi missmary. I sometimes do and sometimes don't flush to fish. Just has a full round of allergy testing (2nd time) and not a single type of fish came up positive. So I thought it was maybe histamane - also normal.Like many other things with this disease it's weird

Jrlhamcat2 replied on April 22nd 2013: "It could also be sulfites if the fish was treated with sulfites. Personally I think it's really hard to figure out cause and effect with this disease because our skin gets so sensitive and often seems to react without any apparent provocation. I'd guess it's also the case that if you're far below your threshold for flushing, something that might be a trigger when you're closer to the threshold might have no effect."

Scot Viking replied on April 27th 2013: "I am in my 12th week. My rosacea, my redness, the pustules, the burning and heat, the swelling - it is ALL completely gone. I do not even recognize myself when I look in the mirror. Eliminated: Wheat, Dairy, Corn, Safflower Oil, Corn Oil, Canola Oil, Cottonseed Oil, Corn Syrup, potato, Wheat based derivatives and preservatives, wheat and casein protein powders, red meat. Added: grapes, blueberries, almonds, blackberries, walnuts, cocao, almond milk, sauer kraut, vinegar with the mother, psyllium. Moderate: Rice
25 years of horrid rosacea (never abated for even 6 straight days) - put to an END. ZERO rosacea for 10 weeks and 3 days."

Moonfire241 wrote on August 29th 2016: "I had read somewhere that foods with omega 3 fatty acids, like salmon, were good for those with our disease. However, tonight, I read that omega 3 fatty acids keep the blood vessels from constricting. I'd been taking fish oil pills thinking omega 3 fatty acids were good for the skin and eyes. Should I stop? I'm confused now. Please help.

Sheis4 replied on September 7th 2016: "I really doubt about it... I've heard lots of people saying that Omega 3 saved them from this condition, or at least made them feel and look lots better. That's why I started to take Omega 3 supplements a couple of days ago. I would recommend to do some more research about it and you'll see that it helps."

Faith1989 wrote on September 7th 2016: "Omega 3 is really good for rosacea. It is anti inflammatory. This is especially good if you have ocular."

Sheis4 replied on September 8th 2016: "Can you just explain the difference between omega 3, 6 and 9? is this the same thing or i have to use just omega 3 for total effect?"

Driven wrote on September 9th 2016: "The problem with this over-simplified statement is that it's repeated on thousands of health web sites with nothing more specific. People automatically think that "anti-inflammatory" means less facial redness/flushing, but that's not what it means at all. Type 1 rosacea is very different from (for example) bursitis. I went for years making the same assumption. Stopping Omega 3/6 and no longer thinking of my rosacea as "inflammation" were my first steps on the road to remission. There was a rapid, noticeable reduction in flushing. It's also one of those dietary triggers where the flushing response is delayed (up to 24+ hours), which is why it took me so long to put 2 and 2 together. I've also since figured out that virtually anything with claims of being anti-inflammatory - such as ibuprofin and numerous vitamins and minerals and foods - actually cause flushing. In my case, at least. I'm beginning to think that the body's inflammatory response (it's there for a reason) being purposely muted is what helps the actual causes (intestinal bacterial overgrowth or whatever) to work against us. I'm not saying it's unhealthy or causes flushing in everyone, but I believe that making it a permanent addition to your diet just because holistic-whatever.com says it's anti-inflammatory is counterproductive."

Mistica wrote on September 12th 2016: "Driven has beaten me to it. He made an excellent post and I agree with him. In addition, I'd like to add that PUFAs (Polyunsaturated fatty acids) can be very inflammatory, depending on the individual. They oxidize very quickly and if the individual is lacking antioxidants, which most rosaceans/flushers do, (as shown in the few decent studies that have been done), all fats will oxidize quicker. Thus, the more lipids, the more oxidation and the effects of PUFA's in particular can be destructive. Anyone who has hypothyroidism also has an inability to clear lipids in a timely manner. The ensuing oxidative stress perpetuates the cycle and increases inflammation.

Then there is the obvious culprit. Excessive vasodilation, something we can certainly do without. Ages ago I read a study which suggested that candida can be fueled by omega 3's, but I have been unable to follow this up elsewhere. It seems contradictory that omega 3's can help calm ocular rosacea. I am not disputing the evidence as there are a number of posters on here who claim improvements. The results pose more questions as to the complete effects of these PUFA's.
It is much safer to get omega 3 from food such as fish.
Some months ago, Prof Jaminet (from the Perfect Health Diet) suggested I supplement with Tocotrienols to help protect against lipid oxidation. (Not tocopherols). Apparently they have antioxidant effects, and some other interesting benefits of their own. I was reluctant at first, as my brief experience with tocopherols was horrendous. Massive flushing, which took some weeks to settle down. And that was from only two capsules. I am pleased to say, I find some benefit from tocotrienols. I started with Doctor's Best which contains 50mg of mixed tocotrienols and 17iu of tocopherols. I seem to tolerate the small amount of the latter.
Taurine was also recommended to me as an antioxidant. I made a separate post about it months ago.
So for those people who find benefits from fish oil for ocular rosacea, but who also find it worsens their faces, it might be worth while trialing these antioxidants to see if they can control the side effects. Anyone who finds dietary fats inflammatory, might consider giving these supplements a whirl as well. Taurine is an inhibitory amino acid and seems to dampen flushing slightly. Initial, temporary side effect in me were headaches."

Moonfire241 wrote on September 15th 2016: "Thank you for the information. I quit taking the fish oil pills in case this would make things worse. I get migraine like headaches from the dilated blood vessels when I go too long without taking ibuprofin. I know it's not good to rely on this long term. Are these rebound headaches that will eventually go away if I stop taking it? Should I reduce it slowly? I believe you about anti inflammatories sometimes making things worse, from things that I've read. I just don't know how to stop relying on this. I'm also afraid of rebound flushing/inflammation."

Queta wrote on February 6th 2014: "Hello: I have been taking fish oil for the past several weeks to see if it helps with my rosacea symptoms. My symptoms are primarily swelling, red and swollen eyes, and orange peel texture. I think it is helping my skin texture. A few days ago, my friend commented that my skin "looks really good and smooth." I hope that she is right. I started the fish oil after reading research on the effects of fish oil on ocular rosacea. Anyway, I will post my results on this thread. I am taking quite a bit...six 1000 mg capsules a day. Regards, Queta."

Maroon5 wrote on February 7th 2014: "I tried this a few years ago and didn't really find they helped me dramatically personally. But everyone says omega oils are good for the skin so stick with it for a few months and let us know if you notice any difference."

Queta replied on March 2nd 2014: "Hello: I was taking quite a bit of fish oil (6000 mg per day) religiously for six weeks. My skin texture, swelling, and ocular symptoms did seem to improve. However, I developed an eye twitch on the lower part of my right eye. I was very concerned. I stopped the fish oil in case it was the problem. Now I am thinking of switching to 3000 mg of flax oil daily. Will keep you posted. Regards, Queta"

Tonny wrote on March 29th 2014: "Emmmm i just want to say you here that millions of Americans take fish oil supplements to promote heart and vascular health. But a new analysis suggests that some consumers may not always get what they are paying for."

David147 wrote on July 15th 2015: "Fish oil also aids in weight loss process. Research conducted by Professor Peter Howe at the University of South Australia has shown that fish oil improves the efficacy of exercise in reducing weight. Volunteers who were given fish oil diet showed greater weight loss as compared to those who did not consume fish oil diet."

GreenGables wrote on November 2nd 2015: "I have found that anything that lowers blood pressure or thins the blood tends to produce a flush. I'm still not sure why. Fish oil / omega oil is a blood thinner. Magnesium also lowers blood pressure and may provoke a flush.

Terrieb wrote on November 14th 2015: "Omega 3 is good for lots of reasons.....Omega-3 fatty acids are thought to provide a wide range of health benefits, including a lower risk of coronary heart disease and improvement in cholesterol. There have also been promising results from studies looking at omega-3 for cancer, depression, and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). I take mine in supplement capsules. I buy the one a day, non fishy taste ones and burpless. I also eat a lot of Salmon, both fresh and frozen. But I have always done this even before acquiring Rosacea (December 2014). Whether a person has Rosacea or not, it's just a good supplement to take on a daily basis.

Kundalini wrote on April 29th 2015: "Fish can be high in histamine, canned fish smoked fish etc, if it's canned it will eventually be high histamine the longer it's there, fresh fish is different low histamine, I stay well away from fish in general as some can be high in mercury, I used always ate sardines daily until I fond out it's high histamine. look up the high and low histamine foods you'll be surprised on what you see."

BigW wrote on July 17th 2016: "Could Fish Oil Be Responsible For Flushing? Hi All, I've been having quite a bit of success lately with my facial flushing. I've been gluten free since May 2015 and a few months ago really stepped up my dietary fat intake. I lowered my carbs, lowered protein to moderate servings (I'm into weight training) added MCT Oil to my pre-workout coffee for extra energy and increased butter, Olive Oil and Avocado Oil to my meals and cooking. Even when my meal is cooked I add butter to the meat portion and drizzle Olive Oil over the veges. Only one big meal when I get home from work and snacks during the day and only if I'm hungry. There's a lot of calories in fats compared to protein and carbs. I also added 2-3 grams daily of MSM in divided doses. The great thing about it is my face flushing has dropped dramatically to the point where I hardly think about it.

Yesterday, due to an ongoing knee injury, I was reading about Fish Oil and inflammation and decide to add a tablespoon to breakfast and dinner. After having a spoonful of Fish Oil with breakfast (eggs and butter) my wife and I went to a dept. store and almost immediately felt my nose starting to tingle. In 20 minutes it was a deep red colour and my cheeks also flushed but not to the same colour as my nose. This, of course, completely ruined my day, my wife's day and then the depression settled in leading me to just wanting to be on my own asap and my usual happy, positive self was gone.
It's been many months since this happened. Is it possible the Fish Oil could have been responsible? I've racked my brains and it's really the only thing I did differently and I dropped it many months ago from my diet which would coincide with the decrease in flushing. Anyway, I hope someone can enlighten me. Much health and happiness to you all."

ShaunD replied on July 17th 2016: "I've read that fish oil is fairly high in histamine, maybe that's a problem for you."

Lwemm replied on July 17th 2016: "Yep, it is probably the fish oil. I was taking some but did not like it all that well (the taste and greasiness- yuck) so kept "forgetting" to take it. It had been in my fridge quite a while before I remembered to take it again and that week, I was flushing a lot at work. It happened a few hours later. I quit taking the fish oil and have not had that problem since. The freshness of the oil can be a big factor in whether it will cause a flush due to the build up of histamines."

BigW replied on July 23rd 2016: "Many thanks for the tips on histamines. I've been reading a lot about them over the last few days and picked up some great info. Time to start making some dietary changes."

Bradley wrote on September 25th 2005: "If you want to see results then take at least 3-5 grams of purified Omega-3 obtained from fish oils (remember this is around 8-10 grams of fish oils). You can even take up to 10 grams of omega-3 (like the Eskimos) but there isn't much documentary evidence suggesting doses above 5 grams have any more benefits.The problem with flaxseed is that it contains alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) but no EPA and DHA. The EPA and DHA is what the body uses to suppress inflammation especially EPA which is more beneficial. If you are taking flaxseed then the body needs to convert the ALA into EPA & DHA. Unfortunately a lot of scientific evidence suggests the conversion rate of ALA to EPA&DHA is only in the region of 4-15% and in some cases where this conversion is inefficient to non-existent. So you need to take quite a lot of flaxseed to get even the slightest of benefits.
The benefit with fish oils is that they already contain BOTH EPA and DHA so no conversion process needs to take place. Therefore a lot of what you intake is not going to waste as with flaxseed. This being said flaxseed is still good for your skin but not as good as fish oils and it has some other notable benefits as it also contains lignans which are anti-carcinogens.
With regards to Omega-6, the majority of these EFAs promote inflammation so you should be careful to reduce your intake so you have a good balance of Omega-3 to Omega-6 about 3:1 or 2:1 over the short term. In the long term it should be 1:1. But GLA is one of the only omega-6's that is good for your skin and you can obtain it from Evening Primrose Oil or Borage Oil. Borage oil has a higher content of GLA per gram however it is questionable whether it should be taken over the long term and so EPO is usually recommended instead."

Dosage and side effects of Fish oil:

The American Heart Association recommends that healthy adults eat fish at least twice weekly. Fatty fish such as catfish, halibut, salmon, striped sea bass, and albacore tuna are particularly recommended. Plant-based sources of ALA such as tofu, walnuts, and canola oil are also recommended. The World Health Organization recommends a daily EPA and DHA intake of 0.3-0.5 grams and a daily ALA intake of 0.8-1.1 grams.

On top of that you can supplement with fish oil capsules, but more isn't always good here. A typical fish oil capsule that you can buy at most health food stores and pharmacies contains 180 mg of the omega-3 EPA, 120 mg of the omega-3 DHA, for a total of 300 mg per capsule. Many bottles will suggest a dosage of 2-3 capsules per day.
This daily dosage approximates the two servings of fish per week. Some over-the-counter nutritional supplements contain 500, 600, and all the way up to 850 mg omega-3 fatty acids per capsule. So, thew recommended dosage depends a bit on the level of omega 3 fatty acids in the supplement. The higher the dose of omega-3 fatty acids, the less capsules you need to take. But don't take more fish oil than the label of your tube recommends. This is very important.

Fish oil is said to be safe even at high doses, with few or no side-effects beyond stomach upset or belching (which can be minimized by taking with meals, refrigerating the capsules, or taking enteric-coated fish oil tablets). Look here for more info.

Also take into consideration that fish oil can possibly cause oxidative stress and damage in the body.
Taking several grams of fish oil per day may be hazardous to your health. When fat particles oxidize, they break down into smaller compounds, like malondialdehyde (MDA), that can be dangerous because they damage proteins, DNA, and other important cellular structures.
A study by Mata et al demonstrated that oxidative damage increases as intake of omega-3 fat increases. But if you are very concerned about this, it is also wise to cut down on the levels of
omega-6 fat in your regular diet, found in industrial seed oils and processed and refined foods.
Fish oils, like for instance, fermented cod liver oil, are however also a condensed source of fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, K2 and E). Also, the risk of oxidative damage that may occur with the odd capsule of cod liver oils is outweighed by the benefits of its fat-soluble vitamins.

Eating fresh fish is in my view the healthiest way to receive your omega 3 fatty acids. And when you notice that your rosacea worsens from either fish or fish oil, then I would discontinue it. Maybe try it a second time after you skin has calmed down again, to be entirely sure that it really was the fish oil that you were reacting to, but if this proves to be the case, don't think that your skin always has to become worse before it gets better; this is rarely the case. The histamine in fish can simply cause you a flare. In that case, avoid foods very high in histamine. Alternatives for fish oil are flax seed oil (described above) and algae oil; they also have omega 3 fatty acids, but like with flax seed oil, you need a halluvalot of algae oil to get the same high dose as fish oil provides. That is the downside of both. For vegans and for people with a sensitivity to fish or histamine, they are however safer alternatives.

7. Bromelain

Bromelain is a mixture of enzymes (different thiol endopeptidases and other components like phosphatase, glucosidase, peroxidase, cellulase, escharase, and several protease inhibitors), found in pineapples, that digest protein (proteolytic). It is also used as a meat tenderizer. Pineapple has been used for centuries in Central and South America to treat indigestion and reduce inflammation. Bromelain, which is derived from the stem and juice of the pineapple, was first isolated from the pineapple plant in the late 1800s. The German Commission E approved bromelain to treat swelling and inflammation after surgery, particularly sinus surgery.

Bromelain can be used to treat a number of conditions. But it is particularly effective in reducing inflammation from infection and injuries, for instance osteoarthritis. Bromelains anti-inflammatory effect comes from the way it alters leukocyte migration and activation. Leukocytes are white blood cells that help fight infection but can also cause inflammation.

In vitro and in vivo studies showed that bromelain has not only anti-inflammatory effects, but also prevents blood clot forming, thrombosis and it helps to decrease edema (accumulation of fluid in tissues). Bromelain has therapeutic benefits in the treatment of angina pectoris, bronchitis, sinusitis, asthma, surgical trauma, and blood clot forming, the cleaning and healing of wounds, and enhanced absorption of drugs, particularly antibiotics. Studies of people having dental, nasal, and foot surgeries found it reduced inflammation. In Europe, bromelain is used to treat sinus and nasal swelling following ear, nose, and throat surgery or trauma. It also relieves osteoarthritis, diarrhea, and various cardiovascular disorders. Bromelain also has some anticancerous activities. (more on this and more and more)

It also helps with wounds and burns. Studies in animals suggest that bromelain, when applied to the skin, may be useful in removing dead tissue from third-degree burns, a process called debridement. One preliminary study of a debridement agent that is derived from bromelain to treat people with second- and third-degree burns showed a benefit. (Please note that severe burns require a doctor's care. Do not apply bromelain to broken skin).

Bromelain might help with arthritis. Studies show mixed results. But one study suggested that a combination of bromelain, rutosid, and trypsin worked as well for reducing knee pain from osteoarthritis as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), which are commonly used pain relievers. Early studies suggest that bromelain may also help reduce pain in people with rheumatoid arthritis.

Bromelain and rosacea:

Queta wrote on May 16th 2009: "Hi. Just want to put in a plug for quercetin/bromelain supplementation. I kid you not, my rosacea is 95% gone now. I have been on this combo for a few months now. Quercetin is known to inhibit mast cells, which appear to play a role in rosacea. I take 2 capsules of quercetin/bromelain before each meal and my snack (so 4 times per day) and my rosacea is definitely getting better all the time. The day before yesterday I did the dreaded smile test where I smile in the car vanity mirror. Normally my face looks weird when I smile-my cheeks puff out too far and it looks like I have too much fluid in my face or something. The other day I did it and guess what? I looked almost completely normal. I have also been noticing people of the opposite sex checking me out more often which for me is a fairly good objective measure. Just wanted to share...if anyone out there thinks that supplements don't work I have to say I was in your camp but tried this out of frustration and fear of getting worse and worse. The visible veins on the end of my nose are almost gone now, too. It's been really amazing. I do still have to watch my diet, but this combo has taken my rosacea to a whole new level. Feel free to respond with any comments or questions. Cheers and all good things, Queta"

Roz replied on May 16th 2009: "What are the doses that you are taking? And, how would you have described your rosacea prior to taking the quercetin and bromelain? Never heard of the smile test-to check general puffiness due to rosacea. Is this something that is done around these parts?  I guess that is what the smilie faces are all about??? Did you do anything else around this same time that could be contributing to your result? And, if I could ask what do you do on a daily basis for your rosacea...any oral or topical meds?"

Queta replied on May 16th 2009: "Hi. I didn't change anything else at the time and I know this is what has helped. I made sure to keep everything the same because I know how important that is. I understand people's skepticism, because I felt the same way about supplements. Nonetheless, I decided to try this combo because I did research and discovered that people with rhinophyma were found to have too many mast cells, and that quercetin is known to inhibit them. Since it was fairly cheap and non-invasive I figured what the hell. One person who read my post on the supplement section PMed me and raved about how well it's working for him (I know-a large sample of one, hardly statistically significant.)
As far as the "smile test" that's just a quirky test I do because I noticed that when I smile that's when I look the strangest. I never would have even thought of it until as a teacher kids would mutter, "God, she's ugly" when I smiled at the class. Then I smiled in the mirror and realized..damn-I do look weird. Rosacea is kind of tricky because it can get worse and you don't even really realize it 'cuz it can be gradual. Your friends and family get used to you looking a certain way so they don't always see it either.
I take 2 capsules (500 mg quercetin/375 GDU bromelain) four times a day-ten to twenty minutes before eating meals and one snack. I still follow my usual diet which has been very strict for years and years (no alcohol, very low sugar, no citrus fruits, no dairy, no gluten). This diet did help my rosacea, but the addition of this supplement has taken it to a new level. I do nothing else for my rosacea except control it through the diet and this supplementation. I have used low dose accutane in the past but this has done more for me than that. I also used to use a mast cell inhibiting nasal spray but no longer need it. I don't use any topicals or anything except sunscreen when needed.
Hope this info helps you. I am obviously not saying this is going to help everyone, or even anyone for that matter. Just thought I'd share in case it is helpful for others. I have learned a lot on this board and would be much worse off without it.

As far as the quercetin/bromelain, I did some reading on mastocytosis (which is a systemic disorder, I believe, where a person has too many mast cells) and on a mastocytosis forum learned about some people using the quercetin/bromelain combo to treat their disorder. Since I read that people with rhinophyma have too many mast cells I thought I'd try it. I was also interested when I found out that people use quer/brom for allergic reactions. Since histamine release is one of my worst rosacea triggers, I thought I could try it for that purpose as well. Incidentially, someone PMed me this week with a link to a related article about mast cells, anxiety, skin disorders, and quercetin. It does appear on a website selling supplements, but there may be some information in there that is useful to you. Here is the link: http://www.wellnessresources.com/notfound.php Queta"

Travellingpete replied on May 16th 2009: "Hi Queta. I would like to add young-ism to that list.
I'm interested in what you wrote about quercetin, bromelain and diet. I'm following a similar regime as well. But my diet is along the lines suggested be Megan and her facebook site "rosacea, dealing with it with out drugs". Which is again similar to your diet. It's only been about 2 weeks and so far maybe a slight improvement. However I have only been taking about half the amount of quercetin and bromelain that you are. One tablet before meals, each tablet has 500mg's of quercetin and 125mg's of bromelain.
I was wondering how long have you been taking quercetin and bromelain and do you know of any side effects, especially long term ones? As here in Australia the combination of quercetin and bromelain is only sold in pharmacies by prescription from a doctor or naturopath. But natural health food stores sell it without prescription. Cheers"

Queta replied on May 16th 2009: "Hi. For anyone following this thread, just thought I'd post a few more articles about this supplement. Many of them are posted on websites that carry this supplement, so be forewarned. However, some people might find these interesting and if you want to do additional research you can investigate the cited references at the end of the Vitamin Research Products' article.
One thing I found that interested me was something about the effect of quercetin on androgen receptors. Maybe that's why I'm getting good results...the quercetin is not only acting on the mast cells but also on the androgen receptors (kind of like the effect of spirolactone.) This also may affect males' willingness to use this long term. Might want to check out the last article listed if you're interested in that aspect.
effect on androgen receptor expression
If I have time to do any more research I'll try to post it. Regards, Queta"

Chenoarae replied on May 16th 2009: "Putting in my 2 cents - I started Qercetin/Bromelain supplements about a month ago, and they're the only supplement I've tried that have given me any noticeable difference as well. I'm not saying it's hugely amazing and dramatic, but my symptoms were a little different from queta's. Not swelling per se, but inflammation on the inner aspects of the cheeks, and of course the inflammation caused redness there. The Q/B combo took that inflammation down about 50% (topical protopic took it down another 35 or 40%). I only take 2-4 a day and that seems good. My rosacea is rather mild."

Queta replied on May 16th 2009: "Thanks so much for the update. Glad to hear it's doing something. I should add that this morning I did have some mild nose swelling and enlarged pores. Not terrible or anything, but it was there. I'm not sure if it was something I ate or emotional upset. I was pretty upset last night from spending an evening with people who were acting like "haters." For some reason I get very agitated when I'm around people who spend their time putting other people down. Anyway, I notice that I still flush quite a bit when I'm upset. A few weeks ago, I had to break some bad news to someone and it was pretty awkward. I came home and saw that my face was a little puffy and my cheeks were red-not as bad as before the combo, but I did notice it. It goes away more quickly than before the quer/brom, though. I also find a little crushed aspirin on my nose helps the enlarged pores (I know this won't work for most people, but for my phymatous symptoms it works for me.) Queta"

RedFaced replied on May 16th 2009: "Hey, I have the terrible swelling in the cheeks as well as the early Rhinophyma, flushing, some small bumps on cheeks and the dreaded neurological pain associated with it all. Have been on this supplement only 2 caps per day (20 mins before each meal) and it seems to have helped a bit with redness and the bumps on the cheeks are gone. I have read that it also helps with bacteria and that the bromelain helps with the absorption of other meds (antibiotics) etc. Not much improvement on the nose or swelling just yet but it is still very early going and I have started on a small dose. I hope things continue to improve and am going to up my dose to 3 caps after 2 weeks (end of next week). Also restricting the diet, same as Queta.
And I know EXACTLY what she means about the smiling, I look weird and funny when I smile due to the swollen upper cheeks. Carnosine is another supplement that I am thinking of taking, also has been shown to stabalize mast cells and renew cells. Queta, do you have any links to those sites you referenced regarding the mast cell conditions? Thanks"

Mistica wrote on May 16th 2009: "I too have been using the Quercetin/Bromelain combination after Queta found success with relieving swelling. My experiences have been a major reduction of swelling, but no effect on the flushing. Inflammation was dampened a little, but was erratic in behaviour. The pressure I used to get, was significantly reduced, but not eliminated. Sulfacetamide/ sulphur really helped with the over all terrible inflammation, redness and pressure included. I have been able to reduce my three times per day intake, down to once per day, first thing in the morning. This is to help shift fluid build up which occurs over night. I am careful with my diet. Side effects: I have noticed three or four pounds of body weight creep up when taking the combo long term and this drops again, when I cut back or stop. Due to the study Queta found about possible thyroid dysfunction, I had my levels checked during my last doctors consultation. I was told all was normal, but I wasn't told if the levels were exactly the same or slightly lower than the last time I had them tested. Also, now my swelling has dissipated, the damage from the bad IPL's is more evident.
Seeing I found a study ( which I posted somewhere in the oral section), that Quercetin inhibits collagen production, I wondered if this played a part in my inability to repair. This was mostly this reason that was responsible for my cutting back dosage. I have recently started supplementing with Vitamin D3 and hope to only use the Q/B on an as needed basis."

RedFaced replied on May 17th 2009: "Regarding Quercetin and Collagen, I came across some info that may be of interest to you....Quercetin (a flavonoid) is actually thought to strengthen weakened capillaries. In test tube and animal studies they (flavanoids) have been shown to protect collagen, one of the most important components of cappillary walls. Compounds called flavonoids may help strengthen weakened capillaries. In test tube and animal studies, they have been shown to protect collagen, one of the most important components of capillary walls.7 8 A preliminary study found that proanthocyanidins (flavonoids extracted from grape seeds), 150 mg per day, increased capillary strength in people with hypertension and/or diabetes.9 A double-blind trial found a combination of two flavonoids (900 mg per day of diosmin and 100 mg per day hesperidin) for six weeks reduced symptoms of capillary fragility.10 Use of vitamin C with flavonoids, particularly quercetin, rutin, and hesperidin, is sometimes recommended for capillary fragility.11 Doctors often recommend 400 mg of rutin or quercetin three times per day or 1 gram of citrus flavonoids three times per day."

Guishome wrote on May 19th 2009: "Hi queta. I am gonna try this combo for my swelling even though I have also flushes and red cheeks. By the way Queta do you also have flushes and red cheeks ??If yes does this combo help you??"

Queta replied on May 19th 2009: "Hello. I do have some flushes, but they're usually pretty mild. It's hard for me to say because my flushing is worst in the winter when I go from a cold to a warm environment, and now that it is warm outside I don't have that problem. I don't think the combo helped that symptom, though, but won't know for sure until next winter. Maybe someone else who tries it will be able to address this question better. I do think I look paler all around, though, and don't have to wear as much make up as before. The veins on the tip of my nose have faded also. They're still there but are less visible. Queta"

Happygolucky wrote on May 31st 2009: "Hi Everyone, I have been taking a Quercetin and Bromelain combination for just over 2 weeks now. Thought I would share the preliminary results. Maybe too much information but I have found it very constipating!!! I will have to look at upping the fiber and water intake. It appears to have helped my seasonal allergies. I don't have severe allergies but they tend to be irritating this time of year and I do notice that they are much better than ususal. The other good news is that I have noticed a significant reduction in the swelling and "distortion" in my face. My smile lines have diminished - they are still there but not as deep. My husband and family say that they can see a big difference in my face - and they see me everyday. People at work have also commented that I am looking better but they are not sure why (and I am not about to tell them...... LOL). I have used advil (ibprophen) in the past and have seen similar results BUT after prolonged use of advil I start to have a spontaneous brushing - so this might be a better solution. I am going to continue to take this combination and will report back if anything else changes. The tablets are 400mg of Quercetin and 100 mg of Bromelain. I take a total of between 6 and 8 tablets a day. Sometimes I take them with meals and sometimes I take them when I remember."

Lookout wrote on May 31st 2009: "Happy just an fyi.....bromelain is a blood thinner....so it can potentially cause bruising also like nsaid's.....learned this the other day.....so I am not taking it as I will be having laser tx's."

RedFaced wrote on May 31st 2009: "Whoa, you are all taking an awful lot of this stuff...I am only taking 500mg of Quercetin (with 100mg of Brom.) 3 x per day. If you and the OP are taking 8 tablets or more per day, that is almost 3 x the dose I am taking. The bottle does say take 2 caps per day so I am wondering if you know if it is safe to be taking upwards of 3-4 times the recommended dose? I would like to try more as I also have some preliminary reductions in swelling but am not sure on the safey of going that high...what are your thoughts on the high dose? Have you spoken anyone to or read anything in regards to these high doses and their safety? Thanks..."

Happygolucky June 20th 2009: "Hi Everyone, Well it has been over a month now and I have to say my face is looking better than ever! I have backed off the crazy doses I was taking and now just 2 or 3 tabs a day. I have also switched from a tablet to a capsule. I think the capsule is better. The shape of my face has changed. I no longer look like I am wearing a mask. I should have taken before and after pictures. I have also gained a solid 5 pounds! My pants are getting a bit tight. so now I must choose between my butt and my face, LOL.  It did not seem to have any impact on my appetite- the weight just appeared. So, I am going to go off for a month and see if there is any fluctuation in my weight and if the inflammation returns. I will report back."

Queta replied on July 30th 2009: "Hi Bruno. I don't really have permanent redness; my primary problem was swelling. My nose, cheeks, forehead, chin, and eyelids were swollen. With the quercetin/bromelain, the swelling has really gone down. My cheeks lie flatter on my face and don't puff out as far. I look a lot better. I hope it works for you. Regards Queta"

BrunoP wrote on August 15th 2009: "Hi Queta thanks for the reply..I would like to know if there´s improvements in anyone besides Queta.. I started taking those supplements about 6 weeks ago but i cant see any improvements yet.. i will continue taking those capsules. for more 2 or 3 weeks maybe, if i´m not getting any results maybe i should try other thing, or should i by another bottle of those supplements? Please help"

Valby replied on August 17th 2009: "I am still taking the quercetin/bromelain combo. I have now reduced to 3 times a day. It has helped inflammation/swelling and also I think my digestion. I am currently able to take antibiotics and have really reduced the amount of pariet I need to take for acid reflux. I am very happy about it!!"

Guishome wrote on June 13, 2009: "Thanks a lot Queta, I read your story on an other forum and I found that quercetin help me a lot to reduce my swelling cheeks too, (yahoo) I used to have some difficult to digest and my belly was swollen after only 2 slices of bread, but not anymore. I also found that i don't sweat as much as I used to. Therefore, I don't get sick too because when I was sweating (it happens to me when I am anxious or due to the emotion) I took off my jumper and got a cold.It gave me back my thin face, I am very happy with that but I still flush and I might found something that could reduce quite a lot my flushing but I have to wait more. I will let you know how it goes :)"

Bobbydoyle wrote on January 7th 2015: "Hi, I find the following medications/supplements good for subtype 1 and I'm trying to bring my condition into remission. Does anyone have something I can add to this list? The supplements/medicines that have made the biggest difference for me
1: Grapeseed Extract with Vitamin C. This is really effective at building collagen in the face. Moreso, than any other supplement I've ever seen
and I think it is a great supplement for people with rosacea to take.
2: (not a supplement but) Antihistamine Piriton. I take this twice a day .
3: Lysine. This is the second most effective supplement I have taken after grapeseed extract for reducing redness and increasing collagen.
4: Quercetin/Bromelain (natural antihistamine)
5: Singulair :This seems to improve skin texture for me
6: Mirtzapine: (An antidepressant that reduces flushing)

I've tried a lot of different things but I can't think of anything that has definitely helped me other than these 6 things. I get pains in my heart sometimes when I've tried medications like oracea/effracea so I don't want to try clonidine for this reason. I don't want to try propanolol because I sleep poorly as it is and I don't want to take something that could negatively impact on my heart. Is there any other supplement like grapeseed extract and lysine that has a dramatically positive effect for rosacea sufferers?"

Dosage and side effects of Bromelain:

Bromelain is easily absorbed in the body, without producing any major side effects. Eating pineaples provides some bromelain, but not enough to have medicinal effects. Supplements have a much higher dose of bromelain. The German Commission E recommends 80 to 320 mg, 2 to 3 times per day. For specific conditions, higher doses may be prescribed:
-As a digestive aid: 500 mg per day in divided doses with meals
-Injuries: 500 mg, 4 times a day on an empty stomach
-Arthritis: 500 to 2,000 mg a day in 2 divided doses
Bromelain is generally recommended for no longer than 8 to 10 consecutive days.

Supplements may have side effects or interact with medications. You should take them only under the supervision of a knowledgeable health care provider. Side effects from bromelain are generally mild and include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and excessive menstrual bleeding. People who are allergic to pineapples, Latex, wheat, celery, papain, carrot, fennel, cypress pollen, or grass pollen may also be allergic to bromelain. Pregnant women and people with bleeding disorders, high blood pressure, and liver or kidney disease should not take bromelain. Bromelain may increase the risk of bleeding during and after surgery. You should stop taking bromelain at least 2 weeks before surgery.

Possible Interactions: if you are being treated with any of the following medications, you should not use bromelain without talking to your health care provider.
*Antibiotics -- Bromelain may increase the amount of antibiotics absorbed by the body.
*Blood thinners -- Bromelain may affect the blood's ability to clot. When taken with blood thinners, it could raise the risk of bleeding.
*Sedatives -- Some experts believe bromelain may make sedative drugs stronger (the same is true of herbs with a sedating effect, such as valerian, kava, and catnip).
*Drugs to treat insomnia
*Tricyclic antidepressants, such as amitriptyline (Elavil)

8. Curcumin / Turmeric

Curcumin is a yellow natural substance, found in some plants, especially in turmeric that belongs to the ginger family. So, curcumin is substance within turmeric. Chemically, curcumin is a diarylheptanoid (a plant metabolite) and is responsible for turmeric's yellow color. As such, it is used as a food colouring (for instance in curry), but also in cosmetics. In Ayurvedic medicine, curcumin is believed to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and perhaps even anticancer properties. It is used in Ayurvedic medicine for strengthening the overall energy of the body, relieving gas, dispelling worms, improving digestion, regulating menstruation, dissolving gallstones, and relieving arthritis. It is a well-documented treatment for various respiratory conditions (e.g., asthma, bronchial hyperactivity, and allergy), as well as for liver disorders, anorexia, rheumatism, diabetic wounds, runny nose, cough, and sinusitis. Many South Asian countries use it as an antiseptic for cuts, burns, and bruises, and as an antibacterial agent. In Pakistan, it is used as an anti-inflammatory agent, and as a remedy for gastrointestinal discomfort associated with irritable bowel syndrome and other digestive disorders. Although research to back these claims up has been doubtful at times.

The Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database has reviewed all the available scientific studies and has concluded that it is “Likely Safe,” “Possibly Effective” for dyspepsia and osteoarthritis, and “Insufficient Reliable Evidence” to rate effectiveness for other indications, such as Alzheimer’s, anterior uveitis, colorectal cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, and skin cancer.

There are however studies which prove that curcumin has health benefits. Although one always has to keep in mind that successful studies in animal models and in vitro may sound promising, but may not automatically prove to also be applicable to humans. Nevertheless, there are preliminary pilot studies in humans suggesting that:
-Curcumin might stabilize some markers of colorectal cancer in some patients with treatment refractory colorectal cancer (Pubmed)
-Curcumin in high doses may decrease the number of aberrant crypt foci in smokers with abnormalities detected on colonoscopy
-Curcumin might reduce some (inflammatory) symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and might be more effective than diclofenac (Pubmed
-Curcumin might relieve odor and itching associated with skin cancers

Read more on curcumin here.  So in conclusion, despite the skepticism you can read online often, several modern in vitro studies did reveal that turmeric is a potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimutagenic, antimicrobial, and anticancer agent. 

Cancer Therapy

Probably the first indication of curcumin’s anticancer activities in human participants was shown in 1987 in a clinical trial involving 62 patients with cancer spots on the skin. They were given topical curcumin, and it resulted in remarkable improvement of symptoms (including itching, lesion size, and pain). Although the effect continued for several months in many patients, only one patient had an adverse reaction. Since then, curcumin, either alone or in combination with other agents, has shown potential against colorectal cancer, pancreatic cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, multiple myeloma, lung cancer, oral cancer, and head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (Article).  Curcumin also showed effective in studies against peptic ulcer, H. pylori Infection, diabetes and several other inflammatory conditions, against the skin condition vitiligo (topical use as a repigmentator), and psoriasis.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a condition in which the intestines become inflamed. Although it isn't known yet how IBD works exactly, doctors suspect that it is driven by inflammatory cytokines such as TNF-α. Generally, anti-inflammatory drugs, immunosuppressants, and TNF blockers are used to manage IBD. However, they are expensive and have numerous side effects.
Curcumin shows promise in the treatment of IBD. In one open-label study, the efficacy of curcumin was evaluated in five patients with ulcerative proctitis and in five patients with Crohn disease. The patients with ulcerative proctitis were given 550 mg of curcumin twice daily for 1 month and then 550 mg three times daily for another month. In the patients with Crohn disease, curcumin was administered at a dose of 360 mg three times a day for 1 month and then 360 mg four times a day for another 2 months. The results showed a significant decrease in symptoms, as well as in inflammatory markers (erythrocyte sedimentation rate and CRP) in all patients with proctitis. Only four of the five patients with Crohn disease, however, completed the study. There was a mean reduction of 55 points in the Crohn disease activity index, and reductions in erythrocyte sedimentation rate and CRP were observed in these patients. Although this study suggests the efficacy of curcumin against IBD, large double-blind, placebo-controlled studies are required for confirmation.

Another study evaluated the efficacy of curcumin as maintenance therapy in 89 patients with quiescent ulcerative colitis. For this randomized, double-blind trial, 45 patients received curcumin, 1 g after breakfast and 1 g after the evening meal, plus sulfasalazine or mesalamine, and 44 patients received placebo plus sulfasalazine or mesalamine for 6 months. The relapse rates were 4.65% in the curcumin-treated group and 20.51% in the placebo group.
There are several other studies which show a positive effect of curcumin in IBD, as well as in Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), which is a chronic problem of the large intestine that gives cramping, abdominal pain, bloating, gas, diarrhea, and constipation.


Arthritis is a chronic disease and gives inflammation of the joints. It has to do with an abnormality in pro-inflammatory cytokines (e.g., TNF, IL-1β) and pro-inflammatory enzymes that mediate the production of prostaglandins (e.g., COX-2) and leukotrienes. The three most common forms of arthritis are osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and gout. Typically, a combination of exercise and NSAIDs are used for the treatment of osteoarthritis, but NSAID's have many side effects.
The potential of curcumin against arthritis was first reported in 1980 in a short-term, double-blind, crossover study involving 18 young patients with rheumatoid arthritis. In this study, curcumin’s efficacy was compared with that of the prescription drug phenylbutazone. Patients were randomly assigned to receive either curcumin (1.2 g/day) or phenylbutazone (0.3 g/day) for 2 weeks. Curcumin was well-tolerated, had no adverse effects, and showed an anti-rheumatic activity identical to that of phenylbutazone as shown by improvement in joint swelling, morning stiffness, and walking time. However, one of the major drawbacks of this study was the lack of a control or placebo group. Further well-controlled studies are therefore required to examine the long-term effects of curcumin against rheumatoid arthritis. In another recent study, curcumin alone (0.5 g) and in combination with diclofenac sodium (0.05 g) was found to be safe and effective in 45 patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Furthermore, the level of CRP was suppressed in these patients after curcumin administration.
Another study in 50 patients with osteoarthritis evaluated the efficacy of Meriva at a dose that corresponded to 200 mg of curcumin per day. After 3 months of treatment, symptoms improved, walking distance was increased and CRP levels were significantly decreased. In comparison, only modest improvement in these measurements was observed in the control group. Overall, these results suggested the efficacy of curcumin in the management of osteoarthritis. In another study with a control group of 100 patients with osteoarthritis, the same results were shown.


Effects of Turmeric (Curcuma longa) on Skin Health was also researched. Turmeric (Curcuma longa), has been shown to have antiinflammatory, antimicrobial, antioxidant, and anti-neoplastic properties. Growing evidence shows that an active component of turmeric, curcumin, may be used medically to treat a variety of dermatologic diseases. For this research article, systematic review was conducted to examine the evidence for the use of both topical and ingested turmeric/curcumin to modulate skin health and function. The PubMed and Embase databases were systematically searched for clinical studies that researched the use of curcumin for the skin.
A total of 234 articles were uncovered, and a total of 18 studies met the set up criteria. Nine of these studies evaluated the effects of ingestion of turmeric, eight studies evaluated the effects of topical turmeric, and one study evaluated the effects of both ingested and topical application of turmeric/curcumin. Skin conditions that were examined include acne, alopecia, atopic dermatitis, facial photoaging, oral lichen planus, pruritus, psoriasis, radiodermatitis, and vitiligo. Ten studies noted statistically significant improvement in skin disease severity in the turmeric/curcumin treatment groups compared with control groups. Overall, there is early evidence that turmeric/curcumin products and supplements, both oral and topical, may provide therapeutic benefits for skin health. However, currently published studies are limited and further studies will be essential to better evaluate efficacy and the mechanisms involved.

Here, in the comment section, many users of turmeric/ curcumin rave about the ways in which it has helped inflictions like arthritis, crohns disease, fibromyalgia and joint pain. Mom25 wrote on April 4, 2017: "If nothing else, my skin looks amazing! Cleared up the bumps from rosacea , complexion is smooth. A lot less inflammation."

The worrisome thing with curcumin/ turmeric, is that it is slightly related to ginger, which not everyone with reactive rosacea can tolerate well. On top, it can act as a blood vessel dilator. It also increases nitric oxide (a potent dilator released from facial blood vessels and nearby cells). It is trial and error, but the user reviews I found on curcumin and/or turmeric show that not everybody does well on this supplement. 

Here is explained how curcumin/ turmeric increases blood circulation in wound healing. The problem is that it both dilates and constricts blood vessels.. People with rosacea do not want an increase in blood circulation or a widening of their blood vessels. This is good for healthy people, but not really for us. But they do like the blood vessel constriction. Strangely enough, curcumin seems to do both:

"Curcumin is vasoactive in large arteries from some tissues and species (meaning it can cause both constriction or dilation of blood vessels).[..] Subnanomolar curcumin dilated whereas micromolar doses constricted the arterioles. [..] Propranolol (β-Ad antagonist) enhanced constriction by removing the vasodilation response to curcumin. Phentolamine (α-Ad antagonist) enhanced dilation to curcumin by removing the vasoconstriction response. Thus, the curcumin vasomotor activity on microcirculation was α-Ad and β-Ad receptor-dependent and its net vasoactive effect was concentration and time dependent.

In the present study we hypothesized that ethanol extracted curcumin I (99% purity) would induce a robust vasodilation in peripheral arterioles. In the hamster cheek pouch, we found that small arterioles do dilate to subnanomolar concentrations of curcumin. We also report that higher concentrations induce a robust constriction unrelated to vasoactivity of the vehicle ethanol. Both responses are recoverable."

Over the 60 second exposure time, low nanomolar and picomolar concentrations of curcumin induced a sustained dilation. At higher concentrations, initial vasodilation at 20 sec was followed by vasoconstriction at 60 seconds. The dilation response to curcumin in the terminal arteriole was stopped when the medication propranolol was added, and the constriction response was stopped by the drug phentolamine. Propranolol and phentolamine applied together blocked all response to curcumin."

Yet in this article, the author comes to a different conclusion;

"How turmeric helps in Rosacea. Inflammation causes release of chemotactic factors and vasoactive mediators that cause increase in permeability and dilation of capillaries leading to inflamed and swollen tissues. Turmeric used in animal models has shown to inhibit these mediators, stabilize membranes and prevent platelet aggregation therefore preventing cell inflammation.

There are different ways that turmeric can be used to soothe symptoms of rosacea. Since it is an anti-inflammatory agent, it can reduce irritation and puffiness and improve circulation around the inflamed areas. Other inflammatory conditions can cause rosacea and other skin complaints. By acting as a liver detoxifier and wound healer, turmeric can help cure rosacea inflammation too. Combine turmeric powder and water into a paste and apply on skin affected by rosacea. Otherwise you can combine ½ teaspoon each of sandalwood and turmeric powders and apply on the inflammation. Turmeric infused teas can also detoxify the body from within and clear skin of various ailments."

I read up some more on this angiogenesis (new bloodvessel growth) property of curcumin and turmeric.  

This medical research for instance, stateds:
"Curcumin is known to be a potent wound healer. Despite this, studies on curcumin using certain model systems have shown it to be anti-angiogenic. Results of the present investigations suggest that curcumin causes opposing effects on angiogenesis in serum stimulated and unstimulated conditions. "
Curcumin has shown to have a beneficial effect as a proangiogenic agent in wound-healing, by inducing transforming growth factor-beta, which induces both angiogenesis and accumulation of extracellular matrix, which continues through the remodeling phase of wound repair.

In this article, a group of researchers from the University of Kerala, India, describe how they discovered that curcumin promotes the formation of blood vessels in healthy cells. 
Their finding confirms that curcumin has the ability to distinguish between healthy and cancerous cells. Curcumin provides a supply of blood to normal cells whenever they need it but cuts off that same supply to nasty cancer cells. This may appear to be contradictory, but the Kerala researchers may have found an explanation. Angiogenesis is the formation of new blood vessels from preexisting vessels. It plays an important role in wound healing and ovulation. But uncontrolled angiogenesis can result in many health conditions, including cancer and also the excess of blood vessels we see in rosacea. 

Researchers found that curcumin applied to wounds caused by radiation, has strong healing properties. Some research also states that curcumin can protect our healthy cells from the harmful effects of radiation, while enhancing the murderous effects of radiation on cancer cells. At the exact same time. Quite fascinating. And this pubmed article details how curcumin, when taken orally and applied topically, improved wound healing in diabetic rats and mice.

So it seems contradictory for curcumin to have wound healing properties when it is also has these anti-angiogenic properties. Researchers therefore focused on the cellular microenvironment to see if it had “any effect on the angiogenic potential of curcumin.” Well, it does; "curcumin stimulated the expression of proangiogenic factors when there was no extracellular stimulation (of an angiogenic response) by serum or proangiogenic growth factors, whereas, in the presence of those stimuli, curcuminoids appeared to be anti-angiogenic." Freely translated: depending on the presence or absence of serum or certain growth factors, curcuminoids help normal cells live happily ever after, but they can also kill cancer cells by cutting off their blood supply. So curcumin has a dual nature.
This study gives us another example of the wonderful dual nature of curcumin, able to distinguish between the good and the bad guys. Yeah!

Here is a short article on the benefits of drinking turmeric/curcumin with milk. And here is an article about curcumins anti cancer effects. 

It is hard to interpret this research fully for me, but I get from this research, that curcumin can both dilate blood vessels as well as constrict them, based on the dose and the state of the blood vessels, among other possible factors. And if you want to have only the constriction effect, you have to take propranolol with the curcumin. Lucky me, I take it daily already. But regardless of this propranolol addition option, I do fear that this characteristic of curcumin/turmeric might wipe away all its further benefits -including anti inflammatory actions, being a strong anti-oxidant and its ability to limit burn injury progression. It is touted for "showing to increase vasodilation similar to the effects of aerobic exercise, which can increase blood flow and nutrient delivery to tissues in need of repair", and we don't want that with rosacea.. 

Curcumin and rosacea:

Cindyjoy wrote on August 21st 2009: "I have had Rosacea for 5 years. At first the Metrogel seemed to work a little but over the past year my face has really gotten bad. The Metogel does nothing to prevent the outbreaks and take down the redness and inflammation. I stated taking Turmeric (root extract) 300 mg twice daily and it got rid of my daily outbreaks and the red inflamed areas on my face are gone. I got my face back!! Turmeric is inexpensive and can be found at any health food store. Try it and see if it works for you. If it does it's an all natural and cheap cure for this horrible disease. Cindy"

Lisamouries replied on August 22nd 2009: "A word of caution to all those people thinking of trying turmeric. Here is a quote taken from another thread on this subject which I think is very valid.

If I were taking herbal supplements, I'd be nervous about taking anything unless my doctor said it should be fine. I definitely suggest you talk to your doctor AND a pharmacist AND a good naturopath if possible about what you are currently taking and whether or not anything will interact, and what is safe to add. One supplement may be considered safe, but the big worry comes in when you take more than one, and then add in prescription medication. The biggest worry in my mind is that a lot of herbals thin the blood. If you take too many things that thin the blood, your body might not clot when it needs to. For example, I believe both aspirin and circumin do thin the blood. So, taken together, a doctor might be concerned.. This can be dangerous for some people, so I suggest being very mindful about what is combined in a routine.

Cindyjoy replied on August 25th 2009: "In response to herbs, I'm not on any other medications so I don't have to be concerned with any drug reactions. My daughter has Crohn's disease and is on Humira [an immune suppressing medication, Scarlet Red]. She has been taking many herbs and supplements for years and the only reactions she has is when she stops taking the actual drug like Humira or Predisone (she has not been on steriods for about three years). She is in college and doing well after many years of learning how to manage this disease which she simply could not do without her supplements and herbs. Turmeric has anti-cancer and anti -inflamatory properties and myself would rather take a natural herb than an antibotic for very long term purposes. Cindy"

Gwydiana replied on August 11th 2010: "OK, just tried the turmeric supplement called Curamin and it made such an amazing difference in my rosacea within an hour, it was just like taking my prednisone. I've been praying for help like this! I'm sure that you can find turmeric in other generic brands less expensive than Curamin. I'm sticking with the tried and true :)"

 Mike T wrote on August 12th 2010: "What an interesting post. I have been using turmeric on my food ever since I found out it had anti-inflammatory benefits. I began using it as I heard it was a good way to reduce internal inflammation and therefore would assist my hairloss. I have only been using minor amounts sporadically so have not really experienced any benefits in relation to Rosacea. I think of turmeric as being a fairly safe herb which has been used by a large amount of people for a long time. However I often need to remind myself any herb, mineral or vitamin , no matter how natural they may seem, if taken in high enough doses can throw of the delicate balance of minerals within the body. Really what you want is credible studies outlining the safe upper limit long term intake levels. These can not always be found.
I wouldn't have a clue how much would be too much. But a safer way then just starting on 300g a day is to start on say 50g, and then every month have a full blood examination and considering all is normal then up the dosage by another 50g. I know that Turmeric is high in antioxidants which helps fight free radicals and in turn development of cancer. But this is only one of it's effects. There may be many more, some of which may not be documented or known and some of which may be negative.
It would be good to hear from any long term users, if there are any.
Regards, Mike"

Contessa wrote on February 10th, 2008: "I just wanted to mention that I have been adopting a routine involving a mask with curcuma, and it seems to work quite well for me. This mask is "a classic" in India. It seems to help my skin. I blend a spoon of curcuma powder (preferably organic and non-iodised) to some milk cream (whole, 30% lipids) and apply it to my face. I leave it on for 20 mns, taking care of not staining my clothes. The skin has a delicate yellow tinge for some hours, generally it disappears with your cream as it is absorbed by the cream. I advise you to do this mak before going to bed, and in the morning you'll wake up with baby skin. Note: please note that curcuma is only solvable in lipids, not in water. Thus, if you make a stain, you have to dissolve curcuma with oil, and then wash the grease stain. ) Hoping this can bring relief to some of you."

Tom Busby wrote on June 14th, 2016:  "Topical curcumin (a derivative of turmeric) against skin-redness. In another thread, DBAA discussed angiogenesis inhibitors to decrease skin-redness, which was very interesting to me because my skin is always too red -- like a 4 on a scale of 1 to 10, where 10 is a tomato and 1 is Hollywood perfect.

Turmeric powder or root is unusable as a topical, because it will turn skin and hair a very bright orange-yellow color. However, by google-searching, I found "white curcumin," which a powder of tetrahydro-curcumin, from Physician's Naturals. In fact, this isn't at all a "pure white powder," but it's significantly less yellow-orange than turmeric powder. It's edible, so it appeals to me to use it topically. Tetrahydro curcumin is not at all water soluble, but it is freely soluble at a 1:2 ratio in isopropanol or ethanol.
I started using it at a 0.1% concentration in my MCT shampoo/shower gel. On day 4 of daily use, there's no yellow staining of my hair or skin, and it reduces redness for about 12 hours after showering, and it seems to have an effect on brown tinea spots, in that the tinea spots become slightly darker about 20 minutes after showering, and in 20 more minutes fade to near invisibility for the next 8 hours. Here's an interesting article about topical 0.5% tetrahydro-curcumin having a strong effect on reducing the scale and lesions caused by psoriasis.In 3-4 weeks, I'll update this thread about any improvements in baseline skin-redness. I suspect there will be a slight improvement, but I doubt this is a miracle cure. Still, every little bit helps. The current reduction in redness, on the scale of 1 to 10, is from about a "4" to a "3.5," on days 1 to 4."

Tom Busby updated on August 26th 2016: "This is great -- topical tetra hydro curcumin (aka white curcumin) actually does reduce skin redness. On day 50, I noticed it reduced the red veins in my eyes, and on day 70 I noticed it was reducing skin redness. I’m on day 85 now, using 0.15% in a rinse-off shampoo/shower gel) and 0.05% in a leave-on lotion. I started with small concentrations because I wasn't sure if it would turn my hair or skin gold colored -- it doesn't, and is fine as a topical, with a slight ginger aroma. I plan to increase the concentration, to 0.25% next.
The concept of curcumin inhibiting angiogenesis is observable and true. In the scale of 10 (a tomato), to 1 (Hollywood perfect), I’ve moved from a 4 to a 3 as to skin redness. A "4" is where people might say, "You gotten some sun lately," whereas a "3" shouldn't evoke any comment.
I purchased 75 grams of white curcumin powder from Physician Naturals for about $55. I make a true emulsion and not merely a dispersion, using Cromollient SCE as an emulsifier for shampoo, from Lotioncrafter. Cromollient emulsifies oil into water, or any aqueous base, if you use Cromollient SCE at a ratio of merely 1 part Cromollient to 5 or 6 parts oil – in other words, approximately 20% Cromollient to 100% oil."

Tom Busby updated again on October 4th 2016: "Skin redness reduction is minimal, about one-half of a number on a scale of 1 to 10. As for the original purpose of my experiment, redness reduction, as suggested by the manufacturer’s research article, is very minimal. Sansibio overstated its trials, which is not surprising. However, my eye redness has been reduced more significantly, about 1 on a scale of 1 to 10, which is great. Long term, I suspect there’ll be more redness reduction in my sclera.
As for cons, I’ve reduced the concentration to 0.10% because at 0.15% there was a very slight yellow residue on white bed sheets, and my grey hair became very slightly yellow. Some would consider yellow hair acceptable but my hair is grey/white and there’s no reason to change it in my opinion. I suspect that people with “normal” red, brown, or black hair would never notice any difference, and would consider higher concentrations aesthetically acceptable.
Curcumin has been getting a lot of attention lately. As for taking it orally, the problem is that the acidity of the stomach nukes it and only 1% or so gets into the small intestine to be usefully metabolized. As a result, I suspect the transdermal route I’m examining is more useful.
[..]  I believe I'd previously overstated the results as to redness reduction.
[..] my skin redness is in the nature of my skin, rather than seb derm, which is long-gone now. The redness is merely annoying rather than something I worry about, but since I've learned that small concentrations of ingredients can make a difference, I'll definitely try extracts of green tea and licorice root, after I'm done testing curcumin, in about 3 months."

Isamaria wrote on June 7th, 2016: "Flushing healed with turmeric! I have read about the anti inflammatory effects of turmeric and that it helps to keep blood sugar down. So I thought it is worth a try because for a lot of people with rosacea - including me- high blood sugar makes flushing worse. I definitely can say that I had bad flushes after high carb meals. So I bought turmeric at the supermarket and added it to my meals. Since then I didn't have one flush and that is very unusual for me! The days before I had deep red flushing especially in the afternoon. I also tried to double my carb intake and I still didn't flush. But there is one thing that is making me crazy at the moment: my skin became so oily and my acne became worse. It has never been so bad. I don't know if it's due to the turmeric (and I really hope it is not), or if it's because of the weather change in my country (suddenly very humid and hot), or because I stopped taking oracea 2 weeks ago. [..] I have read that turmeric stimulates the insulin production to lower the bloodsugar. Maybe my body produces too much insulin now which leads to sebum production? Well I don't know."

Newjacksm replied on June 14th 2016: "It's probably that you stopped the oracea, because I stopped taking 100mg 2x doxy (Oracea) My face got terrible. Since then I swore never to take another stupid pill again. I am still working on it, but I am a lot better. I have spent thousands of dollars on trying different things, and the best things I have tried so far are for the redness, turmeric, zinc 50mg daily, zinc creams and soaps. TTO Facial cleanse (for the acne)"

BeckyHall replied on June 15th, 2016: "I take tumeric in the morning and mid afternoon.
If I don't take it I'll flush. My flushing is centered around my nose. Tumeric is not a cure but it absolutely works for me as a prevention. I also use tumeric cream at night and in the morning. I still have days where I flush no matter what and I believe hormones and diet are the culprits in those cases."

Isamaria updated on July 10th 2016: "So far I am going fine with my supplements.
- I use a lot of turmeric as spice with every meal and I think it keeps my flushing down
- went from over 100mg zinc daily to 50mg
(Zinc is also known as dht blocker, so it has some influence on sebum production)
- I take 800mg boswellia daily against inflammation
- 1 Betaine HCL capsule during lunch and dinner (when I eat meat) for my digestion
- added milk thistle yesterday for my liver. I have to gain weight and ate a lot of saturated fats the last months (over 100g daily) and know have a fatty liver "

kash  kash wrote on May 30th, 2013: "I am using a topical formulation of curcumin called Psoria Gold. I've been using it for a month and have noticed a reduction in inflammation and skin sensitivity. I only use a small amount and it does not cause skin to turn yellow. Haven't heard of that product though, but I do believe that curcumin is very beneficial in reducing inflammation associated with rosacea."

Starlight wrote on January 6th 2013: "For me turmeric is top notch as an anti-inflammatory"

Someone wrote on a facebook rosacea forum that she started making her own turmeric paste, adding just a little bit of water with a small amount of turmeric. Mix it into a nice pasture (not gritty, not runny), then applying it to her problem areas on facial skin. She mentioned amazing results, almost immediately. She used to have bad rosacea, but now states that her skin no longer feels or appears angry. If you have any left over you can keep it in a container and save it for later.

Someone else also wrote on this facebook group that she has good success with a turmeric skin mask. She makes a mask of aloe vera, honey, half a tea spoon of turmeric and a tea spoon of ground oatmeal (equal parts aloe - scraped from a real aloe plant - and honey). Apply it with a brush, carefully because the paste can drip off. Leave it on until dry, about 20 minutes, then wipe off with a moist paper towel, then rinse with luke warm water. You might also rins with diluted tea tree oil, for extra antibacterial effect.

Guishome wrote on June 30th, 2009: "I have taken 360 mg of turmeric three times per day before meal and I found great improvement with it. My face is a lot less swollen and I digest aliments more easily. I haven't had any important burnings and inflammations so far. I don't know for sure but I think it reduce my flushing too. About the redness, although I notice great improvement there are still here but less than before. I will double the dosage today and see how it goes.' And: 'Today I tried if the heat make me flush. Sadly it does but the pression, inflammation(burning) and swelling have been little compare to what I  am used!! so I will say that I really happy with that. I also chated with several pretty girls(weird to say that) and I normally flush just to say hello to them but I could speak with them and didn't turn red with the burning sensation. Although I felt flushing a bit after one minute but I was confident because the burning sensation wasn't so intense than usual( and for me it's the most important )."

Oldredlady wrote in May 4th 2011: "After exhaustive reading on the subject, including numerous reseacrh articles and medical studies, I've decided to try turmeric, (picking some up from the drugstore this evening), in the hope that it will help with my permanent cheek area redness and mild p&ps, though the p&ps aren't nearly as much of an issue these days, knock wood, as the base redness, which appears to be spreading. Will post back with results (hopefully on the positive side) in the near future. Best to all"

She updated on May 5th 2011: "Unfortunately, I stupidly overdid the Clearasil sulfur last night and am as bright as a tomato today and it burns, too, ugh. :( I should have known better and left the p&ps alone, they go away on their own in short order. Started the turmeric last night, hopefully this burning mess will clear shortly and I'll be able to tell if the turmeric's working, right now all I see is red (figuratively and literally)..."

She updated on May 5th 2011: "As far as the oral turmeric cap's go, (one 950 mg. cap. per day), it's been two days and no improvement as yet, though I'm not sure how long it takes to see visible improvement, so I'm going to give it a week or two more anyhow. Still very red and peeling from the nasty sulfur assault, lately I can't use anything on my skin it seems, even stuff like sulfur that I used for years (since age 12) without a hitch. [..] Will check the turmeric cream link and continue to update on the turmeric cap's, have my fingers crossed I'll see some improvement soon. :)"

And on May 8th 2011: "Still taking the oral turmeric. Funny thing, I saw a friend yesterday whom I haven't seen in some weeks. He said my skin looks better than it did the last time we met, which made me feel good as I'm still peeling like crazy and I hadn't seen much improvement, but according to him, I look better. Not sure if he was just being nice or not, but it made me feel good and that's always a plus. :)"

And Oldredlady updated in May 9th 2011: "Saw my friend again today and we went out to a seafood restaurant for lunch where I stupidly (or so I thought) ate three very hot and spicy seafood concoctions consisting of oysters, jalapeno slices, hot sauce and tons of pure horseradish to win a free T shirt, (yes, I'm still that crazy at 43 when it comes to taking dares). :) I was expecting a huge flare up, but figured it'd be temporary; imagine my surprise when I got back home and saw my cheeks less red than they've been in weeks. I don't know if it was the horseradish or what, (it certainly burned enough and made my eyes water when I ate it and also necessitated a few Maalox after the fact), but my sinuses are clear for the first time in weeks and so was my face, well, clear for me anyhow. Maybe it was what you said about focusing on something else besides my face for a while that helped, too, and knowing my friend likes me no matter what - I didn't wear any makeup to the restaurant and felt just fine about it. Of course it helps that he has rosacea, too, the nose kind, and isn't at all self conscious about it. :) I'm not advocating heaps of horseradish by any means, (unless you have a cast iron stomach), and I'll probably wake up tomorrow just as red as ever, but it's nice to have a respite, even temporarily, from this thing. :) I'm still on the turmeric cap's, maybe they're kicking in and that's what's helping the redness and not the horseradish. "
Woke up this morning and can see more visible broken cap's than a few days ago, but IMHO the base redness is less than it was, (the reason I can see the cap's), so that's a good thing. It's likely too soon to make recommendations about turmeric, but so far, so good, (knock wood)."

But on May 10th she updated: "Unfortunately, my base redness doesn't seem to have lessened any while on the turmeric, will continue to take it while I have the cap's, but I don't think it's the cure-all I'm seeking."

Spencer replied on May 10th 2011: "The turmeric never worked for me. Then again, maybe I didn't stick with it long enough. I'm hoping that the curcumin gel will be more effective since it's applied directly to the skin. If it isn't a trigger for you, stick it out because it has some amazing health benefits. Are you applying it to food or taking it in supplement form?"

Oldredlady updated in May 11th 2011: "Still taking turmeric, one 950 mg. capsule a day, and I can't honestly tell if the base redness is better or not, even with a handheld compact mirror in direct sunlight. Sometimes I think yes, sometimes no, (depending on whether or not I scratch my skin, still dry in the rosacea areas, cheeks, and sometimes a bit itchy, from the dryness I think), so I'm honestly not sure whether this is helpful or not. One good thing, since going off spiro. a few weeks back, (I figured if I'm having dry skin issues, the last thing I need to do is continue to take a diurectic), the acne chin cysts haven't returned yet, (knock wood). Oh well, I'll finish the bottle of turmeric and see how I look then, IMHO 60 days should be long enough to tell whether or not something works."

And she updated on May 18th 2011: "Still taking oral turmeric 950 mg. daily, no significant improvement in redness/p&ps noted, although my skin doesn't itch the way it used to, so that's something, (of course I haven't applied any topicals in ages either, so that could be it, too). I also added fish oil capsules the other day and I'm not as dry as I was, so fish oil seems to help with dryness, at least so far (knock wood). [..]  I'm still taking them daily (turmeric capsules) and my redness is slightly less".

Bellableu wrote on August 26th 2011: "Dr. Heng is a clinical dermatologist at UCLA med school (IIRC), and has published her research on the use of curcumin gel in scholarly journals ... she seems like the real thing. The name of the product tells the focus of her research - Psoriasis - but she claims there are related inflammatory pathways in Rosacea and other skin conditions."

Wormgirl1 replied on November 3rd 2011: "Interesting thread. My integrative medicine He also recommends rotating spices, including turmeric (curcumin is derived from turmeric) and ginger, among others. These spices actually have antibacterial, antifungal, anti-parasitic and even antiviral properties. It is quite possible that they may act as broad-spectrum antimicrobials, which may be why some people with rosacea do very well with them.
practitioner is a licensed medical doctor with decades of experience as a pathologist. He opines that rosacea is caused by infection with yeasts/fungi, and recommends elimination of wheat/dairy and processed foods & sugar.

There was only one article in Medline about turmeric in rosacea, and I’m including it here for anyone who may be interested.
Wu J. Anti-inflammatory ingredients. J Drugs Dermatol. 2008 Jul;7(7
Suppl):s13-6. PubMed PMID: 18681154.

"There are numerous natural ingredients that have been demonstrated to possess anti-inflammatory properties that make formulations containing these ingredients attractive treatment options. This article summarizes the active ingredients, anti-inflammatory properties, clinical effects, and therapeutic potential of colloidal oatmeal, feverfew, licorice, aloe vera, chamomile, and turmeric. Potential therapeutic indications include erythema induced by ultraviolet light, rosacea, atopic dermatitis, sensitive and irritated skin, drug-induced skin eruptions, and psoriasis. These products may be particularly well suited as alternatives to pharmacologic therapies in chronic conditions for which long-term use is required."

Turmeric has GRAS status from the FDA (generally recognized as safe). Its medicinal use should be avoided in pregnancy, according to the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, and as someone previously mentioned, it is a blood thinner, so a consult with a physician is in order, especially if you take any other meds or supplements."

Monamiga wrote on March 6th 2011: " I wanted to share what little knowledge and understanding I have of how turmeric works in the body. The way I understand the immune system, there are two types of immune cells, the T1 and T2 cells. (there are T3 cells, but they are not exactly connected to the issue we are trying to address) The T1 cells are responsible for fighting microbial attacks both from bacteria and viruses and the like. The T2 cells are also known as B cells, and these come in to help the T1s when they are having a hard time finding the invader, or if they are having hard time killing it off. The T2/B cells create antibodies. Different herbs (and foods for that matter) can stimulate (Upregulate) one side or the other. This shouldn't be a huge deal, as the body will naturally return to homeostasis, but in people who are experiencing the ill effects of a condition or disease which is directly linked to one side or the other being dominant, it can be quite harmful. 

Here is copy of a list of disorders associated with the dominance of one type of cell over the other. You can get the idea that one is more of a viral/microbial/invasive list while the other is more of a auto-immune (antibodies to the own body) list:

Common Th1 dominance disorders
Organ-specific autoimmune diseases
(Possible benefit from green tea)

Multiple sclerosis
IBD/Crohn’s disease
Type 1 diabetes
Hashimoto’s disease, Graves disease (thyroiditis)
Rheumatoid arthritis
Heliobacter pylori induced peptic ulcer

Common Th2 dominance disorders
Systemic autoimmune diseases
(Possible harm from green tea)

Chronic sinusitis
Many cancers
Hepatitis B and C (mixed Th1 and Th2)
Ulcerative colitis
Viral infections
Systemic lupus erythematosus
Helminth infections

Now MANY foods and herbs stimulate the the T2 side of the immune system (green tea is listed, because it was the example given in the article I grabbed this list from) and TURMERIC is one - also known as curcumin. If you are experiencing a disease which is the result of a lack of T1 cell activity, taking a food or supplement which encourages more T2 activity can further the imbalance.
It connects directly to the concerns raised in the other post, about how taking turmeric could potentially cause some kind of risk for infection. I believe that this concern is valid, as it make sense scientifically speaking - but when you look over the lists of other foods which do the same things - including green tea, garlic and mushrooms... you can see that NOT taking turmeric for this exact reason might be a bit of an over reaction IF you are not someone who has one of these T2 dominant disorders.
Boswellia was mentioned and is a T1 supporter. Perhaps the person who mentioned having benefit from the Boswellia, and then having the symptoms return was simply taking the wrong dose and/or the wrong frequency. Herbs are like that - you do often have to play with them to get adjusted to the right therapy - and I think many herbalists agree that unlike many pharmaceuticals, herbs are not really intended to be used forever. The idea is that you can take them for awhile to regain balance in the body and hopefully won't need them anymore. The thing is, that because herbs have some qualities in common, does not mean that they are truly the same in the body. Herbs are complex medicines that seem to work best when tried out in small amounts to begin, and then working your way up, assuming they are generally recognized as safe.

My next issue is with companies that isolate compounds from herbs. While it is true that many excellent medicines have come from experimenting like this - there has also been great harm. For example, the reason Kava Kava has a bad name, is because some well meaning (or possibly money hungry) individuals isolated the Kavaclones from the whole herb and mass marketed it as a supplement. Well, the result was horrible, with several cases of damage to the liver, and some deaths as well. The whole herb, Kava Kava, is not to blame for this, however - as it has been used for centuries in quantity with no such effect. It was the isolation and concentration of the particular constituent which caused the problems. This is what worries me about curcumin. Just like with foods - the whole food is so much better than a vitamin isolated from that food - the same is true of herbs.

Anyhow - I do not think that anyone who is generally healthy should avoid taking Turmeric. This is not a "professional" opinion, just mine as someone who has studied herbs for some years. Additionally, I would recommend that people who are interested in herbal therapies seek out a professional herbalist to help guide them in their decision making. Also, try to listen to your body. If you take turmeric and it seems to help you and make you feel better, then great! If not, then stop taking it. It may seem like an over-simplication of things, but really, each body is it's own system with myriad factors that are impossible to fully understand. So, on that level, we are all our own best physicians. Thanks for listening to my two-cents!"

Aurelia had written on this topic on August 18, 2009: "A few years ago, on the Rosacea Support Group (our original email-based board), members began reporting good results from herbal supplements such as boswellia and turmeric. In the latter case, it was a little surprising, given that turmeric (or curcumin, the main elemactive ent) is a vasodilator, meaning that it widens blood vessels. Some, for example 'RedMan' here, have reported that supplementing with curcumin made their condition worse. However, these herbs and supplements seemed good at reducing inflammation, which made sense given that they all had known anti-inflammatory benefits. Unfortunately, they dampen inflammation partly by inhibiting COX-2 enzymes and questions have since been raised about possible health risks from doing that.

One of our former mods is Dan, who is a layman but still knows vastly more about science than most of us. You might have read about NRS-funded research into the role Cathelicidin (the antimicrobial peptide LL-37) plays in rosacea. Here's one of Dan's threads from 2007 about how Cathelicidin and Leukotriene B4 (LTB4) seem to work together to enhance the immune response, while "dual COX and 5-LOX inhibitors inhibit the production of leukotrienes, including LTB4". Dan's assessment of the studies was that "the 5-LOX products, and Leukotriene B4 in particular, are quite probably a very key portion of our immune response, and that blocking these 5-LOX products, and Leukotriene B4 in particular, may lead to the unintended side-effect of increased infections (bacterial, fungal and viral)"
"Now a bit of theorizing. If, as I believe, pathogens play some role in the pathogenesis of rosacea and co-conditions such as seb derm, etc, you may find that while 5-LOX inhibitors seem to help with symptoms for a period of time, at some point they may make rosacea and associated conditions worse over time. This is what seemed to happen for me when I took Boswellia personally. It relieved my symptoms almost completely for several months, but then my rosacea, allergies, seb derm, etc went nuts, and when I tried to wean myself from the Boswellia I realized I was much worse off than before I started taking it. I'll probably never take a supplement with 5-LOX qualities again."

Dan is talking here about a group of herbs including turmeric.
Kind regards, Aurelia"

RedMan wrote on October 19, 2008: "I keep trying some alternative therapies and am getting flares each time I try something. I start to flush a little - seems my threshold lessens and get more get red after a few days so I stop. I have noticed that this happens to some people with both prescription medications as well as herbs, and some have stuck with it and said it gets better and ends up helping.
I have tried Curcumin and stopped after about 5 days (tapering down over the following 3-4 days). I definitely had a flare from this. I then tried Bugleweed right after Curcumin and also have increased flushing/redness and am on day 4 or 5. I am starting to think that maybe my body just needs to get used to the new medication/herbs? How long would you say to "ride something out" before you hang it up as a bust or something that just made things worse? I don't know if I should carry on with the Bugleweed of if I should hang it up...I am also thinking that maybe it is still the effect of the Curcumin because I stopped it Monday and started the Bugleweed Tuesday of this past week."

Dan replied on August 22, 2009: "Hope you all are doing well! Aurelia was kind enough to bring this thread to my attention. As she mentioned in her post, I'm certainly no expert, but I definitely had a very negative long-term experience after taking a 5-LOX inhibitor like Turmeric (in my case Boswellia) even though it seemed to help greatly in the short term. In fact it was this odd reaction, a huge increase in all my odd symptoms, and finding a study linking 5-LOX inhibitors and increased infectious burdens that started me down the line of looking for an infectious root to my health issues, including my rosacea.

Instead of thinking of rosacea (and other ailments I had) as being an auto-immune or auto-inflammatory disorder, I started thinking of it as just another set of symptoms associated with chronic infection, and I started treating it as such. 

Out went all the anti-inflammatory herbs and drugs which help reduce symptoms at least in the short term, and in came the antimicrobial agents which help reduce infections. I found that with these antimicrobial agents many of the symptoms I had increased in the short term but they decreased them in the long term. And I'm happy to say that I really have no problems whatsoever with rosacea anymore. It's been a couple of years of following this path of treatment, but I no longer have the 5 day a week "cluster headaches" that I had for 30 years, my IBS has completely cleared up (again after having it for 30 years or more), I am now more energetic than I've been for years (decades even), and my allergies and odd asthma-like symptoms are now nearly gone as well. I say nearly gone, as every now and then I'll eat or drink something that will set me off, but these are nothing like the "attacks" I had during the period just prior to this new antimicrobial treatment approach that left me flat out for days or even a week or more. And these events occur less and less often and are less and less of an annoyance. Luckily that's about all they are anymore...
Again, I'm no expert, but I consider Vit D3 to be key to my health improvement. While it may seem counter-intuitive given all the hoopla over cathelicidins and their link to rosacea in some sort of weird auto-immune induced inflammatory disease pathology, if you think of rosacea as just another symptom of chronic infection (much like the case with the often associated seb derm which is very widely accepted as being caused by fungal/yeast infection anyway), it only makes sense that you might find elevated levels of cathelicidins in rosacea. If you believe, like I do, that the real problem is your immune system is not functioning well enough to fight off the chronic infection, then you will want to help improve the immune system rather than counter its already hindered actions with anti-inflammatory herbs and drugs.
Vitamin D3 has been shown to be very important in the production of cathelicidins and defensins, our bodies' own antimicrobial peptides. Think of these antimicrobial peptides as super antibiotics, antifungals and antivirals all in one. As many of you have found out, avoiding the sun to help reduce rosacea reactions to sunlight only seems to lead to a progression of the disease. I have found that supplementing with Vit D3 has done just the opposite. And as I've said, I'm now rosacea free..."
Please get your 25(OH)D levels checked ASAP, and get your blood levels up at least to the high end of the ideal range, now believed to be between 40ng/mL and 70ng/mL.  I tested levels a few months back and my 25(OH)D levels are at 101ng/mL, just where I want to be for a period to fight off whatever chronic infections I may have picked up over the years which seemed to be causing all my health issues...
Anyway, hope this might help. Take care! Dan"

Note that Dan gives the opposite advise as I was given by my dermatologists and immunologist professor.. They think my underlying auto immune diseases stir the rosacea inflammation up, and that I should calm my immune system down. Not strengthen it further, as Dan found helpful in his case. I can eat a bunch of mango's or anything high in vitamin C, and as my immunologist predicts with anything high in vitamin C (including multi vitamins), my skin is a lot more red and even broken out the next days. But that's just me.. I don't believe that all rosacea cases are a chronic infection problem. Some cases might be, but others are not. Some cases truly have to do with an overactive immune system, attacking the body;s own tissue. Some people increase their vitamin D levels and have their rosacea severely worsened. There was a long big thread on The Rosacea Forum on this, following Dan's comments and recommendations on vitamin D3, and quite a few people with rosacea ultimately had to stop the vitamin D3 experiment as their rosacea got too bad.

My immunologist does say that having sufficient levels of vitamin D is important, also to regulate the immune system to normal action. But he warned me against high doses of Vitamin D pills, and asks me instead to gradually and gently increase my vitamin D levels (which tend to be on the low side always) by sunbathing my body for 20 minutes approximately a day around noon. Note that I am lucky enough to tan and not burn. Burning is setting you up for potential skin cancer, so one should never sunbathe at noon without sunscreen if the result is a sunburn. Or skin redness. But for me, I go very golden brown easily, everywhere except my wretched face :) And by not having factor 50 sunscreen, the body can readily convert the sunshine into natural vitamin D.
But when I get too much of it, my face is bright red for a long time. Slow and steady seems to work best for me personally. And this might not work for everybody btw. 

Dosage and side effects of turmeric/curcumin:

If you are taking turmeric supplements exercise some caution. While turmeric is generally considered safe, consuming high levels of turmeric supplements over long periods could cause some side effects. It could interact with drugs taken for blood clotting, diabetes and stomach acid reduction. Anyone allergic to turmeric could develop irritation and redness of skin. Those with kidney stones must also avoid turmeric supplements for the oxalate content in it could aggravate the condition. Others suffering from GERD or gallbladder problems and pregnant and breastfeeding women must avoid turmeric supplements.

The recommended dosage of curcumin (/turmeric) depends a bit on the form in which you take it:
-Cut root (fresh turmeric): 1.5 – 3 g per day
-Dried, powdered root (concentrated supplement pills): 1 – 3 g per day
-Standardized powder (curcumin): 400 – 600 mg, 3 times per day*
-Fluid extract (1:1) 30 – 90 drops a day
-Tincture (1:2): 15 – 30 drops, 4 times per day

*Some supplement manufacturers offer turmeric products that contain a guaranteed concentration of curcumin, the principle medicinal component of the herb. The University of Maryland Medical Center recommends 1,200 to 1,800 milligrams of standardized powder daily.

9. Astaxanthin

Astaxanthin is a very powerful antioxidant and anti inflammatory. It is a carotenoid that is made by algae, plankton, some plants, moulds and bacteria. They use it as a pigment to protect themselves against the harmful UV radiation effects of sunlight, but also as an essential vitamin that prevents oxidation of saturated fatty acids. The pink-red colour of salmon, trout, shrimps, crab, lobster and even in flamingos is created by astaxanthin. Our bodies do not synthesize astaxanthin, so it can only be obtained from food or supplementation.

According to research, astaxanthin is up to 500 times more effective than vitamin E, and 40 times more effective than beta carotene in the elimination of free radicals.  Astaxanthin has also shown to have an anti inflammatory effect. It has proven to reduce inflammation in skin burns and to prevent early skin burns from progressing. Astaxanthin has also proven in research to improve the inflammatory skin conditions atopic dermatitis and pruritus. Astaxanthin works as an anti inflammatory, because it has shown in in-vitro and in animal studies to decrease the production of inflammatory cytokines (TNF-α, IL-1β) and of inflammation mediators (nitrogen oxide (NO), PGE2), by inhibiting NF-κB (nuclear factor kappa B) activation. These inflammation mediators and cytokines activate immune cells, and can create chronic inflammatory diseases. Over activity of NF-κB is associated with chronic inflammatory diseases like cardiovascular disease, psoriasis, asthma, inflammatory bowel diseases, rheumatoid arthritis and arteriosclerosis.
Lab research has shown that astaxanthin can prevent the activation of T-lymphocytes, just like antihistamine medication has the ability to do.

Aastaxanthin has well-documented anti-inflammatory and immune-stimulating effects. Apart from decreasing oxidative stress and inflammation, it has shown to enhance immune response, for instance in microbial infections, but also in old age related decreased immune function.

"With regards to the immune system, women who received the astaxanthin supplements experienced increases in the activity of their natural killer cells, without increasing the population of these cells. On the other hand, levels of both T and B cells increased, said the researchers."

This confused me, when reading it. I thought studies had also shown that astaxanthin could help with auto immune diseases like asthma, arthritis and psoriasis? For those with underlying auto immune diseases, stimulation of the immune system might usually not be a good thing. You like to stabilize and lower the immune response then, in fact. But when I looked some more into this, it appeared that astaxanthin in fact 'modulates' the immune response. That could also include a lowering of the immune response, in case of auto immune disease.

When overactive, the immune system can trigger an allergic response when faced with allergens including asthma, skin rashes and auto-immune diseases. Studies have been able to show that astaxanthin supplementation can help balance the body’s immune system by stimulating its disease and infection fighting ability while at the same time suppressing its extreme responses which lead to inflammation and other unnecessary symptoms.
Astaxanthin can also stimulate the production and the efficiency of white blood cells or lymphocytes responsible for protecting against invaders. In research conducted on mice, those animals that were treated with astaxanthin had higher numbers of cancer killing cells which resulted in slower breast cancer tumor growth. Experiments conducted in vitro on human cells have also demonstrated the immune boosting abilities of astaxanthin. Research shows that it improves the white blood cells ability to destroy dangerous organisms such as candida Albicans.
Studies have also revealed that astaxanthin can regulate immune response in patients suffering from asthma and other allergies. In one study published in 2004, when astaxanthin was combined with ginkgo extract and then applied to the white blood cells taken from asthmatics, the treatment was able to suppress overreaction of the cells. The results were comparable to the effects of the popular antihistamine medications; Zyrtec and Astelin. More on astaxanthin and the immune system can be read here.

But this is not all. According to preliminary research, astaxanthin may also help reduce fine lines and
wrinkles and improve skin elasticity and moisture content. And some other findings on supplemental astaxanthin:
-It reduces lipid peroxidation (oxidation of fats).
-It reduces the biomarkers of oxidative stress and inflammation.
-Its antioxidative activity reduces the oxidative stress on the kidneys and prevented renal cell damage.
-It lowers level of blood glucose.
-It significantly reduces blood pressure in rats.
-It inhibits the growth of mammary (breast cancer) tumors in mice.
-It protects the myocardium when administered both orally or intravenously prior to the induction of the ischemic event.
-It reduces incidence of secondary thrombosis in a canine model.
-It exhibits protective effect on the retina with elevated intraocular pressure (glaucoma).
-It improves immune response in rats when administered in combination with fish oil.
-It increases endurance, increases fat utilization and prolongs exercise time in mice.
-It proves to be a potent agent against neurodegenerative disorder in cells due to its antioxidative and anti-inflammatory protection.
-It has good therapeutic effect on acetic acid-induced gastric ulcers.
-It protects against liver damage in rats induced by CCl4 (carcinogenic chemical solvent) by inhibiting lipid peroxidation and stimulating the cellular antioxidant system.
-It protects against UVA-induced DNA alterations in human skin and intestinal cells.
-It has protective effect against oxidative impairment and DNA damage induced by 60Co gamma-rays.
-It significantly reduces oxidative stress, hyperlipidemia and biomarkers of inflammation in patients with reflux esophagitis (heartburn).
-It decreases gastric inflammation in Helicobacter pylori-positive patients, at 40 mg/day

No side effects were reported in any of the human trials.

Unfortunately, astaxanthin is also said to improve blood circulation. Yet, research from 1990 (Kurashige et al. 1990) showed also that astaxanthin, both in pill form or topically applied to the skin, works anti inflammatory on rosacea skin. I do wonder if those with severe rosacea flushing, might actually benefit from this supplement...

Astaxanthin and rosacea:

Driven wrote on February 25th, 2011: "In my experience, anti-inflammatory substances rarely improve rosacea symptoms, and this stuff increases blood flow and decreases blood pressure (generally increasing vessel size, if I recall correctly from my... um, zero years of med school). Not to be a pessimist, but I'm betting the adverse effects on circulation (adverse for rosaceans, anyway) will outweigh any anti-inflammatory benefit, and will make you flush."

Ghost wrote on April 23rd, 2011: "I found this bit of a rave googling "astaxnthin rosacea"

I followed Dr. Mark’s instructions – apply after my shower and before bed. I committed myself to two weeks…I just want to see some difference in my skin in two week (which is what most good skin creams claim). Well, IT JUST DIDN’T HAPPEN! Now, don’t go blog bashing Dr. Mark…it was actually quite the contrary. It happened in just two days! Ok, so I don’t look 18 again, but my skin felt instantly like a baby’s bum, my rosacea hit the road and a blemish that looked as though it was going to erupt at any given moment seemed to retreat back to the depths of hell where it formulated. Could it be that THIS cream really works?

But the quote is from 2008, so where has the product been since then? And where is the author's rosacea?"

mrsmoof replied on May 25th, 2011: "I will start with 5mg per day for 2 weeks then up it to 10mg. i will keep everyone posted.

mrsmoof updated on June 12th, 2011: "I have not seen any improvements yet.."

And Mrsmoof updated again on July 2nd, 2011: "I am taking 15mg per day.. no improvements in my Rosacea so far."

Stacy Wiegman wrote in 2016: "I recommend astaxanthin for rosacea because it's working for me, and it has a lot of other really great benefits. I have been taking it for a few years.  My rosacea flare-ups are less frequent even though I'm not using Metrogel now. It also gives me more energy.  I can tell when I run out! My skin texture and color are also improved.  One thing as you get older is that the freshness of your skin dulls.  Children have that slight pinkness to their skin that older people lose.  Astaxanthin helps keep some color in your skin, but not redness like rosacea.  I think it helped smooth out my skin--along with exfoliants like Retin-A.  I don't have the blotchiness and irregular pigmentation anymore.
And the weirdest thing is that I don't sunburn anymore. If you looked at me, a fair red-headed woman, you would assume I sunburn, and I used to. But astaxanthin's purpose in the algae is to prevent UV damage and death, and it does that in human skin, too. I don't intentionally go sit out all day with no sunscreen, but I can be outside in the sun for 45 minutes and not get burned.  If I plan to be out longer, I slap on some zinc oxide sunscreen.  Luckily, there are more non-chemical sunscreens available now. I also read some research into astaxanthin for recovery after exercise, such as for peak athletes. Antioxidants are great for so many reasons, and currently, astaxanthin appears to be one of the most potent yet. I believe that astaxanthin is a key supplement if you have rosacea. It won't turn you bright pink, but it will give your skin a healthy color. Like all supplements, avoid the synthetic versions."

Tebee wrote on May 25th, 2016: "Wanted to share my cure. I have been a rosacea sufferer now for approx 5 years, not so noticeable to begin with but gradually got worse. I used to have good skin and not have to wear much makeup at all, now days I wouldn't leave the house without my foundation to cover my red spotty face and powder in my handbag to cover up through out the day. I have spent so much money on face creams and gels that are supposed to work but all they seemed to do is dry out my face and give my makeup something else to cling onto. After a visit to a health food shop I got talking about my rosacea and how it was really getting me down, I was advised to try an internal remedy instead of an external one. I have now been taking Astaxanthin for the past month and I have to say it actually working, the redness is still there but not so noticeable and the hard puss like spots are no more. I had never heard of Astaxanthin before so I gave it a google, its for skin and bones (also helps to stop burning in the sun). I needed to share my experience with other rosacea suffers, this works for me so why not give it a try. Its obviously not an over night cure but you will see an improvement in a few weeks. Good luck"

srez29 replied on May 25th 2016: "Hi Tebee, This may sound funny but when my rosachea had I am going to purchase some astaxanthin and give it a whirl. When I called GNC today they asked if I wanted the one made from salmon oil. I said YES! Anyway, I hope you have success in your journey. Also, I've read on this site that Zinc helps as well.
gotten really bad in December 2015 I got desperate and looked up foods that were good for skin, liver etc. Salmon was one of them. Also, garlic, beets, broccoli etc. Anyway, I started a new diet and noticed a difference within a couple of days. Long story short, astaxanthin derives from Salmon. Which brings me to where I am today... I have been remodeling at home and my kitchen no longer has a stove in it. So the last 2 weeks my rosachea has been getting really bad again. What I've noticed is that I have not had my normal diet of salmon, beets, garlic etc. I hope to be done this week and back on track. But for today

SRT150 replied on May 25th 2016: "Interesting...I would give it a try but I've read that astaxanthin can significantly reduce melanin production. I've gotten quite tan for the summer (which helps blend my redness better than anything), and don't want to mess that up. I might buy some and save it though. Thanks for sharing!

Happycat replied on May 26th 2016: "For me astaxanthin did absolutely nothing. I am glad it is working for other people though, this just goes to prove how complex and difficult to treat rosacea is."

Tebee replied on May 26th, 2016: "Hi Tebee, This may sound funny but when my rosachea had gotten really bad in December 2015 I got desperate and looked up foods that were good for skin, liver etc. Salmon was one of them. Also, garlic, beets, broccoli etc. Anyway, I started a new diet and noticed a difference within a couple of days. Long story short, astaxanthin derives from Salmon. Which brings me to where I am today... I have been remodeling at home and my kitchen no longer has a stove in it. So the last 2 weeks my rosachea has been getting really bad again. What I've noticed is that I have not had my normal diet of salmon, beets, garlic etc. I hope to be done this week and back on track. But for today I am going to purchase some astaxanthin and give it a whirl. When I called GNC today they asked if I wanted the one made from salmon oil. I said YES! Anyway, I hope you have success in your journey. Also, I've read on this site that Zinc helps as well.[/QUOTE]

BVokey replied on May 26th 2016: "Thanks for sharing. Based on your post I decided to give Astaxanthin a go to see if it would help with flushing caused by sun exposure. I picked up a bottle of 30 pills. They are 12mg/ea. and are taken 1x daily. I took my first one this morning. If it helps at all after the 30 days I will report on it."

hg24 wrote on September 30th, 2015: "My biggest trigger is artificial lights, computers, cell phone, etc. I don't think I get red knees, but my arms get blotchy red under lights. [..] About 3 months ago or so, I started taking Vit D. Levels were low. I now take 5,000 IU per day in one gel pill (haven't yet had Vit D levels checked again). I also take astaxanthin and a carotenoid complex. Vit C and Vit K. Also calcium. I take all of these to help with inflammation, flushing, photosensitivity and skin barrier. The thing is, I started all around the same time. I did notice a positive difference, but not sure which one(s) help with rosacea. I Iike these supplements though, so will continue taking them for overall health in addition to rosacea."

Clayberg wrote on June 6th 2011: "I started using Astaxanthin about 10 days ago and so far I am very excited about the results. I`ve been taking three 4mg capsules every day along with Rosacure which I apply at night. I`ve been using the Rosacure for about 8 years and it controls my rosacea but the astaxanthin seems to be clearing it right up."

mrsmoof replied on June 7th 2011: "Hi Clayberg, Do you take all 3 capsules at the same time? I just started taking 10mg per day and am hoping it will help me as well. I have been reading a lot about it lately and it seems like it could be a big help. Can you tell us what it has helped - redness, flushing, burning, p&ps??? Keep us updated!"

Dosage and side effects of astaxanthin:

Astaxanthin is a fat-soluble antioxidant. That is why astaxanthin supplement should be taken with a meal that contains fat or a quality fish oil supplement. In fact, research has shown that astaxanthin + fish oil combo exhibits even more powerful antioxidant and immuno-enhancing action. This could be due to the fact that they are found in fish together and work in synergy.
Many herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested, and safety and effectiveness may not be proven. Brands may be made differently, with variable ingredients, even within the same brand. Ideally discuss the use of supplements first with your doctor, especially when you take prescription medication. Mention it to your pharmacist too.

As an antioxidant, in general, manufacturers recommend taking 4-8 milligrams of astaxanthin by mouth 2-3 times daily with meals.
For skin conditions, two milligrams of astaxanthin, twice daily, taken during breakfast and dinner is recommended.
Note: Various seafoods contain the astaxanthin pigment. A standard serving portion of four ounces of Atlantic salmon contains from 0.5 to 1.1 milligrams of astaxanthin, whereas the same amount of sockeye salmon may contain 4.5 milligrams of astaxanthin.

Side Effects and Warnings:
Astaxanthin may affect bleeding. Caution is advised in patients with bleeding disorders or those taking drugs that may affect bleeding. Dosing adjustments may be necessary.
Astaxanthin may lower blood sugar levels. Caution is advised in patients with diabetes or hypoglycemia, and in those taking drugs, herbs, or supplements that affect blood sugar. Blood glucose levels may need to be monitored by a qualified healthcare professional, including a pharmacist. Medication adjustments may be necessary.
Astaxanthin may cause low blood pressure. Caution is advised in patients taking drugs, herbs, or supplements that lower blood pressure.
Use cautiously in patients with taking certain drugs, herbs and supplements metabolized by the liver's cytochrome P450 enzyme system. Taking astaxanthin with these drugs may cause the levels of these drugs to be decreased in the blood and may reduce the intended effects. Patients taking any medications should check the package insert and speak with a qualified healthcare professional, including a pharmacist, about possible interactions.
Use cautiously in patients with hormone disorders or those using agents that affect hormones, particularly 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors, as astaxanthin may inhibit 5-alpha-reductase, thereby inhibiting the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Theoretically, adverse effects related to 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors, such as decreased libido, gynecomastia, decreased semen quantity during ejaculation, impotence, increased skin pigmentation, hair growth, weight gain, and depressed mood, may occur.
Use cautiously in patients with autoimmune disorders or those using immunosuppressants, as astaxanthin has been shown to enhance immune function and theoretically may interfere with immunosuppressive therapy. Although astaxanthin has been found to stimulate the immune system, in clinical research, astaxanthin was found to lower eosinophil levels.
Use cautiously in patients with hypocalcemia, osteoporosis, or parathyroid disorders, as astaxanthin may lower serum calcium levels.

10. Grape seed extract / Pycnogenol

Grape seed extract / Pycnogenol are related but not the same. They are both high in the bioflavonoids proanthocyanidins, however grape seed extract is derived from the ground-up seeds of red wine grapes, whereas Pycnogenol is a US registered trademark name for a product derived from the pine bark of a tree known as Pinus pinaster. The active ingredients in pycnogenol is standardized to ensure consistent quality, and can also be extracted from other sources, including peanut skin, grape seed, and witch hazel bark. 

Grape seed extract has research backing up its efficiency for a number of cardiovascular conditions, including poor circulation and high cholesterol. It has found to reduce plaque in the inside of arties. Grape seed extract lowers blood pressure and heart rate and also reduces swelling caused by injury and helps with eye disease related to diabetes. Grape seed extract has found to significantly improved markers of inflammation, glycaemia and oxidative stress in obese Type 2 diabetic patents with a high risk for cardiovascular disease.

In another research, Grape seed extract used together with an oral supplement of vitamin C, grape seed extract, zinc, and tomato extract, produced improvements in the signs of skin aging in men. The research article stated about Grape seed extract: 
"Another fruit with high antioxidant capacity and a great source of phenolic compounds is grape. Components of grape seed and peel, flavonoids (proanthocyanidins), phenolic acids, and stilbenes (resveratrol) have a functional activity. Proanthocyanidin extract originated from the seed has an important antioxidant activity, preventing tissue oxidative damages by reducing lipidic oxidation and/or inhibiting free radical production."

Grape seed extract can speed up wound healing too, especially when it is applied topically. In this research it is stated that:
"Proanthocyanidins in grape seed extract trigger the release of vascular endothelial growth factor and its topical application causes wound contraction and closure. Curing skin lesions with grape seed extract caused proliferation areas with protected boundaries in epithelium, increased cell density and increased deposition of connective tissue at the wound site which in general improves cellular structure in wound. In addition, its anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties are effective in wound healing."

Grape seed extract also contains antioxidants (substances that protect cells from damage and may help prevent some diseases - grape seed extract contains the antioxidant compound oligomeric proanthocyanidin (OPC)). However, it’s still too early to say whether the antioxidant properties of grape seed extract really benefit people. Researchers are studying grape seed extract to see if it might lower the risks of some cancers. For now, the evidence is not clear.

A study also determined that grape seed extract can attack and reduce Candida, a yeast-like parasitic fungus that can, sometimes, cause thrush. Grape seed oil contains flavan-3-ols. The researchers concluded:
"The results pointed out a significant inhibition of Candida albicans load 5 days after challenge. These findings indicate that grape seed extracts with high content of polymeric flavan-3-ols can be used in mucosal infection such as vaginal candidiasis."

According to one study, published in the journal Mutation Research/Fundamental and Molecular Mechanisms of Mutagenesis, "grape seed proanthocyanidin extract (GSPE) provides superior antioxidant efficacy as compared to Vitamins C, E, and β-carotene."

Pycnogenol is overlapping grape seed extract in some ways. Pycnogenol® is a natural plant extract originating from the bark of the maritime pine that grows along the coast of southwest France and contains procyanidins, bioflavonoids and phenolic acids. This extract has been studied for the past 40 years and has more than 370 published studies.

Pycnogenol is said to have been used for the treatment a trail of health conditions, including circulation problems, allergies, asthma, ringing in the ears, high blood pressure, muscle soreness, pain, osteoarthritis, diabetes, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), endometriosis, menopausal symptoms, painful menstrual periods, erectile dysfunction (ED), and an eye disease called retinopathy.
It is mostly used however for preventing disorders of the heart and blood vessels, including stroke, heart disease, and varicose veins. Pycnogenol contains substances that might improve blood flow. It might also stimulate the immune system and have antioxidant effects.
Increasinf blood circulation and -flow is always something that makes me weary, as a severe flusher. However, red light therapy does so too, and has helped many people with vascular rosacea in the process (i'll make a blog post about it soon btw). So for now I will keep Pycnogenol in this list and focus also on the reviews it has received from rosacea patients.

Research done for the effects of grape seed extract on rosacea:

The clinical effects on female skin radiance by an oral supplement rich in antioxidants, which contains a melon concentrate and grape seed extract rich in monomers of flavanols, vitamin C, and zinc, have been researched by scientists.

"The open-label clinical study enrolled 35 women, aged 40–70, with "facial dull complexion". Subjects were given a daily dosage of 150 mg of an antioxidant-rich formulation containing superoxide dismutase-rich melon concentrate, grape seed extract rich in monomers of flavanols, vitamin C, and zinc for 8 weeks. Each subject served as her own control. The C.L.B.T.™ test has been used to evaluate facial skin coloring (C), luminosity (L), brightness (B), and transparency (T) involved in skin radiance. Facial skin imperfections have been assessed by clinical assessment. Firmness has been evaluated by clinical assessment and cutometer measurement. Finally, an auto-questionnaire has been carried out in order to evaluate the satisfaction of the subjects concerning different parameters involved in skin radiance and the global efficacy of the supplement.

Skin “red pink” and “olive” colors were significantly improved after supplementation (P<0.0001). Luminosity was increased by 25.9% (P<0.0001) whereas brightness and transparency were not affected by the supplementation. Facial skin imperfections were significantly reduced after the antioxidant-rich formulation intake (global reduction: −18.0%; P<0.0001). Dark circles, redness, and spots significantly diminished after oral treatment. 
Redness/rosacea (color and surface) has also been reduced after supplementation (−19.3% vs T0; P<0.0001) as well as the spots (color and quantity) (−20.7% vs T0; P<0.0001) (Figure 2B and C). However, heterogeneity of the skin has not been significantly modified (−1.7% vs T0; P=0.2850) (Figure 2D). The global score of imperfection (dark circles relief and color, redness/rosacea, spots, and heterogeneity) has thus been significantly reduced after the supplementation as revealed by the decrease of 18.0% compared to the baseline (T0) value for this global score (P<0.0001) (Figure 2E).
Firmness and elasticity have been shown to be improved. Subjects were globally satisfied by the product (82.4%) and have found improvements on their facial skin. Furthermore, 64.7% reported to look better at the end of the supplementation.
The oral supplement containing the antioxidant-rich formulation was found to improve skin radiance by reducing skin coloring, increasing face luminosity, reducing imperfections, and improving skin firmness in women with dull complexion."

The researchers went on to explain: "This action on skin elastic fibers has a direct impact on the vascularization system acting on the capillary resistance. This effect on skin circulation has been observed through the skin color improvement after supplementation as the main pigments responsible for the different hues are melanin, bilirubin, and hemoglobin. The reductions of redness/rosacea and dark circles color are linked with these impacts on vascularization. Moreover, the vascularization improvement is also possible through the vasodilation and blood flow. First, it allows improving the nutrient circulation, and it is important for the bioavailability of the product. Blood flow also participates in the skin hydration. Thus, flavanol monomers from grape and SOD are known to improve the vasodilation increasing the nitroso species production."

Grape seed extract is said to have the ability to strengthen blood vessels and capillaries and as such, prevent rosacea redness and flushing from progressing too much.

Grape seed extract/Pycnogenol and rosacea:

Spencer wrote on May 6th, 2011: "I never thought I'd be posting in this section. Anytime my skin has improved, it's been for no more than a week at a time. But I have waited for two months and, in that time, I have barely flushed. Up until 2 months ago, I was eating no dairy, no wheat, no sugar, no refined carbs, no alcohol, no caffeine, none of the other common rosacea triggers and I was still flushing. A lot of it was related to hormones, as where I was in my menstrual cycle would determine how intense the flushing was. Even when I wasn't flushing, however, I felt hot. But then my naturopath recommended Grape Seed Extract. I know other people have tried this, but she recommended I take 500 mg twice a day. I took this dose for a month. After her office ran out of it, I switched over to taking a health store brand which is a lower dose. I am now taking 600 mg a day. Next month, I'll go down to a maintenance dose of 150-300 mg. I noticed a change within a week of taking Grape Seed Extract. No more flushing!!! Or at least I would only flush mildly in stressful situations. I'd say it's cut things down by 90%.
I hope this can help someone find some relief. This higher dose, by the way, was recommended by a local MD who was giving a talk on it. He said it has also helped women with hot flashes. Make sure to consult with your doctor before taking such a high dose. Make sure it's Grape Seed Extract and not Grapefruit Seed Extract. I get the two mixed up all the time. Also the brand I used can only be bought through a naturopath, but the one I bought from the health food store was by the company Purica (Standardized Extract 95% OPC Extra Strength). It was around $28 Canadian. The key is to go for the extra strength capsules (minimum 150 mg). My naturopath said that most people with flushing don't take a high enough dose to really notice a difference. The MD she consulted with said it was safe to take higher doses. I really hope it works for you!"

Oldredlady wrote on May 8th, 2011: "Spencer, congrats, I'm glad you found something that works for you. Does the grape seed extract help with base/non-flushing redness as well as the flushing kind? I don't flush much at all, but I have a lot of base/permanent redness on my cheeks that I'd love to be able to treat somehow. Best to all"

Spencer replied on May 9th, 2011: "Yes, I think it has. I think my skin was always on the verge of going into flush mode, so it always looked a bit pink. However, there are times now when I remove my mineral makeup and my skin looks an almost normal shade underneath. The grape seed extract helps with the health of blood vessels, but I would imagine that you would have to take it for a long time to see any improvement in the strength and integrity of damaged blood vessels. Nonetheless, the grape seed is a natural anti-inflammatory so I think it has helped with base redness. I am no longer susceptible to every little trigger, so I am not always in inflammatory mode it seems. Hope this helps!
-My naturopath recommended the initial dose and then I've just been adjusting the dose as I go along. The only issue I have with anyone following this protocol is that the supplement I used will most likely be different from what others use. Ideally, it would be great for anyone new to this to see a ND and go with a brand/dosage that they recommend. But since this isn't possible for everyone, I think that the best would be to just go with an extra strength brand (minimum 150 mg) and take it twice a day. See how you feel and if there are no side effects bump up the dose to 300 mg twice a day. I would recommend starting slowly since various versions of Grape seed extract might have different potencies or other ingredients that might affect how well it's assimilated. Also, if one is taking medication it's best to consult with a pharmacist or doctor. Hope this helps!"

Reka wrote on May 8th, 2011: "Hi , I started taking grape seed extract about 3wks ago (400mg tablets). I was taking 1 tablet 3 times a day per the instructions. This didn't seem to help. Then I doubled the amount but still nothing. I still have hot flashes and rosacea with the small veins around nose and chin not changing. Is there something I am doing wrong or should I just give it more time. I don't expect a miracle but I should have noticed something by now. Thanks for the help."

Samj202 wrote on May 24th, 2011: "Does Grape Seed Extract work? I was reading a book the other day that said Grape Seed Extract was great for protecting and strengthening blood vessels, and thought it would be worth a try for my flushing. Has anyone else taken this and had good results? Or are there some better alternatives e.g Vitamin C, Pycnogenol? Thanks in advance. Sam"

Judworth wrote on May 24th, 2011: "Hello Sam, I have been taking Ester C and Pycnogenol for many years & yes I do believe that they do help. I was a severe flusher in the early days & I do believe those 2 helped, cannot comment as to whether or not Grape seed extract is better. Pycnogenol is £££ though! J"

AMinter replied on March 9th, 2017: "I found that grapeseed extract helped me quite a lot. But i can really comment for others."

Nomore wrote on March 14th, 2017: "Unhappy Grape seed extract pills causing flushing and "enlarging" broken capillaries? I recently started taking these pills and now my broken capillaries (always present) are larger! I bought the pills specifically because they were supposed to do the exact opposite (help with circulation/coagulation etc) ! I also started taking, several days before Vitamin K-2 MK-7 (for the same reason) but that didn't seem to have side effects. Other that that, I didn't change anything else in my diet/supplements. Has this happened to anyone else?"

Gazek wrote on March 14th, 2017: "Never heard of this, but I have heard of massage clients not wanting Grape Seed Oil used because of the fatty properties. Some claim they even gain weight, but that is most likely in their heads. Like anything, my only advice would be to stop it, see if your issue dissipates, then start it again. If there is a recurrence, you found your problem. If you are looking for better circulation and overall heart health, what about a simple omega 3 (fish oil) vs the omega 6?"

Nomore replied on March 14th, 2017: "thanks. I stopped taking the pills, I'll see what happens and then start again. Maybe I was taking too many things, I already take fish oil, in fact."

Mozdev wrote on June 8th, 2016: "My success story... Hello all. Here’s my story. I do hope it helps someone. I’m a 37 year old male and was diagnosed with Rosacea about 1.5 years ago. Flushing has never been a problem for me but the P&P had gotten out of control about 8 months ago. My face today is almost perfect. What follows is the sum total of my daily regimen. I won’t go into why I’m doing all of the things I’m doing (happy to discuss though), except to summarize my own beliefs about Rosacea after spending insane amounts of time researching: Just because there is no known cure for Rosacea, doesn’t mean it’s actually incurable. Medicine just hasn’t figured it out yet. Many conditions were once thought incurable and are now easily dealt with. This belief fuels my determination I believe that to get Rosacea under control, you have to attack it on all fronts (inside and outside). Not just demodex, etc. You’re not likely to win a war with just a ground assault.
I strongly believe in the gut / skin axis and that our gut microbiome plays a huge role in Rosacea. I believe modern food (processed, etc) is decimating our bodies in ways that we will look back upon in 100 years and be appalled. You don’t have to agree, that’s fine.

This worked for me. I have no idea if it will work for anyone else. I do hope so though. Some of the stories I’ve read on these forums are heartbreaking and have impacted me deeply.  Before I describe my routine, here is a summary of everything involved:

Outside (my face):
Cerave foaming face wash
Zincofax (diaper rash cream, zinc oxide)
Prosacea gel
Tea tree oil (pure)
Tea tree oil - 15% from Body shop
Moisturizer with green tea
Moisturizer with glycolic acid and SPF 15 (warning about this at bottom)

Apple Cider Vinegar - one shot per day
Pro and Pre biotics (both are important)
Quercetin - 800 mg per day
Alpha Lipoic acid - 600 mg per day
Green tea extract - 300 mg per day
Grape seed extract - 50 mg per day
Zinc - 50 mg per day
Vitamin D - 1,000 iu per day
Omega Essentials - 500 mg EPA, 275 mg DHA
Vitamin C -1000 mg per day
Fiber supplement (one scoop of metamucil)
Kefir milk - one glass per day (sometimes I eat Sauerkraut and other fermented foods)

Every morning I drink a glass of Kefir milk with a 400 mg tablet of Quercetin, a high quality probiotic supplement and a PREbiotic supplement. I believe PRE biotics are key. 
Later in the morning I take Omega 3-6-9 supplement, green tea extract supplement, alpha lipoic acid supplement, grape seed extract, and turmeric."

Karen_breeze wrote on January 8th, 2006: "I've been taking neem for several months now, and so far it's working very well, it seems to reduce sensitivities to food so I don't flush as much as i used to(but i am very careful with my diet). I take it for about 4 weeks then milk thistle for a week. It's the only supplement i've taken and noticed an improvement. I've tried grape seed extract, ester c, but no noticeable improvement. I've started taking superoxide dismutase, I think it's also helping with the flushing. I've had about 10/11 yag laser treatments, which helps to keep the flushing/redness under control. Why stop taking neem every 2 months, not sure, i read this somewhere but gave no explanation as to why every 2 months."

Swedishguy wrote on January 29th, 2014: "I have subtype 1 rosacea and Ocular rosacea, and I'm currently making changes to my diet as to try to address the symptoms. I also figured it could be a good idea to try supplements. Now, I would like to know what supplements that are considered the most beneficial for the erythema/inflammation? I've understood fish oil (omega 3) could be really good and also helps with the ocular symptoms. Then I've heard about grape seed extract, and I have a question about that one. From what I've understood, grape seed extract actually induces a release of nitric oxide, and isn't that extremely bad for rosacea? And at the same time it says that this is an anti-inflammatory supplements etc? If someone could shed some light on that it would be great. 
Does anyone have any other supplements that they would recommend? 

Ariana wrote on June 2nd, 2015: "I take Grape seed extract as a complement, it's supposed to make the capillaries stronger, but I don't think it has a real impact on my flushes. I'm also starting milk thistle (anti-angiogenic) and curcuma soon, I'll let you know if it works somehow !"

RedAwkward wrote on February 23rd, 2015: "My skin has looked the best in years !
Hi all, I have been suffering from rosacea for several years now , symptoms started to develop at age 17 and have been getting progressively worst with my baseline redness constantly increasing. I was treated initially treated with Roaccutane because I also suffered from severe acne vulgaris, my face was bright red and covered with spots. Also prescribed topical treatment of metronidazole gel which many of you are most likely using. As you can imagine life has been painful and heart breaking to say the least, during these tender years I have had moments in which my skin looked relatively normal if the severe scarring from acne vulgaris can be ignored , but these moments would only last when I began manipulating my diet for "cutting" a term used in the bodybuilding community to lose body fat. When I was cutting I would reduce carbohydrate intake significantly and rely mainly on fat and protein. What happened was that my skin started to calm down in redness, and began to drastically improve my overall complexion.
However when I stopped cutting and began to eat a calorie surplus in which I had large amounts of pasta, my skin started to deteriorate. I was getting depressed because of this, my skin was bright red all the time, I found it hard to look in the mirror. Often I would ask myself what I had done to deserve this. My complexion was only getting worse. So after some research online, I discovered something called Candida, a fungal infection in which many of the symptoms match with my issues. Thrush on my tongue, Headaches , Low energy, Rosacea . I then decided to pursue this diet.

Today I have only been following this diet for two days, but the difference in my skins redness has been drastic to say the least. By following advice and guidelines by this website. My confidence is up from before and I feel great, maybe its the food I am eating or perhaps its because I can see how my face looks like without the redness. But whatever it is , it has been positive and I feel the need to share to other Rosacea sufferers, perhaps this could be a solution to your troubles.  Your Rosacea could be caused by other issues that may not be related to your stomach, but if you are not sure I would definitely give this diet a try.

Here is my Current diet from breakfast to Dinner. I would not suggest you eat exactly what I eat because I have a high calorie requirement due to weightlifting. I am a 20 year old male, 172cm and 80kg. 12% bodyfat. So calorie intake will definitely be much lower for less active individuals.

Breakfast 3 Eggs + 420g Beans
Snack 100g Almonds + Celery
Lunch Chicken(thyme, Bell Pepper,Onion, Spring Onion)+ 100g Mixed nuts
Snack Spinach with Bean sprouts
Dinner Chicken (thyme, Bell Pepper, Onion,Spring Onion) + 3 eggs
Snack 100g Mixed Nuts

In terms of the quantity of vegetables that I consume daily

Vegetables –
100g – Spring onion
2 Medium – Bell Peppers
225g – Celery
1 Medium – Brown Onion
100g – Spinach
200g – Bean Sprouts

In conjunction to this I am using a 10 billion CFU probiotic, along with wild oregano Oil, grape seed extract and caprylic acid. I hope this helps anyone suffering from rosacea, as I know from experience this is an emotional painful illness to have despite being considered superficial due to it being not life threatening. But in my eyes, rosacea stops you from being who you are, reduced confidence, embarrassed to go in public. It is a life crippling disease. Wish you all the best in your process to treat this aliment. Regards RedAwkward"

Incognito84 wrote on February 23rd, 2015: "I would supplement with grape seed extract if you're not doing so already as this has helped reduce my redness (though it takes a while so you wont see results immediately)."

Abraham51 wrote on February 12th, 2009: "I have tried all sorts of food supplements (Grape seed extract, Glisodin and like 20 others... all these make my flushes more intense)."

Tp912 wrote on February 11th, 2010: "Grape Seed - Pycnogenol - Worth taking???"

Melissa W replied on February 11th, 2010: "Difficult to say for sure but ever since Sarah (phlika29) recommended it as strengthening blood vessels I have been taking GSE (grape seed extract). I read up on all its good properties and decided it couldn't hurt. Just make sure if you do begin taking this supplement that you buy from a reputable brand name as these herbs/supplements are not regulated by the FDA."

Judworth replied on February 11th, 2010: "Thumbs up. I have been taking it since 2002!
VERY ££££££££££ though, I get mine from Holland & Barrett. I do think that they help with my flushing and together with Ester C wouldn't like to be without them! Started on them together 90mg of Pycnogenol and 1500 of Ester C per day! Good luck! J"

Matos replied on February 11th, 2010: "I take both pycnogenol 100 mg and vit. C 2000mg per day and have no problem at all !"

Melissa W replied on February 11th, 2010: "I would ask your doctor about the possible interaction b/w Vit C and GSE as I remember reading an article a couple of years ago about the possibility of hypertension with the combo Vit C and GSE. I'm taking 150 mg of Trunature GSE per day. I get it at Costco so its less expensive. Not sure there is a recommended dose for our usage. Melissa

MitchellAZ wrote on February 11th, 2010: "Pycnogenol. I was at hi health and the gentleman recommended Pycnogenol for my rosacea. I reluctantly decided to try it and it worked wonders for me for about five months. I took 50 mg twice a day. My rosacea was pretty much just on and around my nose area with redness and worst of all big and small red pimples and swelling. After 3 weeks it all cleared up and my skin was normal looking with no redness or pimples and all signs of roseacia gradually disappeared. After 5 months I begin to have some out breaks and have become very concerned. I upped my dosage to 240mg a day and as high as 360mg per day. The higher dosage seems to be working so I am hopeful that the pimples will go away completely and consistently again. I wondered if I am getting immune to the benefits of Pycnogenol and it's ability to fight my symptoms. Any suggestions as to other things that will fight the pimples and swelling would be appreciated. I am a male 56 in great shape and healthy."

Gauntlet00 wrote on December 2nd, 2008: "For those of you who tried grape seed extract, how much did it help? I mean like reducing the redness."

Phlika29 replied on December 2nd, 2008: "It is taken as a tablet form. For me when I first took it I saw a definite improvement in redness but I know others that didnt. You can only try it and see. For me this is only one of the reasons I take it though, it is meant to help strengthen veins and so protective against the damage caused by flushing."

Brighteyes replied on December 3rd, 2008: "I googled "grape seed extract" and found a forum for male pattern baldness in which one of the posters claimed GSE cured his baldness as well as other skin diseases (I think rosacea was one of them - couldn't find the forum again). Anyways, the poster said to apply it topically. Anyone tried this? Think it would be worth a shot?"

Fut replied on December 4th, 2008: "When I used to take it consistently for at least half a year, I remember commenting how it didn't help improve matters but it helped matters from getting worse."

Flemmo replied on December 7th, 2008: "I didn't notice any difference unfortunately. Its quite expensive too, so I decided to stop after about 8 months."

Ants wrote on October 31st, 2013: "Is grapefruit seed extract the same as grapeseed extract guys?

Sammilynn replied on October 31st, 2013: "No they are not the same totally different fruit and product. Grapefruit seed extract is in many of my supplements that I get to help fight yeast/candida in my gut. It can act similar to may types of the essentials oils and has antibiotic or germ/yeast/fungus killing abilities I also have the supplements and concentrated drops. I put a few drops in my shampoo & conditioner. Warning - the concentrated drops can be very powerful and burn your skin. I did this when I first bought the liquid/concentrate. Which ever way you are using orally or topically start with small dose or dilution. I have read many posts on earth clinic and health sites where people have used to much topically/orally. It's a wonderful healer but I would read info from several sites before you use as it can interfere with other drugs and/or digestion. What has helped you the most?"

Anathema replied on June 20th, 2013: "1) Diet is the most important first check if you have histamine intolerance test it your self, if not then eat more alkaline foods urine test your ph levels in your body and make sure its 7.4 and above.
2) Neem Cream helped me dramatically with pimples
3) raw Garlic
4) Sea buckthorn oil is ok but I don't know if its working or not.
5) Grape Seed extract 200mg daily
6) Flax seed with shell I crush it my self 1 table spoon daily
7) Salmon omega 3 fish oil.
8) chemical free sunscreen with 21% zinc oxide (personal I use Green beaver)

all of these things really helped me a lot and I am also thinking of making my self a Red Light Therapy machine."

Findingaway wrote on February 3rd, 2011: "Anyone tried grape seed oil as a topical lotion?"

Phlika29 replied on February 6th, 2011: "I have always thought it would be a good thing to try as I take it as a supplement but have not really gone ahead and bought some. Maybe I will"

Findingaway replied on February 12th, 2011: "I'd thought I'd just update this thread. Been using 5 drops of grapeseed oil in the morning. The first day my face burned and I was more red. Second day was better. So was the 3rd. Day 4, today, and apart from a brief flare (probably due to the fact that I got too close to my cat, which I am allergic too ) and 5 mins after putting on the grapeseed oil, my face is calm and dare I say, the best it's looked in a while... It was a weird flare too because three areas that never flare, lit up. My chin, under my nose and the tip of my nose... Bear in mind that I have also cut out ALL chemicals. Washing products etc. And I mean everything with one exception, antiperspirant. Been cleaning with honey and using coconut oil at night. I have also had my first yellow LED treatment the other day (which made me flush badly). Too early to tell probably, so will update soon."

Findingaway updated on February 18th, 2011: "Well, it's been a week now and the grape seed oil seems to be helping reduce redness and burning. I have also been using the honey masks so it could be that instead. One thing that can only be attributed to grapeseed oil is the eradication of these little raised red bumps. P&Ps maybe? Literally got worse and then went in a few days.  I only have redness now and some flat red marks (SD?). Would love for someone else to try this and see how they get on."

Grace replied on February 18th, 2011: "I recall reading somewhere a few years ago that although grape seed works as an anti-oxidant when taken internally - it is oxidative when used topically. Can't remember where I read it though - and if it is true."

Findingaway updated on February 19th, 2011: "Interesting. So what does that mean? Seems to be working for me. Skin today is looking better then it has in a while."

Mrsmoof wrote on October 5th, 2010: "How much Grape Seed Extract should we take? Ive read anywhere between 200-600mg. Also, should you take Grape Seed Extract on an empty stomach or with a meal?"

Tp912 wrote on October 5th, 2010: "I took 100mg twice a day for 2 days of 50mg GSE + 50mg of PBE. I know it sounds crazy but I am pretty sure this made my nose flushing worse permanently. Walked around looking like I was on Viagra all day too.. which wasn't the bad part lol. I think I remember reading that it increases levels of Nitric Oxide in the body which is the same way Viagra works I'm pretty sure, and Viagra is known to cause flushing. I could be way off, because I know so many people find GSE helpful. Source
Nitric Oxide relaxes the veins of the penis allowing blood to flow in which obviously is critical for an erection. (Viagra, Cialis and Levitra work on Nitric Oxide for example.) Both L-Arginine and Pycnogenol have good track records in the research for increasing endothelial Nitric Oxide, which is the prime chemical involved in erections.

Melissa W wrote on March 1st, 2010: "From what I know about this they are supposed to strengthen blood vessels and I believe they do help somewhat. I am taking GSE and notice less dilated blood vessels. I'm currently taking TruNature Grape Seed with whole grape total 150 mg from Costco. It has 100 mg GSE standardized to 85% polyphenols (85 mg) 37.5 mg GSE skin standardized to 45% proanthocyanidins (17 MG) and 12.5 mg grape extract (whole fruit) standardized to 45% (12.5 mg). Not sure of what numbers we should be taking but it seems to help me. I only take 1 pill a day."

Tp912 wrote on March 3rd, 2010: "One way that GSE assists your cardiovascular system is by helping your arteries relax so that blood can flow easier. Through a mechanism of gene transcription GSE helps turn on the important enzyme known as nitric oxide synthase, which produces the friendly nitric oxide (eNOS) that is required for the proper relaxed tone of your circulatory system and the smooth regulation of your blood pressure. It should be pointed out that there is another kind of nitric oxide (iNOS) that is induced from different kinds of stress, such as chemical exposure, which is highly inflammatory in nature and damaging to your cardiovascular system. GSE has a unique talent. As mentioned above it helps make friendly nitric oxide (eNOS). On the other hand, it actually helps regulate the main gene signal involved with inflammation (NF-kappaB), in turn reducing inflammation and preventing the release of the inflammatory form of nitric oxide (iNOS)."

Mrsmoof wrote on June 29th, 2010: "Ive read you should take 50 mg for every 50 lbs you weigh."

Queta wrote on August 13th, 2010: "Hi, I ran across this abstract that discussed the link between mast cells and nitric oxide. Maybe the mechanism which is helping us is related to the fact that the "friendly" nitric oxide reduces mast cell degranulation? Here is the link. Queta"

Redman1 wrote on May 12th, 2010: "I want to try grape seed extract to strengthen my capillaries, but i do notice when i eat grapes i get a flush, not a full face flush but one about the size of a quarter on some random spot on my face, would it be ok you think to take grape seed extract?? Really trying to find something to strengthen the capillaries.. Any help would be appreciated! Thanks, Red"

Melissa W wrote on May 12th, 2010: "I am not sure if you would still have a reaction to this but you might want to look into pine bark extract (Pycnogenol). It has a powerful antioxidant effect (the antioxidants in pine bark are referred to as OPC's- oligomeric proanthocyanidins) and is said to help to decrease the risk and severity of damage to the arteries. It also has been shown to help strengthen and repair tissues made of collagen."

Yvette wrote on March 31st, 2009: "Hi - I take a slew of vitamins/supplements and my Rosacea flares have lessened. My digestion has greatly improved too - no acid reflux for three months now. The ones I find the most helpful: zinc, grape seed, tumeric, quercetin, pycengenol, probiotics, HCL with lunch and dinner and digestive enzymes with every meal. I also take anti-fungal supplements, alternate a few at a time: garlic, grapefruit/neem, caprylic acid, olive leaf, oreganoI also take psyllium husk capsules and drink one cup of green tea a day. I don't eat a lot of dairy - sure this helps as well. Yvette"

Sarahzxcv wrote on June 8th, 2009: "Arrow Supplements to thicken skin or strengthen capillaries?
Hey, I'm looking for supplements that can do one or the other and hopefully are available at vitamin stores. I've been doing some research 8) and am thinking that's what I want to try. Do you have any ideas? Your guesses are better than nothing! My last post had no replies."

Melissa W wrote on June 8th, 2009: "Hi Sarah, I am sorry that your last post didn't get any replies. Sometimes we miss a few but it is not intentional. As for the supplements that might help with thickening the skin I have no clue but a lot has been posted here regarding grape seed extract and pine bark for strengthening capillaries. For me I believe it does help somewhat. I am taking 1 grapeseed tablet a day. It is Trunature and 150 mg. I bought it at Costco. If you do a search on grapeseed extract you will find more info on it. Best wishes, Melissa"

Strawberry wrote on June 9th, 2009: "I take pycnogenol and it does seem to strengthen my (visible) capillaries."

Melissa W wrote on June 9th, 2009: "Pine bark extract is a nutritional supplement patented by a French researcher under the name Pycnogenol. Pycnogenol and grape seed are similar in that they both contain OPC's.
Best wishes, Melissa"

Dosage and side effects of grape seed extract / pycnogenol:

There is no firmly established dose of grape seed extract. Doses of between 100-300 milligrams/day have been used in studies and are prescribed in some European countries. Grape seed extract is available as a dietary supplement in a liquid form, tablets, or capsules. Supplements commonly contain between 50 and 100 milligrams of the extract.

Side effects. Grape seed extract is generally considered safe. Side effects may include headache, itchy scalp, dizziness, stomach ache, sore throat and nausea. Risks. People allergic to grapes should not use grape seed extract. If you have a bleeding disorder or high blood pressure, talk to your doctor before you start using grape seed extract.

Interactions: if you take any medicines regularly, talk to your doctor before you start using grape seed extract. It could interact with drugs like blood thinners, NSAID painkillers (like aspirin, Advil, and Aleve), certain heart medicines, cancer treatments, and others. It is possible that grape seed extract might act as an anticoagulant. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, "Grape seed extract may act as a blood-thinner, and could increase the risk of bleeding if taken with other blood-thinners such as warfarin (Coumadin), clopidogrel (Plavix), or aspirin." Given the lack of evidence about its safety, grape seed extract is not recommended for children or for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

10. Aloe vera

Aloe vera is a plant species. Its leaves are thick and fleshy, and green to grey-green in colour. It grows wild in tropical climates and is cultivated for agricultural and medicinal uses, for instance for skin lotion, cosmetics. The gel is used for instance as a hydrating ingredient in liquids, creams, sun lotions, shaving creams, lip balms, healing ointments, and face packs. But aloe vera gel is also used for creams for minor burns and sunburns. It is the colourless gel that can be scraped from its leaves that is used and contains 98,5% water, but there are also pills with aloe vera powder available, which are made from the hollow interior of the leaves of the Aloe plant, and aloe vera juice. However: Aloe Vera Gel is not really approved as an internal medication, and internal administration of the gel has not been shown to exert any consistent therapeutic effect. Therefore, using it topical on the skin is the best researched and proven way to use aloe vera.

Aloe is used regularly by people with skin conditions, and has been for many centuries, but despite that, wikipedia states that there is little actual scientific evidence of the effectiveness or safety of Aloe vera extracts for either cosmetic or medicinal purposes. Studies finding positive evidence are frequently contradicted by other studies.
Aloe Vera Gel consists mostly of water and polysaccharides (pectins, hemicelluloses, glucomannan, acemannan, and mannose derivatives). It also contains amino acids, lipids, sterols (lupeol, campesterol, and β-sitosterol), tannins, and enzymes. Mannose 6-phosphate is a major sugar component.

Because many of the active ingredients in the Aloe vera gel deteriorate once you store the fresh gel for a while, it is usually best to use the gel right away after scarping it off a aloe vera leaf. When you have a plant, and want to harvast, you best was the leaves first with water. Some sites suggest you also better wash the leaves with a mild chlorine solution, but personally I wouldn't want chlorine near my face. You then remove the outer layers of the leaf, leaving a "fillet" of gel. Here is a lovely instruction video:

Aloe vera has been traditionally used as a natural remedy for burns, and is also used for the topical skin treatment of minor wounds and inflammatory skin disorders, skin irritations, including bruises, and abrasions. Aloe Vera Gel has been effectively used in the treatment of first- and second-degree thermal burns and radiation burns. It has also shown efficiency in the treatment of acne, haemorrhoids, psoriasis, anaemia, glaucoma, petit ulcer, tuberculosis, blindness, seborrhoeic dermatitis, and fungal infections.

Both thermal and radiation burns healed faster with less necrosis when treated with preparations containing Aloe Vera Gel (see research, and another research). In most cases the gel must be freshly prepared because of it quickly deteriorates in quality and purity over time.

Wound healing

Clinical investigations suggest that Aloe Vera Gel accelerates wound healing (research link and more research results). In vivo studies have demonstrated that Aloe Vera Gel promotes wound healing by directly stimulating the activity of macrophages and fibroblasts. Fibroblast activation by Aloe Vera Gel has been reported to increase both collagen and proteoglycan synthesis (proteins that are heavily glycosylated), thereby promoting tissue repair. It has been suggested that mannose 6-phosphate, the principal sugar component of Aloe Vera Gel, may be partly responsible for the wound healing properties of the gel. (Mannose 6-phosphate can bind to the growth factor receptors on the surface of the fibroblasts and thereby enhance their activity).

Furthermore, acemannan, a complex carbohydrate isolated from Aloe leaves, has been shown to accelerate wound healing and reduce radiation induced skin reactions.
(Acemannan is a potent macrophage-activating agent and therefore may stimulate the release of fibrogenic cytokines. Second, growth factors may directly bind to acemannan, promoting their stability and prolonging their stimulation of granulation tissue).

Aloe Vera Gel can also prevent ischaemia of the skin (a restriction in blood supply to tissues, which causes damage to the skin) caused by burns, frostbite, electrical injury and intra-arterial drug abuse.
Studies of the growth of normal human cells in vitro demonstrated that cell growth and attachment were improved when the skin was treated with fresh aloe vera gel, whereas aloe vera gel that wasn't fresh and had been stored for a longer time, actually showed to be not so good for the skin, and cytotoxic (has the ability to be toxic to the cells).


Several in vitro and in vivo studies has shown that Aloe Vera Gel acts as an anti-inflammatory. In studies, fresh Aloe Vera Gel significantly reduced acute inflammation in rats (carrageenin-induced paw oedema), although no effect on chronic inflammation was observed.
In research, aloe Vera Gel also reduced inflammation by up to 37% in croton oil-induced oedema in mice.

Research done for the effects of aloe vera on rosacea:

There is not much clinical research done on the efficiency of aloe vera for rosacea. There have however been trials done on the effectiveness of aloe vera on other type of skin problems. In a clinical trial from 2002, the effects of topical aloe vera were researched for the treatment of skin redness, burning, dryness and itching of breast tissue that had been undergoing radiation therapy. In this study, aloe vera gel did not significantly reduce radiation-induced skin side effects.

In this Pubmed article, aloe vera is mentioned as a topical rosacea treatment:
"Natural cosmeceutical options serve as an additional branch of the market available to rosacea patients. Natural ingredients reported in the literature that provide hydrating, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties capable of calming the inflammatory manifestations of rosacea include colloidal oatmeal, niacinamide, feverfew, licorice, teas, coffeeberry, aloe vera, chamomile, turmeric, and mushroom extracts."

The article also mentions another topical treatment option by the way:
"Further, a novel topical lotion (Redness Neutralizer®, SkinCeuticals, New York, NY, USA) containing caffeine, zinc gluconate, bisabolol, Eperua falcata bark extract, and palmitoyl tripeptide-8, was used twice daily in a group of 25 patients with PPR who had been previously treated successfully with topical or oral therapy, but were unsatisfied with the remaining background erythema."

In this research from 2009, the use of aloe vera for different skin conditions was researched. The authors concluded that topical application of aloe vera is not an effective prevention for radiation-induced injuries and has no sunburn or suntan protection. They concluded however that aloe vera can be effective for genital herpes, psoriasis, human papilloma virus, seborrheic dermatitis, aphthous stomatitis, xerosis, lichen planus, frostbite, burn, wound healing and inflammation:

"The aim of this systematic review was to summarize all dermatology-oriented in vitro and in vivo experiments and clinical trials on aloe vera preparations. Extensive literature search were carried out to identify all in vitro and in vivo studies as well as clinical trials on the subject. Data were extracted from these in a predefined standardized manner. Forty studies were located. The results suggest that oral administration of aloe vera in mice is effective on wound healing, can decrease the number and size of papillomas and reduce the incidence of tumors and leishmania parasitemia by >90% in the liver, spleen, and bone marrow. Topical application of aloe vera is not an effective prevention for radiation-induced injuries and has no sunburn or suntan protection. It can be effective for genital herpes, psoriasis, human papilloma virus, seborrheic dermatitis, aphthous stomatitis, xerosis, lichen planus, frostbite, burn, wound healing and inflammation. It can also be used as a biological vehicle and an anti-microbial and antifungal agent and also as a candidate for photodynamic therapy of some kinds of cancer. Even though there are some promising results with the use of aloe vera for diverse dermatologic conditions, clinical effectiveness of oral and topical aloe vera is not sufficiently and meticulously explored as yet."

As I wrote, there is not much clinical research done on the efficiency of aloe vera for rosacea. We have to rely on anecdotal evidence, patient reports and articles like this one, stating:

How Can Aloe Reduce your Rosacea Breakouts?

It may seem hard to believe that simply slicing open the stalks of an aloe plant and applying its contents topically could provide substantial benefits to rosacea sufferers. Aloe is truly a proven miracle treatment option. In addition to repairing and healing externally, topical application of aloe also works as a detoxifying agent under the skin, which doubles the healing of rosacea symptoms. Aloe is nature’s best hydrator. Those with rosacea often have increased skin-sensitivity and dryness. Applying aloe topically increases the moisture and rejuvenates the skin while acting as an anti-inflammatory and reducing redness and irritation, similar to how it works on relieving acne symptoms.

It is extremely important to purchase pure aloe gel, when treating rosacea, or buy an aloe plant. Many over-the-counter aloe products contain other chemicals which can increase the infection and flare-up. Artificial additives and chemicals can also dilute the healing potential of aloe. In addition, store-bought aloe products may contain less aloe than you think to begin with, so you aren’t tapping into the true potential of aloe. If you do opt for an aloe lotion or cream you find on your supermarket’s shelve, be sure to check the label to find out if aloe is last on the ingredient list (it shouldn’t be!). Pick a product that lists aloe as one of the first three ingredients. But, of course, it is best to go for the pure aloe gel or make your own aloe lotion (the latter option allows you to know and control just how much aloe makes it onto your skin!)

Consistent users of aloe notice significant changes to the severity of their rosacea, often in half of the time it would take for a prescribed medication to work. Unlike prescribed medications, which have a variety of common side effects associated with their usage, aloe vera is a pure treatment with no known or reported side effects.


Those with mild to moderate rosacea should apply pure aloe from an aloe plant or pure aloe gel twice daily to the affected area(s.) It is best to apply aloe after gently washing the whole face with a mild non-abrasive cleanser. Apply regular moisturizer to the areas not affected by rosacea and allow the aloe to act as both a moisturizer and a treatment for the rosacea. For mild to moderately-affected individuals, results can be felt almost immediately. Tight, burning skin is immediately relieved by the fast-acting properties of the aloe. Redness subsides substantially within ten to fifteen minutes following application. After about a week of continued use, users report dramatic and significant effects of their condition. Breakouts are significantly fewer and inflammation is reported as being reduced by half. After two months of continued usage, patients with mild to moderate rosacea report having next to no periods of prolonged inflammation or breakouts. They have noted that it appears their rosacea is in remission. For more chronic rosacea conditions involving thickening of tissue or enlarged nose, four daily treatments are generally suggested. More chronic sufferers report changes as significant as those with more mild to moderate breakouts during the same timeframes.

In addition to prescribed medications, aloe is a highly-effective treatment of rosacea when used as recommended. Until a cure is found, patients with rosacea will need to include topical and/or oral treatment to keep the symptoms minimized. Aloe proves to provide the anti-inflammatory and healing properties from the inside out, without the damaging side effects often found in prescribed medications used to treat rosacea.

And this girl drinks aloe vera for her rosacea, she claims:

Aloe vera and rosacea:

SilverbackWithAHammer wrote on December 3rd, 2016: 
"Worst case of subtype 1 rosacea imaginable (Demodox mites?)
I can't believe how bad my case it. It is by far the worst I have seen. I have doubts almost anybody has it this bad. This is just pure cruelty. It started at the age of 12. Even then, my rosacea tormented me; extremely red face, swollen nose. I lacked self awareness back then so I had no idea it was even that bad until years later seeing photos. For the past 10 years my life has been a living hell. My nose is unbelievably swollen, my face now an extremely dark red like somebody threw acid at my face. I don't even know what to to anymore. I cut back on sweets, supplement fish oil, take MSM, topical green tea & aloe vera...Aloe vera made it worse than I could ever imagine so I'm not sure why people praise it.
I don't eat for days straight & try to shovel cordyceps, apple cider vinegar, with MSM all mixed with around 10 grams of fish oil. Absolutely nothing. I drink massive amounts of water but now I am a very skinny, red faced mess with thick glasses & vision worsening every year. No alcohol intake (Maybe 1 drink for 1 day every couple months) but my face explodes into a flared up, swollen up, hellishly red nightmare. A vegetarian diet has done nothing. I honestly want to kill myself & even attempted to slit the vein of my arm. It's too much. It hurts too bad & I'm too poor to treat it because I already spent so much money, and now it's all wasted. It has absolutely destroyed my life. I quit my job, denied relationship opportunities, never leave the house, never see my friends, never speak face to face with anyone...I cry everyday. Pathetic, I know. But what else can I do?  I now have nothing but a charred red face that I know will never go away, or even be treated. I now have absolutely nothing in my life, I'm not exaggerating.
My question is: How effective is killing demodox mites for Subtype 1 Rosacea? I dont know if I can afford surgery but I heard Tea Tree Oil has been very effective, but I'm afraid treatments like that are limited to other forms of rosacea. Has anybody beaten this monster? Or at least tamed it in absolutely any way whatsoever even for a little bit. Because I now have no future. I'm 22 & the past 10 years have been a horrid nightmare."

Kwamex replied on December 5th, 2016: "I feel you man...! Don't give up! You will find your treatment! Why aloe vera made it worse, my guess: Did you use a 100% pure Aloe vera? If not that's the case. Even if 91% pure it's probably some alcohol and other **** in it =) However, here is some things you can try: Tea tree oil and Argan oil. There is a member of this forum who had a REALLY bad case of redness and P&P, she fixed it using this method. Just buy a plastic bottle from the pharmacy and mix these 2 together. Make sure it's 100% Pure argan oil and tea tree oil. Get a like 5/10 ml measurement. Use 5 ml Tea tree oil and then about 20 ml Argan oil. Then you get a 20% concentration of Tea tree oil, use this on your face every morning and night. If it's to bad for your face, lower the concentration to 5-10%. Tea tree oil is a really good demodex mite killer! Make sure you wash & change your bed sheets often. Use high temperature! Especially your pillow."

Fiugs replied on March 11th, 2016: "I tried 100% organic aloe Vera on my cheek a couple of months ago and it lit up like a Christmas tree and was on fire for two hours! I guess I have an allergy to it or something, you may do too. I've read others here on the forum saying the same."

JennAdeleK wrote on February 28th, 2017: "Hey there! I currently wash with raw honey and use a pure, pH balanced aloe vera gel as my moisturizer. The only other product I use is my prescription Metrogel, and as of right now, I'm only using it to spot treat areas as needed.
[..] Keep in mind that I'm still trying to find a balance, and that in an of itself is a daily dance. But, I find by in large that the less I do to my skin, the better it behaves. I wash my face with raw honey 2x per day and put on a pure aloe vera gel as a moisturizer 4x per day (AM, AP, PM, and just before bed). That's it. I know, sounds simple, but I swear it helps me out a ton. Oh, and I wear a giant hat as sun protection. Plus, I put sun shades in my car."

doglover366 wrote on December 16th, 2016: "Amazing way to manage rosacea!!!!!!!!!!
I feel like I hit the jackpot. I decided that December would be the month that I would experiment with a bunch of treatments that I found on websites like this. The first thing that I tried was tea tree oil (I have subtype 1 and ocular also). I went to the store and didn't want to buy just a bottle of it, because I read that it can be strong. I bought some Desert Essence tea tree oil pads that have a lot of other ingredients like lavender I believe. Putting the pads on my face alone irritates it, so I decided that I would try aloe. I bought cheap aloe from walmart, but make sure that it is 100% and has no green dyes (the brand fruit of the earth is like $4). I am sure that real aloe would work better. What I have been doing is putting the tea tree oil pads on my face, then I put the aloe on my face, and go to bed. I wake up with barely any redness at all. I went from 2 layers of high coverage foundation and concealer to barely needing to wear foundation, and I have only been doing this for 5 days. I also noticed that when I wear jackets with high collars that are furry, my face turns red. I believe this is from the mites, so if anyone has suggestions with getting rid of those on clothing let me know. Another thing that works for me is drinking green tea, with a little apple cider vinegar, and some honey to balance out the ACV. I definitely believe rosacea is partly from the mites and partly from your digestive tract, so I have been trying to eat better. Please let me know if you have tried anything like this and if it has worked for you!! Let me know if you have any suggestions on tea tree oil products also!"

Kwamex replied on December 16th, 2016: "I'm using Tea tree oil 100% together with argan oil 100%. I mix these together (20 tea tree/80 argan ratio). In the beginning it get worse, when you kill the mites. First my face got worse than ever, then it got better. Took maybe 2-3 weeks before it went from worse to better."

Callah replied on December 18th, 2016: "I buy an aloe vera gel that has tea tree oil mixed in with it. I've used it for years, e.g. after shaving my legs, or on my back as a preventative measure against spots. I occasionally use it on my face. I wouldn't say it's the most effective rosacea topical I've used (that would be Finacea) but it probably helps a little and, at any rate, it doesn't make things worse."

Melcet wrote on May 26th, 2016: "Aloe Vera and healing properties? It has been awhile since I have posted. Still not 100% sure if I have (had) Rosacea, KPRF, a touch of SD or a combo of all. Anyway- I have baseline redness, and flushing. So I was using the Selsun Blue- with sulpher in it for about 3 months- actually got really good results from this, baseline redness went way down, and flushing wasn't nearly as bad. Thinking I may have been battling Demedox Mites, and that is why I had such good results, but again, not 100%. I switched to Prosacea, with has Sulpher and Aloe in it for about a month. stayed about the same. Decided to try Rodan and Fields Soothe regime- looking for a quick fix I guess. Used it for 3 days, had a massive red burning reaction from it- so I sent it back for my money back. Took a week off from anything- just washed with my gentle cleanser.
I had read somewhere about Aloe Vera Gel. So I said why not. I have only used it for 3 days, and even after a steamy shower, my face came out, almost pale!! I still have some pink, but I think it might be working! I know I have to give it time, but this looks promising. So my question is, is it possible that the Demedox was killed off from the Sulpher, and the baseline leftover was left because of residual damage- and now the Aloe vera is actually healing my skin? Does that make sense? Any advice here? I just wash my face and apply the aloe at night. I dont do anything in the am. Anyone experience good results for baseline redness (possibly after getting rid of demedox) with Aloe?  Thank you! Mel"

Canarygirl replied on May 27th, 2016: "Experience with Aloe Vera (and Soothe). Hello I haven't been on this forum in a few years, but I recently had a sudden recurrence of symptoms (I think it was caused by using old makeup that was contaminated). So I'm back. I wanted to comment that I too find that aloe Vera is helpful for my skin. It seems to be calming and anti-inflammatory. My favorite aloe product is Exfol serum developed by Dr. Pritchard. It is 2% salicylic acid in a simple aloe base and the two things together are mega-anti inflammatory at least for me. I have combo skin, I think I have demodex, skin was chemically sensitized in the past and now is intolerant of most Chems. I can't use benzoyl peroxide or AHA's or retinoids or ascorbic acid or niacinamide on my face for example. But this 2% BHA in aloe is awesome; I recommend it. I also wanted to comment on the R&F line Soothe. How un-soothing it was for me! Same as you, burning awful reaction to the line. Thankfully they have a good return policy. Theres one exception... the Soothe sunscreen. I love that stuff! 14% zinc oxide and dimethicone. Great stuff."

GreenGables wrote on November 2nd, 2015: "My laser doctor recommends organic aloe vera for a whole week after. Twice a day. This is what I buy. It's huge, cheap as chips, and fits in the refrigerator. My info sheet also says no ibuprofen or other NSAIDs for 14 days after treatment. Here is the anti flushing protocol post-laser recommended by Dr. Soldo:
Pure Aloe Vera Gel kept in the refrigerator
Zebeta (Bisoprolol) 2.5 to 5 mg at bedtime
Hand held 660nm LED light 42-84 light array
Microdose of Clonidine, ie .025mg at time of a severe flush but only once a day. There must not be a history of heart, kidney or liver disease and the blood pressure should not be too high or too low.
Sun block at all time when outdoors and re-apply often
Doxycycline 20mg twice a day
All medications should always be approved by a medical doctor and monitored regularly

ihavetoasky wrote on December 24th 2015: "Has any of you tried the aloe vera gel on your rosocea and how did it react?"

Owenblinky replied on December 29th 2015: "I would be careful of aloe vera gel products. pure aloe is good for your skin but a lot of products containing alcohol and other astringents are sold as "aloe vera gel." I have not been able to find any pure aloe products as of yet."

ihavetoasky replied on December 29th 2015: "Interesting and what do you think on the one to drink aloe gel?"

Lwemm replied on December 29th 2015: "Aloe gel/juice is supposed to be good for the gut. I tried it under advice of one herbalist but can't say it did much. You have to be careful looking for a good product as all aloe with have preservatives. Carrageenan is a common one but is a suspected carcinogen. Also if you have SIBO, then any demulcent herb high in polysaccharides is probably going to feed the bacterial overgrowth."

Officalstevenb replied on December 31st 2015: "Hey, I use a pure aloe vera bar of soap to wash my skin and drink an aloe vera digestive aid every morning. Works wonders for me!"

Ginaisred replied on December 31st 2015: "How does the aloe Vera drink help your skin? That's great news. Is it because of its anti inflammatory properties"

Officalstevenb replied on December 31st 2015: "I find that it works wonderfully, all I have to do is endure a disgusting taste in my mouth for a few moments and then i'm set for the day! I take that in conjunction with a drinkable magnesium supplement, B6 Complex and zinc. I've been told to take all these from my holistic doctor and I can't believe the difference from the first week on taking these consistently."

Soriahmccord replied on December 31st 2015: "I had a perscription with aloe vera cream, it didn't do very much for me and I think it kind of made me break out even worse."

Officalstevenb replied on December 31st 2015: "I'm more or less the same. My redness Can flare from time to time but generally it's under control now with the right diet and supplementation.
I always stress to people about the importance of diet in controlling our type of rosacea. I people think that diet has no correlation with rosacea they're plain ignorant. Diet is SO crucial."

Tokyolulu replied on January 10th 2016: "I completely agree! Diet is really key! @ginaisred It can be challenging to start though - I didn't cook before but now I'm cooking my own meals at home (there's added cost here) but for the sake of my sanity, and everyone here can identify I'm sure, it makes me feel better overall that I'm doing something proactive (that actually works) to improve my skin. You can always start small - if you have a lot of gluten in your daily diet - try to cut that out and find easy replacements and sub stuff out. It's in a lot of everyday things: cake, pasta, bread.
❥ Google lists of things that commonly have gluten in them, or how to get started.
❥ Stick to it not just for a week but make it a substantial lifestyle change and part of your diet from here on out.
❥ These days if it's not fresh or not from the fresh produce aisles or butcher, I don't eat it because as you said, it's hard to track what you're eating even if you keep a food diary. The general rule of thumb though is that you should always aim to do most of your grocery shopping on the outerlying aisles, i.e. fresh produce, meats and fish - and cut out processed food as much as possible i.e. anything in a box, bag, anything that doesn't require refrigeration or can doesn't expire in a week or two isn't something you want to be putting in your body either.
❥ Dairy is another thing I've almost completely cut out. Might be hard to do this in the UK, but you can always try gluten first - which like Officialstevenb said, is a really common firestarter, and try cutting down others like dairy, red meat, sugar once you get a hang of it and if you want to try it. Nothing to lose, and everything to gain!"

Newjacksm replied on January 11th 2016: "I got 100% aloe vera, and it's been working pretty well. I got an extra P&P but my redness had went down right away. I think the P&P might be from something else, probably from alcohol. If you search Aloe Vera on amazon you will find 100% aloe vera and it has 5 stars other people comment how it helps with rosacea, it's completely naturally and cold pressed."

Tests wrote on 8th October 2011: "I feel that moisturizers do more harm than good... what do you think about aloe vera (striaght from the plant)?"

Redmike wrote on 8th October 2011: "If your getting the aloe vera straight from the plant itself then even better! I would rather go with natural aloe vera than moisturizers, and its really cheap too.
Let us know how it goes."

sparky7ot wrote on May 13th, 2015: "I'm currently using forever living aloe vera gel, it helps keep the hotness at bay and also reduces the redness but so far its not cleared the dry skin and the red patches are still very visible."

Tom Busby wrote on March 28th, 2015: "You could dilute the Tea Tree Oil with "MCT oil." MCT oil is sold at Whole Foods or Hi-Health, or on the web by Now Sports. An oil in oil dilution doesn't require an emulsifier or a preservative. MCT oil is distilled from coconut oil, and it's thin, colorless, and has no odor. Or you could make a temporary foam by adding the Tea Tree Oil to Aloe Vera Gel, and shaking it up in bottle. This won't be an emulsion, because the oil and the gel will separate rapidly, but it will probably be ok, and super simple. Make small batches because Aloe Vera Gel will turn brown (oxidize) in about 3 weeks at room temps. Or keep it in the frig. Generally, 100% oil is too shiny and greasy. Your clothes and your pillows would have oil spots on them, so dilution with Aloe Vera Gel is probably better. The Gel-type aloe has some viscosity too, so it won't just run through your fingers, and be hard to apply. I doubt if you can spray this foam, but maybe you can. TTO will burn your corneas very badly, so keep it away from your eyes, and don't use it above your eyes.
You really need to make a true emulsion. That way you have a product where the oil is suspended in water, like a commercial cosmetic would be. The simplest way to emulsify an oil is to buy some Cromollient SCE from The Herbarie. Use about Cromollient at a 1 to 7 or 1 to 8 ratio to the oil. You'll need to experiment. I prefer to measure by weight, but you can measure by volume, but less accurately. If you want to get started, just buy a Mini Measure shot glass from Bed, Bath and Beyond or elsewhere, and a 5 ounce glass measuring cup made by Anchor, from Safeway or elsewhere. Heat the water and the oil+emulsifier separately, to 170 degrees F, for 20 minutes in a pan of simmering water, and then pour the oil into the water, and stir. Tadaa - an emulsion that won't separate. This will be sprayable and have a watery viscosity. Then add a preservative after it's cooled to 120 degrees F. Phenoxyethanol at 0.5% is typical. Use a dropper, and assume that 20 drops is equal to 1 ml. You must add a preservative to any cosmetic with water. You can buy this preservative at The Herbarie, or at Lotioncrafters."

David147  wrote on April 16th, 2015: "Tea Tree Oil Healing Powers. Tea tree oil has been proven to be a powerful yet natural antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal medicine (essential oil). It is being used as a very effective first aid remedy and against countless skin ailments, infections, cuts, scrapes, burns, insect bites and skin spots etc. Tea tree oil is effective against nail fungus, ringworm, athlete's foot, dandruff, acne, blackheads and many types of infestations including lice, mites, scabies and mosquitoes etc... (For humans and animals alike). Tea tree oil is not just soothing and disinfecting, it is capable of penetrating into the lower skin layers with its anti-inflammatory, disinfectant, analgesic (pain-killing) and cicatrizant (wound-healing) qualities. It has a diaphoretic effect - It promotes sweating - which enhances the body's own natural preventative response when threatened by infection. Tea tree oil exhibits expectorant and balsamic characteristics, which are especially beneficial in the case of throat or chest infections, having a generally soothing and clearing (mucus-expelling) effect on the entire respiratory tract. It is also effective against head colds."

Mel63 wrote on February 12th, 2010: "I went out and bought an aloe vera plant to give it a try on my rosacea. I cut a piece of the plant and rubbed it on my clean face. It felt very soothing and did not irritate my face. After a while, my face was a lot less red than normal and not as tight. I tried aloe from health food stores,that claim to be 100% aloe but did not work like the plant did for my skin. I am happy to find something that works but the problem is how do you grow enough aloe plants to use it everyday? How do you extract the juice/gel to make it last. Seems to me it's not going to be too convenient. Any thoughts?"

Peter replied on February 13th, 2010: "Hello Mel. My sister used to use Aloe Vera this way and she cut part of a leaf off, split it into small individual pieces, wrapped it in cling film and stored it in the fridge where it keeps fresh for several days. When you need to use it then take a piece out and squeeze the juice out into a small pot and then apply. I suppose you need several plants on the go to provide enough gel for daily use. If you can tolerate Aloe Vera gel than it can be very beneficial for the rosacea skin - I have used it for years and swear by it although I use a packaged product called Aloe99 which I found to be the best one for me. Good luck, Peter"

Mel63 replied on February 13th, 2010: "Thanks for your response. I wonder about packaged products, since they need preservatives to last longer, I think I may get a reaction to the preservatives/additives. I also wonder if products like aloe 99 are 99.9% pure aloe. Could be,maybe I will give it a try."

Peter replied on February 14th, 2010: "Hello Mel. Suppose the only way of finding out is to buy one like Aloe99 and try it for a while - always do a patch test first in a small area. My skin was very sensitive but I had no problems with this one and have used it for over 12 years. They list the ingredients as: 99.9% Aloe vera. carbomer, tea, methylparaben, phenoxythanol.
Some people are just allergic to natural plant based type products but if you used the gel neat from the plant then you should be ok. If you try it let us know how it goes. Peter"

Samantha70 replied on March 15th, 2010: "I tried the Aloe 99 during a recent flare (my first proper bad one) and I have to say the Aloe 99 really, really helped to calm down my skin, made it feel so much less angry, and cooled it down. I really rate it - thanks Peter for the recommendation  :D"

Peter replied on February 15th, 2010: "Hello Sam. No problem – glad it helped you so much. I have used this particular product for years and swear by it but of course due to the nature of rosacea then it will not suit everybody. There are other Aloe vera gels around but this one is probably one of the best. Bye, Peter"

Mike T replied on March 20th, 2010: "Just letting people know i use cetaphil facial cleanser which i find is sooo good. Cleans and softens without redness for me. Then while my face is moist i apply aloe vera 97.5% (Thursday Plantation from Australian chemist) mixed with cetaphil moisturiser. This has been working well for me and i have cut back on many other products now. I have seb derm + rosacea. I have learnt form experience that rosacea skin is very delicate and for me if i get a reaction or redness to a product after using it for a while (month or so) it is because i have used to much of it or left it in too long. For example i initially tried aloe vera on my skin before i used to cleanse and moisturize. I felt washing my face got rid of its natural oils and made it dry so i would go for days without washing it ( i washed my hair seperatley). Thats when i had real bad redness. One of my reactions then was to aloe vera which was on my face for 3 days (combined with sweat etc).  Now with daily cleansing and moisturizing i have no problem using it. All the best."

AJ wrote on January 28th, 2014: "I wanted a non medical or surgical solution to my annoying Rosacea which ive been suffering with to some extent for the last 13 years! So i applied my aloe vera gel for the first time yesterday which resulted in a burning sensation. I held out for about 20 minutes. The burning sensation resided and notice a massive improvement!! The best ever !! Its such a relief Aloe has come my way the universe must have been listening. Thanks"

Ellen wrote on February 16th, 2014: "Hi everyone, I’m 21 years old and I sadly suffered with rosacea from a young age which broke my confidence and I used to be so self conscious about myself :( I tried many different products and spent 100′s pounds trying to make it go away! Eventually, I found aloe Vera on the web and my doctor recommended I tried it. My face is ten times better than it used to be and I have my confidence back!! I’m glad after reading this and other confidence this has helped other people to smile like I do every day :)"

Terri wrote on December 30th, 2015: "HI Steve & Judith, I tried the Aubrey Organics Pure Aloe Vera 4 oz last year at the advice of my all-natural, organic only niece. It was the 1st item I tried, in years, that gave me any relief from rosacea. (I have also been blesses with the lupus malar rash but thats a different board to be posting on…lol)…. back to rosacea. I love the Aubrey organics line and just bought the larger spray bottle. I’ve been using it for the past year and my facial skin looks the best it has in many, many years. I still get some discomfort indoors with the heat being on in the winter months but I just deal with it until the winter is over. Good luck everyone!"

Beaujade wrote on December 30th, 2015: "Hello I got rocesea in my 60s. Didn't know what it was
As far as I know I am the only family member who has it. It is now going into the eyes. I found aloe vera the plant to be helpful my nose cleared up the pimples did burst but my nose is looking good. I used lemon but not sure if this was good didnt hurt to try. If nothing else helped next was sea water."

Fut wrote on February 25th, 2006: "Fruit of the Earth 100% Aloe Vera Gel. Honestly, no topical agent has made a big impact on my redness or flushing. In fact, it has been the lack of topicals in my regimen have been the most helpful. Through the several different combinations I have tried on my face, my best regimen so far consists of one thing - thaloe vera gel. For me, it is the only product that shows absolutely no irritation. All cleansers, toners and even the neocutis cream showed atleast some irritation. Neocutis no longer irritates my skin, however. FOE Aloe vera Gel has been the only product that I haven't tossed (thinking about tossing the Neocutis cream - not 100% sure yet). The best part about this gel is that it is extremely cheap. I would suggest anyone who is having irritation problems or is simply looking for a new things to try on their skin is to throw out all their topicals and try using solely this product."

Jimmy D replied on February 25th, 2006: "I couldn't agree more, that exact AV gel seems to be the only thing i can use without getting irritation. i can use it straight after a shower even without it irritating. I've tried a lot of the "recommended" moisturizers and they all seem to react badly, but with this stuff, i haven't had dry skin in a year. And i can buy it from the supermarket for $8 australian."

Sylvia66 replied on February 25th, 2006: "EEK! Aloe Vera (100% - directly from the plant) made my face a bright purpley-red and burn. Do you guys think it could have been an allergic reaction?"

DukeCity replied on February 25th, 2006: "Hi Sylvia, - a few others had posted the same allergic reaction to aloe-vera."

Rockerchick replied on March 1st, 2006: "I tried this a few years ago and it dried my face out really bad. So I never used it again. Glad its working for you tho!"

nikkitn replied on March 1st, 2006: "I just bought some the other day. When I got home last night, I felt a flush coming on, so I washed my face and then put the refrigerated aloe on it and it knocked the flush out quick!! Soo nice... I'm thinking maybe globbing on some cold aloe before a shower and leaving it there during may help with the flushes I get from the warm water."

Fut replied on March 26th, 2006: "I've recently noticed that the more i put on the better my skin tone looks. Accutane knocked the whole inflammation cycle out for me. I flush only in few incidents now (e.g. drinking, exercise.) No more major flushes from anxiety, nervousness, embarrassment, etc. Base redness had still been the major problem for me until i stopped accutane (off for a few weeks now) and have been using only aloe vera as well. My base redness is down several notches by just using lots of aloe vera at once. The only problem with stopping accutane is that my minor p and p are returning. hoping oracea will put an end to most of that. It seems like its always a struggle with at least one subtype of this disease. i hope slowly though that we are all eventually making steps in the right direction to getting the best we can get until a more helpful medication comes out."

Peter replied on March 26th, 2006: "Hello, I have used Aloe Vera gel for years now and it is the most effective topical I have used for the rosacea skin due to it's cooling and calming properties. Also brilliant after shaving to stop any irritation. Doesn't work for everybody unfortunately so if you are going to try it always carry out a patch test first. I use two brands - Aloe99 and Aloe Pura. There are websites for both. Try layering the Aloe i.e. apply some, wait a few minutes until it has soaked in and then re-apply another coat of the gel. If your skin is very dry then try this several times and you will find it more effective. Best wishes, Peter.

MARPUSBEAN replied on March 26th, 2006: "Yes aloe is the one product I have used constantly, probably is worthwhile moisturizing as well as the skin can feel a little dry after the aloe is absorbed, that's, providing you can find a mild natural moisturizer which does not irritate."

Mollie_T replied on April 9th, 2006: "I have a huge bottle of this in my fridge, I use it to calm sunburns. It really helps my rosacea when I've been in the sun a tad too long & forgot my sunscreen."

Susiefar replied on June 4th, 2006: "There actually isn't such a thing as commercial 100% aloe vera. If you squeeze it right out of the plant then yes, but if it's sold over the counter then at most it could be 99% or so pure because it requires about 1% preservative (more or less) to extend shelf life and prevent bacterial growth. It would start going bad before you even bought it if it didn't have any preservatives. Unfortunately, many of the preservatives used in skincare products are quite irritation. I'd check on the back of that one to see. I find phenoxyethanol is pretty well tolerated by my skin, but not paraben preservatives or urea ones (parabens usually being methylparaben and butyleparaben)."

Motor City replied on June 15th, 2006: "Does aloe flake off? I was intrigued by the aloe posts, as it's cheap and I know it has long been used for skin care. I tried to apply a 99% pure aloe gel from a health food store. All it did was dry and peel off my face like dead skin. Is this the experience others have had, or should I try another kind? Thanks."

Orangehorizon replied on June 15th, 2006: "The aloe juice/gel from health food store usually contains preservatives (some acid, cant remember the name). It can't be preserved without them. The acid made my face in red spots when I tried aloe juice on my face. The commersial aloe gel probably doesn't have very active aloe. The base is usually Carbomer (a polymer) + water gel. The same base is in the hair gels. It's a good base for water soluble actives (except acids, they will liquify the carbomer) but don't expect miraculous healing from it. It is unlikely that the commersial aloe vera gel will make your skin peel. Most probably the gel itself peeled. Wash your face with water and pat it drie. If you still have flakes on your face then it's your skin peeling. Otherwise it was the gel itself.

Dosage and side effects of aloe vera:

There have been a few reports of contact dermatitis and burning skin sensations following topical applications of Aloe Vera Gel to the skin. Aloe vera may also cause redness, burning, stinging sensation and rarely generalized dermatitis in sensitive individuals. Allergic reactions are mostly due to anthraquinones, such as aloin and barbaloin. It is best to apply it to a small area first to test for possible allergic reaction.

When aloe vera is taken oral, it can cause: Abdominal cramps, diarrhea, red urine, hepatitis, dependency or worsening of constipation. Prolonged use has been reported to increase the risk of colorectal cancer. Laxative effect may cause electrolyte imbalances (low potassium levels). Oral aloe is not recommended during pregnancy due to theoretical stimulation of uterine contractions, and in breastfeeding mothers, it may sometime causes gastrointestinal distress in the nursing infant.

Interactions: Application of aloe to skin may increase the absorption of steroid creams such as hydrocortisone. It reduces the effectiveness and may increases the adverse effects of digoxin and digitoxin, due to its potassium lowering effect. Combined use of Aloe vera and furosemide may increase the risk of potassium depletion. It decreases the blood sugar levels and thus may interact with oral hypoglycemic drugs and insulin.