Home Remedies for Rosacea You Should Try

From acne-fighting creams to ice in your coffee, these tricks can help reduce redness and bumps.

People with rosacea may experience symptoms—like reddened skin and rashes—that come and go. Sometimes, there can be specific things that can trigger symptoms, too.

Seeking treatment from a dermatologist can ease the redness and bumps of rosacea. But you can also do some things at home to control the disease and reduce its impact on your life.

What Is Rosacea?

Rosacea is a chronic inflammatory skin condition that can cause redness, pimples, and eye problems. The cause of rosacea is unknown, and anyone can develop it, but it is more common in the following groups:

  • Middle-aged and older adults
  • People with fair skin
  • People with a family history of rosacea

There is no cure for rosacea, but treatment can help reduce symptoms.

At-Home Treatments for Rosacea

Treatment for rosacea may come from healthcare providers. They may advise you to try medicated skin care products or other medications. If a healthcare provider prescribes you medication, take it as directed. Also, talk to a healthcare provider before you combine medications with other remedies.

Other than medications, you can try a few things at home that can help with your rosacea symptoms—from over-the-counter creams that protect your skin from the sun to a new skincare routine.

Adjust Your Skincare Routine

Your skincare routine may need a few adjustments to help ease your rosacea symptoms.

Look for products that contain sodium sulfacetamide or sulfur—they're often marketed to treat acne but can also act as home remedies for rosacea bumps. Research found that participants who used products with these ingredients saw a 65–78% decrease in acne-like bumps in six to eight weeks.

You should also wash your face after a workout. This is a good idea for anyone since sweat can clog your pores and cause breakouts, especially for people with rosacea since exercise can trigger rosacea.

Avoid Trigger Foods

No ideal diet serves as a one-size-fits-all home remedy for a rosacea flare-up. However, certain foods tend to trigger symptoms in many people. Here some foods you may want to avoid:

  • Spicy foods
  • Citrus fruits
  • Tomatoes
  • Dairy products (cheese, sour cream, yogurt)
  • Spinach
  • Avocados
  • Vinegar

It may be helpful to journal what you ate when your rosacea symptoms flare up. In your journal, include what symptoms you experienced and how severe your symptoms were. Don't stop there. Even write down items that aren't food related, like personal care products you used, the temperature outside, and other things you notice.

After a few weeks of journaling, you'll have an idea of what makes your rosacea flare up or worsen. That way, you can modify your routine to avoid things that trigger your symptoms.

Limit Hot Beverages and Alcohol

Hot beverages—such as coffee or tea—are another possible trigger for rosacea. If that's true for you, cutting that second cup of joe or trying it iced instead might be worth it.

Alcohol can also contribute to rosacea symptoms. If you don't want to avoid it altogether, you can experiment with different types of alcohol. Generally, you may want to avoid these kinds:

  • Beer
  • Red wine
  • Bourbon
  • Gin
  • Vodka
  • Champagne

Protect Yourself From the Sun

Since rosacea makes your skin so sensitive, exposure to the sun can lead to flushing in your skin, which can last for hours.

Being smart about sun protection can help control your symptoms. Wear sunscreen daily; choose a sunscreen formula with an SPF of at least 30 and labeled broad-spectrum. If the sunscreen is irritating, mineral formulas containing zinc or titanium oxide work well for many people with rosacea.

Here are some other ways you can protect your skin when you are outside:

  • Seek shade when you can.
  • Wear a wide-brimmed hat.
  • Wear sunglasses (especially if your rosacea affects your eyes).

Eyelid Care

In some people, rosacea also affects the eyes, a condition called ocular rosacea. If you are experiencing eye problems, see a healthcare provider immediately. Treating ocular rosacea is essential since it can lead to problems with your vision if your symptoms are untreated.

In the meantime, there are some things you can do at home to soothe your symptoms:

  • Apply a warm compress to your eyes.
  • Clean your eyes with a gentle cleanser.
  • Use eye drops.

You may need to do these things several times a day and take medication. Consult a healthcare provider to avoid developing problems with your vision.

Research also recommends gently scrubbing your lids with diluted baby shampoo. This can help clear blockages in the meibomian glands, which secrete fatty substances that keep your eyes from drying out.

Use Makeup

Makeup can't change the progression of rosacea, but it can reduce the appearance on your skin. There are plenty of color-correcting makeup products; green-tinted makeup can cancel out any redness you may be experiencing with rosacea.

Keep in mind that makeup can be a trigger for some people who have rosacea. If you notice your symptoms worsening with makeup, you may want to switch up your products or avoid using makeup altogether.

What To Know About Essential Oils

Research is limited on how essential oils could affect rosacea. Some studies suggest essential oils may be beneficial for people with rosacea, but essential oils could also pose risks. One risk of using essential oils is allergic contact dermatitis, a delayed itchy rash caused by direct contact with an allergen.

Certain essential oils may have their benefits, however. One study found that citron essential oils may help treat symptoms of rosacea. Citron is known for its antioxidative and anti-inflammatory ingredients (such as vitamin C and flavonoids).

Another study found that tea tree oil can be used as a treatment for acne and rosacea. You should be very cautious with this oil, however. Tea tree oil has also been shown to be an endocrine disrupting chemical and may lead to health issues.

If you decide to use essential oils, be careful. Research any essential oil you're considering and talk to experts. Also, make sure your sources are reputable because the quality of essential oils can vary.

What Can You Do if These Treatment Options Don’t Work?

It can take over three months to see results with your treatment plan. If you aren't seeing any improvement after three months, talk to your healthcare provider about your treatment regimen—you may need to make some adjustments.

Often, treatment options include self-care measures as well as medication. Medication options can include:

  • Topical creams, gels, and ointments
  • Eye drops or ointments
  • Oral medication
  • Antibiotics
  • Retinoids

Other than medication, your healthcare provider may suggest laser therapy to shrink blood vessels or surgery if you need to remove thickened skin.

A Quick Review

If you have rosacea, you can work with a healthcare provider to determine your treatment plan. Healthcare providers may recommend you try home remedies, medications, and/or laser therapy.

Every person has different triggers for their rosacea, but triggers can include certain foods, hot beverages, alcohol, and more. Keep a journal to identify your triggers, and adjust your lifestyle to avoid or reduce those triggers.

To treat your rosacea, you may want to adjust your skincare routine to include products with sodium sulfacetamide or sulfur. Also, protect your skin from the sun, care for your eyes (if you have eye problems), and consider using makeup if you want to cover up redness.

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