Acne Rosacea

The hallmarks of acne rosacea are a red “butterfly” flushing  pattern across cheeks, nose and even the chin.  Skin eruptions, broken capillaries, a purple almost bulbous nose (and sometimes pain) can result.  Initially the symptoms come and go, then become permanent.

Did you Know?

  • Wine, in contrast to other forms of alcohol, contains vasoactive amines that can dilate the blood vessels in the face.  This is why drinking wine (more so than other alcohol) can be a trigger for acne rosacea.
  • Coffee, sugars and hot spices can also trigger the flushing, redness and eruptions.
  • Inadequate production by the stomach of digestive juices (hydrochloric acid) has been found in over 50% of rosacea patients and correction of this has been found in several studies to cause clinical improvement1.
  • Stress can be a factor, possibly due to the fact it depletes the zinc and vitamin B6 needed to make stomach acid for effective digestion.  Some medications have the same effect.
  • Hormonal imbalance may also contribute to acne rosacea, perhaps because many of the nutrients (eg vitamin B6, zinc) needed to clear used hormones are also crucial for skin health.  Hormonal imbalance (such as PMS, period pain, endometriosis or fibroids) indicates that the body is not efficiently detoxifying and clearing used hormones.
  • Low B complex vitamin status, due to stress or inadequate dietary intake, also appears to be a hallmark of rosacea and resolving a deficiency has been linked to clinical improvements by some studies2.
  • Medications or skin products containing parabens may be a factor in acne rosacea3.  A significant proportion of the chemicals in your skin products are absorbed into your bloodstream.
  • Recent studies have suggested that low antioxidant levels could contribute to acne rosacea4 5. Certain nutrients (bioflavonoids) found in natural foods help build collagen to toughen up the tiny blood vessels (capillaries) in your face.  This can act to make them stronger and less likely to become inflamed.

[1] Epstein N and Susnow D.  Acne Rosacea, with particular reference to gastric secretion. Cal West Med. 1931 August; 35(2): 118–120.

[2] Poole, W. Effect of vitamin B complex and S- factor on acne rosacea. S Med (1957) J50:207–210,

[3] Hagman JH, Ginebri A and Piemonte P.  Acute Papulopustular Rosacea-like Eruption from Oral Parabens. Acta Derm Venereol 2008 p 88.

[4] Buechner, Stanislaw. Rosacea: An Update. Dermatology 2005;210:100-108 (DOI: 10.1159/000082564)

[5] Öztas,M. Balk, M et al. , The role of free oxygen radicals in the aetiopathogenesis of rosacea.  Clinical and Experimental Dermatology March 2003, Vol 28, Issue 2, pp 188–192, DOI: 10.1046/j.1365-2230.2003.01179.x