Rosacea (IPA: /r???ze???/) is a common but often misunderstood condition that is estimated to affect over 45 million people worldwide. It affects mostly caucasians of mainly north-western European descent, and has been nicknamed the ‘curse of the Celts’ by some in Britain and Ireland, but can also affect people of other ethnicities. It begins as erythema (flushing and redness) on the central face and across the cheeks, nose, or forehead but can also less commonly affect the neck and chest. As rosacea progresses, other symptoms can develop such as semi-permanent erythema, telangiectasia (dilation of superficial blood vessels on the face), red domed papules (small bumps) and pustules, red gritty eyes, burning and stinging sensations, and in some advanced cases, a red lobulated nose (rhinophyma). The disorder can be confused with, and co-exist with acne vulgaris and/or seborrhoeic dermatitis. Rosacea affects both sexes, but is almost three times more common in women, and has a peak age of onset between 30 and 60. The presence of rash on the scalp or ears suggests a different or co-existing diagnosis, as rosacea is primarily a facial diagnosis.

Subtypes and symptoms of Acne rosacea

There are four identified rosacea subtypes[1] and patients may have more than one subtype present.

  1. Erythematotelangiectatic rosacea: Permanent redness (erythema) with a tendency to flush and blush easily. It is also common to have small blood vessels visible near the surface of the skin (telangiectasias) and possibly burning or itching sensations.
  2. Papulopustular rosacea: Some permanent redness with red bumps (papules) with some pus filled (pustules) (which typically last 1-4 days); this subtype can be easily confused with acne.
  3. Phymatous rosacea: This subtype is most commonly associated with rhinophyma, an enlargement of the nose. Symptoms include thickening skin, irregular surface nodularities, and enlargement. Phymatous rosacea can also affect the chin (gnatophyma), forehead (metophyma), cheeks, eyelids (blepharophyma), and ears (otophyma).[2] Small blood vessels visible near the surface of the skin (telangiectasias) may be present.
  4. Ocular rosacea: Red, dry and irritated eyes and eyelids. Some other symptoms include foreign body sensations, itching and burning.

There have been other descriptive terms applied to presentations of rosacea, but these are not formally accepted as subtypes of rosacea:[3]

  • Granulomatous rosacea.[4]
  • The rare and severely scarring Rosacea fulminans (pyoderma faciale) occurring exclusively in women after adolescence and most commonly in their early 20s,[5][6]
  • Perioral dermatitis, which is better described as periorificial dermatitis, but similarly treated with topical metronidazole.[7]
  • Persistent edema of rosacea.
  • Rosacea Conglobata.
  • Persisting redness and oedema of the upper half of the face has been termed Morbihan disease.[8][9]

Rosacea sufferers often report periods of depression stemming from cosmetic disfigurement, painful burning sensations, and decreases in quality of life.[10]

Causes of Acne rosacea


Bill Clinton, one of the more famous people with rosacea

Richard L. Gallo and colleagues recently noticed that patients with rosacea had elevated levels of the peptide cathelicidin and elevated levels of stratum corneum tryptic enzymes (SCTEs). Antibiotics have been used in the past to treat rosacea, but antibiotics may only work because they inhibit some SCTEs. See the August 5, 2007 issue of Nature Medicine for details.

Rosacea has a hereditary component and those that are fair-skinned of Celtic and other European ancestries have a higher genetic predisposition to developing it. Women are more commonly affected. People of all ages can get rosacea but there is a higher instance in the 30-50 age group. The first signs of rosacea are said to be persisting redness due to exercise, changes in temperature, and cleansing.

It has also been hypothesised that rosacea is in fact a neurological disorder resulting from hypersensitization of sensory neurons by bradykinin following activation of the plasma kallikrein-kinin system due to exposure to intestinal bacteria in the digestive tract.[11] This hypersensitivity then produces neurogenic inflammation upon dermal stimulation causing the flushing symptoms and vasodilation that are characteristic of the disorder. This hypothesis has been recently supported by the finding that rosacea patients exhibit a very significantly increased prevalence of bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine vs. controls (p<0.001) and that eradication of this overgrowth in affected patients, using a 10-day course of an antibiotic that cannot be absorbed from the digestive tract, produces complete remission of symptoms in 96% patients for at least 9 months without further treatment. In the remaining 4% of patients that experienced symptom recurrence, bacterial overgrowth was found to have reoccurred and a second course of eradication treatment again produced sustained remission. [12]

Triggers that cause episodes of flushing and blushing play a part in the development of rosacea. Exposure to temperature extremes can cause the face to become flushed as well as strenuous exercise, heat from sunlight, severe sunburn, stress, anxiety, cold wind, moving to a warm or hot environment from a cold one such as heated shops and offices during the winter. There are also some foods and drinks that can trigger flushing, these include alcohol, foods and beverages containing caffeine (especially, hot tea and coffee), foods high in histamines and spicy food.

Certain medications and topical irritants can quickly progress rosacea. If redness persists after using a treatment then it should be stopped immediately. Some acne and wrinkle treatments that have been reported to cause rosacea include microdermabrasion, chemical peels, high dosages of isotretinoin, benzoyl peroxide and tretinoin. Steroid induced rosacea is the term given to rosacea caused by the use of topical or nasal steroids. These steroids are often prescribed for seborrheic dermatitis. Dosage should be slowly decreased and not immediately stopped to avoid a flare up.

Studies of rosacea and demodex mites have revealed that some people with rosacea have increased numbers of the mite, especially those with steroid induced rosacea.[13] When large numbers are present they may play a role along with other triggers. On other occasions Demodicidosis (Mange) is a separate condition that may have “rosacea-like” appearances.[14]

Rosacea is a systemic disease. There is no study that shows a long-term benefit of topical treatment alone. Typical signs in the facial region or the chest are always accompanied by other symptoms. The vascular disfunction provoke local hypoxemia (face, extremities, bowels). Sometimes these minor symptoms remain unrecognized. Vascular dysfunction, hypoxemia and the temporal obstruction of the orthograde intestinal passage induce a vicious circle with maldigestion and bacterial overgrowth syndrome.

Treatments of Acne rosacea

Treating rosacea varies from patient to patient depending on severity and subtypes. A subtype-directed approach to treating rosacea patients is recommended to dermatologists.[15]

Trigger avoidance can help reduce the onset of rosacea but alone will not normally cause remission for all but mild cases. The National Rosacea Society recommends that a diary be kept to help identify and reduce triggers. A recent publication discusses how managing pre-trigger events such as prolonged exposure to cool environments can directly influence warm room flushing.[16]

It is important to have a gentle skin cleansing regimen using non-irritating cleansers. Protection from the sun is important and daily use of a sunscreen of at least SPF 15 containing a physical blocker such as zinc oxide or titanium dioxide is advised although chemical sunscreens, if non-irritating to the skin, are also an option.

Oral tetracycline antibiotics (tetracycline, doxycycline, minocycline) and topical antibiotics such as metronidazole are usually the first line of defense prescribed by doctors to relieve papules, pustules, inflammation and some redness.[17] Topical azelaic acid such as Finacea (15%) or Skinoren (20%) may help reduce inflammatory lesions, bumps and papules. Oral antibiotics may help to relieve symptoms of ocular rosacea. If papules and pustules persist, then sometimes isotretinoin can be prescribed.[18] Isotretinoin has many side effects and is normally used to treat severe acne but in low dosages is proven to be effective against papulopustular and phymatous rosacea.

The treatment of flushing and blushing has been attempted by means of the centrally acting ?-2 agonist clonidine, but there is no evidence whatsoever that this is of any benefit. The same is true of the beta-blockers nadolol and propanolol. If flushing occurs with red wine consumption, then complete avoidance helps. There is no evidence at all that antihistamines are of any benefit in rosacea.

People who develop infections of the eyelids must practice frequent eyelid hygiene. Daily scrubbing the eyelids gently with diluted baby shampoo or an over-the-counter eyelid cleaner and applying warm (but not hot) compresses several times a day is recommended.

Dermatological vascular laser (single wavelength) or Intense Pulsed Light (broad spectrum) machines offer one of the best treatments for rosacea, in particular the erythema (redness) of the skin.[19] They use light to penetrate the epidermis to target the capillaries in the dermis layer of the skin. The light is absorbed by oxy-hemoglobin which heat up causing the capillary walls to heat up to 70 ºC, damaging them, causing them to be absorbed by the body’s natural defense mechanism. With a sufficient number of treatments, this method may even eliminate the redness altogether, though additional periodic treatments will likely be necessary to remove newly-formed capillaries.

CO2 lasers can be used to remove excess tissue caused by phymatous rosacea. CO2 lasers emit a wavelength that is absorbed directly by the skin. The laser beam can be focused into a thin beam and used as a scalpel or defocused and used to vaporise tissue. Low level light therapies have also been used to treat rosacea. Photorejuvenation can also be used to improve the appearance of rosacea and reduce the redness associated with it[20][21][22].

One alternative skin treatment, fashionable in the Victorian and Edwardian eras, was sulphur. Recently sulphur has re-gained some credibility as a safe alternative to steroids and coal tar.

Recently, a clinically-trialled product range combining plant-sourced Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) and Silymarin has been used to treat rosacea, skin redness and flushing[23].

Treatment horizon

Treatment is longterm, usually 1-2 years before the disorder is under control. Lifelong treatment is often necessary, although some cases resolve after a while and go into a permanent remission.

Famous people


Self-conscious about his rosacea, J. P. Morgan hated being photographed.


An Old Man and His Grandson, by Domenico Ghirlandaio

Famous people with Rosacea include:

  • Bill Clinton[24]
  • J. P. Morgan[25]
  • Diana, Princess of Wales
  • W. C. Fields[24]
  • Rosie O’Donnell[26]
  • Mariah Carey[27]
  • Margaret Bobonich[28]
  • Ricky Wilson[29]
  • Lisa Faulkner[30]
  • Rembrandt
  • Tip O’Neill

Homeopathy Treatment for Acne rosacea

Keywords: homeopathy, homeopathic, treatment, cure, remedy, remedies, medicine

Homeopathy treats the person as a whole. It means that homeopathic treatment focuses on the patient as a person, as well as his pathological condition. The homeopathic medicines are selected after a full individualizing examination and case-analysis, which includes the medical history of the patient, physical and mental constitution, family history, presenting symptoms, underlying pathology, possible causative factors etc. A miasmatic tendency (predisposition/susceptibility) is also often taken into account for the treatment of chronic conditions. A homeopathy doctor tries to treat more than just the presenting symptoms. The focus is usually on what caused the disease condition? Why ‘this patient’ is sick ‘this way’. The disease diagnosis is important but in homeopathy, the cause of disease is not just probed to the level of bacteria and viruses. Other factors like mental, emotional and physical stress that could predispose a person to illness are also looked for. No a days, even modern medicine also considers a large number of diseases as psychosomatic. The correct homeopathy remedy tries to correct this disease predisposition. The focus is not on curing the disease but to cure the person who is sick, to restore the health. If a disease pathology is not very advanced, homeopathy remedies do give a hope for cure but even in incurable cases, the quality of life can be greatly improved with homeopathic medicines.

The homeopathic remedies (medicines) given below indicate the therapeutic affinity but this is not a complete and definite guide to the homeopathy treatment of this condition. The symptoms listed against each homeopathic remedy may not be directly related to this disease because in homeopathy general symptoms and constitutional indications are also taken into account for selecting a remedy. To study any of the following remedies in more detail, please visit the Materia Medica section at Hpathy.

None of these medicines should be taken without professional advice and guidance.

Homeopathy Remedies for Acne rosacea :

Agar., ars., ars-br., ars-i., aur., aur-m., bell., calc-p., calc-sil., canth., caps., carb-ac., carb-an., carb-s., carb-v., caust., chel., chrysar., cic., clem., eug., hydr-ac., hydrc., iris., kali-br., kali-i., kreos., lach., led., mag-p., mez., nux-v., ov., petr., plb., psor., rad., rhus-t., rhus-t., ruta., sep., sil., sul-i., sulo-ac., sulph., sul-ac., syc-co., tub., verat., viol-o., viol-t.


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  2. ^ Jansen T, Plewig G (1998). “Clinical and histological variants of rhinophyma, including nonsurgical treatment modalities”. Facial Plast Surg 14 (4): 241–53. PMID 11816064.
  3. ^ Wilkin J, Dahl M, Detmar M, Drake L, Feinstein A, Odom R, Powell F (2002). “Standard classification of rosacea: Report of the National Rosacea Society Expert Committee on the Classification and Staging of Rosacea” (PDF reprint). J Am Acad Dermatol 46: 584–7. doi:10.1067/mjd.2002.120625. PMID 15153893. – this earlier classification noted terms of Granulomatous Rosacea, Rosacea fulminans and Perioral dermatitis as probably not meeting the accepted definitions for Rosacea. Such terms not mentioned in the later 2004 classification.
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  11. ^ Kendall SN (May 2004). “Remission of rosacea induced by reduction of gut transit time”. Clin Exp dermatol. 29 (3): 297–9. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2230.2004.01461.x. PMID 15115515.
  12. ^ Parodi A,Paolino S,Greco A,Drago F,Mansi C,Rebora A,Parodi AU,Savarino V (May 2008). “Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth in Rosacea: Clinical Effectiveness of Its Eradication”. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol.. doi:10.1016/j.cgh.2008.02.054. PMID 18456568.
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  16. ^ Dahl, Colin (2008). A Practical Understanding Of Rosacea – part one.. Australian Sciences.
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  19. ^ Marla C Angermeier (1999). “Treatment of facial vascular lesions with intense pulsed light”. J Cutan Laser Ther. 1 (2): 95–100. doi:10.1080/14628839950516922. PMID 11357295.
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  21. ^PHOTO REJUVENATION“. Retrieved on 2008-08-14.
  22. ^Research a cosmetic surgery procedure“. Retrieved on 2008-08-14.
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  24. ^ a b Jane E. Brody (March 16, 2004). “Sometimes Rosy Cheeks Are Just Rosy Cheeks“, New York Times.
  25. ^ Burnham, Virginia (2003). The Two-Edged Sword: A Study of the Paranoid Personality in Action. Sunstone Press, 61.
  26. ^ Rosie O’Donnell – ELLE
  27. ^ I’ve got thighs and buttocks — I’m never going to be a size zero – Times Online
  28. ^ Subscription Center – News Archive
  29. ^ Q&A | OMM | The Observer
  30. ^ Lisa Faulkner: My unslightly rosacea – Celebrity gossip on Now Magazine