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Essential Oils for Rosacea|handmade cream

Health & Wellness

Using Essential Oils and Other Strategies for Managing Rosacea

Rosacea is an inflammatory condition that affects the skin, primarily on the face. The condition can range from mild flushing to very serious redness, swelling, and inflammation. It affects people from all walks of life.

There is no known cure for rosacea, but there are treatments that can help manage it. Some people also find that avoiding common triggers, such as alcohol or caffeine, can help. 1

Ways to Manage Rosacea Flare-Ups

Rosacea can be progressive. If someone regularly suffers from uncontrollable flushing or redness, then they may benefit from using management techniques to reduce the frequency of the attacks. Additionally, they can use therapeutic techniques to bring the swelling and redness down when it occurs. If left uncontrolled, rosacea has the capacity to get progressively worse.

Some useful management techniques include: 2

  • Protecting yourself from excessive exposure to the sun

  • Trying to manage stress, especially if flare-ups are stress-related

  • Trying to avoid overheating (ex. hot baths or sitting too close to a heat source)

  • Limiting hot beverages and trying to let tea or coffee cool before drinking

  • Being aware of how alcohol and spicy foods affect you.

  • Choosing mild cosmetics and soaps/lotions that do not irritate your skin

  • Trying to stay cool while exercising

If you still find yourself struggling with flare-ups or they are very severe, then you may need to seek treatment for them. People with very severe rosacea may need to seek long-term treatment with antibiotics. In extreme cases, laser surgery can help eliminate visible blood vessels and reduce the growth of excess skin tissue. 3

Most doctors would advise people to turn to antibiotics only as a last resort since the issue of antibiotic resistance is a genuine concern. Alternative methods of taking care of your skin would be better if they work for you.

One option that many people find helpful, especially for keeping mild rosacea in check so that it does not get worse, is the use of essential oils.

handmade cream How Essential Oils Can Help With Rosacea

Studies show that many essential oils, and even popular carrier oils such as jojoba, argan, and borage oil, have anti-inflammatory and skin repairing effects when used topically. 4

There is also some evidence to suggest that certain oils, such as frankincense essential oil, could help reduce the growth of dermal fibroblasts. 5

Before understanding which essential oils are best for managing rosacea, it’s important to review the different types of rosacea. There are four different sub-types: 6

Subtype 1 is known as erythematotelangiectatic rosacea, which is the type that can be identified by persistent flushing and redness and sometimes includes visible blood vessels.

Subtype 2 is known as papulopustular rosacea, which is characterized by persistent redness but also includes flare-ups of bumps and pimples.

Subtype 3 is phymatous rosacea, which is the variety that causes skin thickening and can result in an enlarged nose.

Subtype 4 is ocular rosacea, which can affect the eyes and cause swollen eyelids, dry eyes, tearing, burning sensations, and sometimes damage to the eyes.

In general, essential oils may help with the first two subtypes while those who have more severe rosacea require support from their doctor in order to closely manage their care. For instance, ocular rosacea could lead to long term loss of vision if it is not managed properly.

For those with milder forms of rosacea, essential oils can be helpful because of their potential to reduce inflammation and because they can serve as a substitute for some cosmetics.

Homemade soaps and moisturizing creams made out of essential oils can have a soothing effect on the skin and may be better for rosacea sufferers than many commercial creams or soaps. In fact, doctors often advise people with rosacea to avoid alcohol-based cleansers and scented soaps. 7

Final Thoughts

It takes a multi-faceted approach to manage rosacea, including a healthy lifestyle and diet. 8 If you suffer from rosacea and are worried about keeping it under control, then it is a good idea to keep a diary of triggers and make small changes to your lifestyle over time.

It can take months to see results, but you will learn what works for you in terms of bringing down flare-ups and what tends to cause them.

Simple changes such as using essential oil-based moisturizers, soaps, and even perfumes could go a long way towards removing common triggers from your day-to-day life. You should also pay attention to how activity and changing temperatures impact your rosacea.

If you find that going for a run is a common trigger because you are running out in the cold then coming home to a hot living room, see if you can change your routine. Run in an air-conditioned gym or take fitness classes instead.

Consider yoga for the combined benefits of aromatherapy, exercise, and stress relief. Stress is a common rosacea trigger and one that can compound itself if you find that stress causes an attack, then distress at your appearance during the attack makes you feel worse.

Rosacea is common, and resources for managing it are widely available. Whether you have mild or severe rosacea, it is worth learning ways to manage it today so that you can reduce the likelihood and severity of your symptoms in the future.

Photo credits: Seasontime/, LipowskiMilan/

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