What is rosacea?
Rosacea is a skin condition. It’s recognized as reddened skin, usually occurring on your cheeks and nose. It particularly affects those with fair skin, and it becomes more common with age.
The redness can spread to your forehead, back, chest, ears, and even eyelids in severe cases or if triggered.
Fortunately, there are many ways to treat rosacea naturally. Some of these treatments are readily available and can be applied at home.
Always talk with your doctor about changes to your skin. While rosacea is typically fairly benign, skin changes may indicate a more serious underlying condition that needs medical treatment.
If you’re diagnosed with rosacea without more serious underlying causes, you have options. Before you seek prescription medication — and if your rosacea isn’t too extreme — you may want to try some of the following.
Gel from the inner leaf of the aloe vera plant is emollient and moisturizing. It can be successful as a topical remedy for rosacea.
Many moisturizers contain aloe. You can use these and follow package directions. Or, harvest a leaf from a live aloe plant and apply inner gel directly to your skin. It’s possible to be sensitive or allergic to aloe vera, so do a patch test before you apply it to larger areas.
Burdock is available as a supplement, extract, or food.
As an edible remedy, burdock root can purify your liver and clear up skin conditions such as acne. Burdock plant extract can be an effective treatment for rosacea.
Like aloe, chamomile is common in moisturizing skin products. It’s often used topically in herbal treatment for inflamed skin.
Many studies support it as a successful remedy. Purchase a moisturizing product containing natural chamomile and use it by following label directions.
Chamomile essential oil can be diluted and applied, too. You can also make chamomile tea, wait for it to cool, and apply as a skin wash or compress.
Moisturizers like coconut oil are popular for all sorts of inflammatory skin conditions, including rosacea.
There aren’t recent studies showing coconut oil to be effective for rosacea. Still, it could help as a known anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and moisturizer.
Apply a small amount of high quality coconut oil to your skin. You can also use it as a carrier oil for appropriate essential oils if desired.
Comfrey is a plant that produces a compound called allantoin. This compound has drawn attention for alleviating skin reactions.
A 2017 study on a product containing allantoin found it improved symptoms with virtually no side effects. It also reduced redness and appearance.
Find products such as creams, lotions, or salves that contain natural comfrey or allantoin and follow label directions.
Feverfew is another plant frequently named as a natural rosacea remedy.
Feverfew has antioxidant qualities. It’s also known to protect against UV exposure, somewhat like a mild sunscreen. UV exposure is sometimes known to worsen rosacea.
Be sure to use topical feverfew products that are parthenolide-free. Parthenolides may increase skin sensitivity.
Antioxidants are helpful for inflammation, including skin conditions. As such, green tea may be a popular ingredient in skin products and creams for rosacea. Applying topical products with green tea is the best method for treating rosacea.
Cooled green tea may also be used as a compress and you can drink the tea for numerous health benefits, too.
Lavender essential oil
Dilute lavender essential oil in a carrier oil and apply to your skin. Or, mix some drops in your favorite moisturizer. Use about five drops per ounce of product.
Niacinamide is a B vitamin found in foods. It’s not to be confused with niacin or vitamin B-3.
It’s extracted into creams and lotions for topical skin conditions. Niacinamide is especially good for preventing and relieving skin flushing, which happens with rosacea.
Purchase creams containing niacinamide from reliable companies and follow label directions.
Oatmeal is a long-time home remedy for rosacea. It’s thought to strengthen skin and reduce water loss, which can worsen the condition. Oatmeal may also help itching.
Some skin products, like face masks, include oatmeal as an ingredient — these are great options.
You can also mix a couple tablespoons of oatmeal with water and apply directly to your skin.
Some types of honey, especially raw honey, may be effective and easy relievers for rosacea.
This may be because honey helps skin retain moisture and dryness worsens rosacea. In a 2015 study, a type of honey called kanuka honey was shown to be very effective against rosacea.
Purchase a high quality, raw honey. Kanuka or manuka honey is recommended. Apply a small amount directly to your skin.
Tea tree essential oil
Tea tree oil is useful for all sorts of skin conditions because of its anti-inflammatory properties. It can also help itching.
There aren’t many studies on tea tree oil for rosacea specifically. Still, its evidence for helping similar skin conditions makes it a great contender.
Tea tree essential oil can be diluted in a carrier oil and applied directly to your skin.
Turmeric is a famous herbal anti-inflammatory. It may be recommended for painful and inflamed rosacea symptoms. You can also eat the herb or use it in cooking for its numerous health benefits.
Try applying turmeric essential oil diluted in a carrier oil. Some creams and lotions contain turmeric. You can also mix turmeric powder with water and apply it to your skin as a poultice.
Lifestyle changes for rosacea
In addition to home remedies, certain lifestyle changes can be effective for managing your rosacea and avoiding rosacea’s most common triggers.
- Create a routine to manage your stress and anxiety that can trigger rosacea flare-ups.
- Keep a food diary to determine and remove allergens or trigger foods from your diet.
- Eat more anti-inflammatory foods such as kale, ginger, and avocados, that are high in antioxidants and B vitamins such as niacinamide.
- Wear sunscreen regularly, or whenever you go outside, to prevent rosacea flare-ups from sun exposure and UV rays.
- Avoid certain medications, such as topical steroids, vasodilators, and beta-blockers, that could worsen rosacea or cause flushing.
Talk with your doctor before stopping any prescribed medication and ask about alternatives.
When remedies and lifestyle changes don’t work
When natural remedies and lifestyle changes fail you, medication options can still be of help.
If your rosacea flare-ups also tend to get extreme and painful, talk with your doctor about these over-the-counter and prescription treatments.
- azelaic acid
- benzoyl peroxide
- calcineurin inhibitors
- sodium sulfacetamide-sulfur
The bottom line
If rosacea flares up at home, there are plenty of simple, natural, and affordable options to help you. Some may be effective enough to avoid a doctor’s visit or medications.
While research suggests there are health benefits, the FDA doesn’t monitor or regulate the purity or quality of essential oils. It’s important to talk with your doctor before you begin using essential oils and use caution when choosing a quality brand.
Test products on your arm with a dime size application to be sure you are not allergic. If you have no reaction in 24 hours, you should be safe to use the product.
If rosacea interferes with your daily life or gets too painful, talk with your doctor or local pharmacist about medication and other treatment options.