How To Stop The Misery From Rosacea Outbreaks

Published: 27th April 2012
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Rosacea is a common inflammatory skin condition that concerns over 14 million Americans. Rosacea causes redness and pimples on facial skin which can be quite agonizing. Although Rosacea is a harmless skin condition, it has a prohibitive impact on quality of life.

Causes And Risk Factors Of Rosacea
The cause of rosacea is not known. Studies indicate a genetic component, but a rosacea gene has not been isolated.

Recent researches indicate that a modified innate immune response and abnormal regulation of the neurovascular system are involved in rosacea.

Diverse abnormal activities are discovered in rosacea:

  • -- Dilated blood and lymphatic vessels

  • -- Increased blood flow

  • -- Enhanced blood vessel growth (angiogenesis)

  • -- Buildup of a subset of immune and inflammatory cells

  • -- Turning on of skin fibroblasts and intensified tissue fibrosis

  • -- Weaken of keratinocyte-derived proteinases (important enzymes in the desquamation process and orderly regulation of the skin's barrier function)

  • -- Decrease of antioxidants that made inside the body

  • -- Augmented immune and inflammatory responses

A number of factors can intensify aforementioned abnormal activities. Some of these factors include:

  • -- Hot foods and beverages

  • -- Alcohol

  • -- Sunlight

  • -- Stress, irritation or embarrassment

  • -- Vigorous exercise

  • -- Hot baths, saunas

  • -- Steroids

  • -- Medications that affects blood vessels, e.g., cardiovascular medications

Rosacea Symptoms

  • -- Reddishness of the face

  • -- Blushing or flushing easily

  • -- Spider-like blood vessels

  • -- Red nose

  • -- Acne-like skin lesions that may ooze or crust

  • -- Burning or stinging sensation in the face

  • -- Irritated, bloodshot, watery eyes

Rosacea Treatments
There are many treatment choices available for rosacea, but there is no established cure for rosacea. The mainstay therapy for rosacea involves oral and topical antibiotics. However continuing use of antibiotics can cause antibiotic resistance. The most supported topical treatments include metronidazole, azelaic acid, and sodium sulfacetamide-sulfur. Other topical therapies, such as calcineurin inhibitors, benzoyl peroxide, clindamycin, retinoids, topical corticosteroids, and permethrin have revealed varying degrees of success.

Many rosacea patients find standard therapies insufficient or even worsening. Due to the inconsistent results of drug treatments, rosacea sufferers are increasingly interested in alternative treatments using natural products to ease inflammation and alleviate rosacea symptoms.

Stop The Suffering From Rosacea Breakouts With Anti-inflammatory Herbs

Because inflammation initiates, propagates, and worsens rosacea symptoms, cooling inflammation can mitigate the agony from rosacea breakouts.

Based on scientific literature, the following natural ingredients have shown therapeutic benefits in treating inflammatory skin conditions including rosacea.

Licorice Extract
Licorice plants have been long used in alternative medicine for the treatment of a variety of inflammatory conditions. The key constituents of the licorice extract include triterpene saponins, flavonoids, and isoflavonoids.

Studies have revealed that Licorice have anti-irritant and anti-inflammatory properties. It suppresses oxidative stress (i.e., reduces superoxide anion production and cyclooxygenase activity), diminishes inflammation, helps mucous secretion, calms irritation, and supports adrenal gland activity.

Additionally, licorice appears to affect immunomodulatory, antiviral and antimicrobial activity. Topical formulas have been shown to significantly decrease scores of erythema, edema, itching, and improve the quality of life.

Green Tea Extract
Green tea is one of the most extensively studied antioxidants. Green tea extract comprises potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anticarcinogenic polyphenols known as catechins. These polyphenols are active in initiating cellular and molecular responses in the top layers of the skin (i.e., epidermis).

Green tea extract possesses antioxidant properties by abolishing reactive oxygen species and reducing multiple enzymes that are involved in oxidative stress (i.e., nitric oxide synthetase, lipoxygenase, cyclooxygenase, and lipid peroxidase). Green tea extract exerts anti-inflammatory activity via inhibition of the infiltration of inflammatory cells and decrease of inflammatory cytokines. Finally, green tea extract is anti-carcinogenic by preventing carcinogen-DNA binding and subsequent tumorigenesis.

Besides the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which make green tea extract useful in the treatment of rosacea, the protection it affords from UV light makes it particularly useful as rosacea is frequently triggered by light exposure.

Topical applications of green tea extract have been shown to decrease UV-induced erythema and to diminish DNA damage. Green tea extract may also directly improve the signs of rosacea by decreasing the number and appearance of small dilated blood vessels (telangiectasias) and minimize the disruption of the skin barrier.

Scute Extract
Scute has been used for centuries in traditional medicine to heal inflammation, allergies, infections and skin disorders.

Studies have shown that Scute holds anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antifungal, anti-viral, anti-allergic, and anti-tumor properties. It is one of the most broadly used in Chinese herbal medicine.

The bioactivity of scute is due to the radical scavenging activities of the flavone components. More than 60 flavonoids have been recognized in the root of scute. Scute extracts produce potent anti-inflammatory activities through suppressing a broad panel of inflammatory mediators.

Aloe Extract
Aloe extract is known to have anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antipruritic, and wound-healing properties. Its active constituents include salicylic acid (anti-inflammatory via thromboxane and prostaglandin inhibition), magnesium lactate (antipruritic via histidine decarboxylase inhibition), and gel polysaccharides (anti-inflammatory via immunomodulation).

Aloe has been studied with success in the treatment of burning, itching, and scarring linked with inflammatory skin conditions. Studies also showed decreases in vessel dilation and vascular permeability, key characteristics of rosacea.

Aloe has shown promising results in treating different skin infections such as boils, cysts, ringworm, athlete's foot, and jock itch. Its renowned healing, moisturizing, and softening properties are commonly used to soothe the skin and help heal cuts, burns and insect bites.

Chamomile Extract
Chamomile contains active components of terpenoids and flavonoids that inhibit enzymes (cyclooxygenase and lipoxygenase) involved in oxidation process. These components also regulate the immune cell activation and histamine release during allergic reaction. Topical applications have been shown to be beneficial in skin inflammation and skin irritation.

Reishi Mushroom Extract
Extracts from mushrooms, such as shiitake and reishi, contain some compounds (i.e., polysaccharides, triterpenes, proteins, lipids, phenols, and cerebrosides) that have meaninful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. These compounds inhibit lipid oxidation, collagen degradation, and production of inflammatory cytokines.

To learn more about inflammatory skin disorders and how to cool inflammation with natural anti-inflammatory remedies, follow blog series "Nature's Best Anti-inflammatory Herbs" and "Natural Cures For Chronic Inflammatory Conditions".

1. Rosacea: The cytokine and chemokine network. Gerber PA. Buhren BA. et al. Journal of Investigative Dermatology. Symposium Proceedings. 15(1):40-7, 2011

2. Epidermal proteases in the pathogenesis of rosacea. Meyer-Hoffert U. Schroder JM. Journal of Investigative Dermatology. Symposium Proceedings. 15(1):16-23, 2011

3. Inflammation in rosacea and acne: Implications for patient care. Fleischer AB Jr. Journal of Drugs in Dermatology: JDD. 10(6):614-20, 2011

4. Botanicals and anti-inflammatories: natural ingredients for rosacea. Emer J. et al. Seminars in Cutaneous Medicine & Surgery. 30(3):148-55, 2011

5. Skin photo protection by natural polyphenols: anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and DNA repair mechanisms. Nichols JA, Katiyar SK. Arch Dermatol Res (2010) 302:71-83

6. Targeting of histamine producing cells by EGCG: a green dart against inflammation? Melgarejo E, et al. J Physiol Biochem (2010) 66:265-270
Dr Yi Shi, founder of Innovative Drug Discovery and is well known in inflammatory disease research. Dr Shi has headed numerous research projects and published over 40 research articles in medical journals. For nearly a decade, Dr Shi has led collaborative efforts to develop natural anti-inflammatory products and establish 3R Skin Care System for common skin diseases.

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