Keeping Rosacea Under Control Fundamentals Pyramid

With rosacea, there a few things you need to watch closely. Like food for example. But do all these different factors have the same importance?

Here’s a pyramid outlining the critical factors that you need to control, in order of importance:


This is of course based on personal experience, but I found out that whenever I’m stressed for an extended period of time, even if I try to eat well and avoid triggers, my rosacea will get worse. So if I manage to keep stress under control, eat well and live a balanced lifestyle, I get to the point where I can almost ignore medication. The other way around doesn’t work unfortunately.

Hope this helps.

Rosacea, Metrogel And Pregnancy

There are different stories about the impact of pregnancy on rosacea. Some women claim it made their rosacea worst while others claim it completely cleared their rosacea for the whole 9 months!

As usual, rosacea is different for everyone.

The thing that is more certain, is that you may have to stop using the Metrogel cream if that’s what you are currently using to treat your rosacea. A lot of doctors advise not to take Metrogel during pregnancy and you may have to figure out some more naturals way of treating rosacea.

Ask your doctor about you rosacea if you think or if you know you’re pregnant, nothing will replace the advice of a doctor.

Refer to our “Just diagnosed with rosacea guide” as it contains some general advises on treating rosacea naturally.

And if you’re trying to conceive and want to have some fun, try this online pregnancy test!

Treating a Chalazion

I got my first chalazion a couple of days ago, apparently a condition more frequent with people affected by rosacea.

For those of you who don’t know, as described by Wikipedia, a chalazion is :

chalazion (pron.:/kəˈlziən/; plural chalazia/kəˈlziə/), also known as a meibomian gland lipogranuloma, is a cyst in the eyelid that is caused by inflammation of a blocked meibomian gland, usually on the upper eyelid. Chalazia differ from styes (hordeola) in that they are subacute and usually painless nodules. They may become acutely inflamed but, unlike a stye, chalazia usually point inside the lid rather than on the lid margin.

I thought I’d update you on the treatment of chalazion as I did a significant amount of research on the subject. Even though a chalazion is not the result of an infection but more of a blocked gland, I first used an antibiotic cream on the eyelid to avoid infections. It appears that there’s not much that can be done about a chalazion and that it will heal on its own after a couple of weeks or months.

The only thing you can do is apply a warm water compress on the eyelid 4 to 6 times a day. This will activate circulation and potentially help drainage of the blocked canal.

Note that a chalazion does not hurt, it is only a small lump on the eyelid that you can feel with your finger : if the lump gets bigger or hurts, consult a doctor. Otherwise, time will do its thing.

All Vitamin Supplements Triggering Rosacea?

I’m not sure if it’s just a really bad coincidence, but it seems like vitamin supplements are making my rosacea worse. I’ve tried taking Omega-3 supplements for a while and it just seemed to get worse over time : I eventually stopped and everything went back to a much better situation.

I then tried taking Centrum supplements for men. My skin improved for a few days, which I doubt is because of the supplements, but then it became really bad. I’ve stopped taking them and now it’s getting better.

I doubt it’s because of the vitamins themselves, but maybe a chemical found in the pills (to help absorption or something similar) is having a negative effect on my rosacea.

Niacin is supposedly bad for people affected with rosacea and vitamin supplements usually contain niacin or niacinamide, which could explain the reaction, but I’m still unsure about why Omega-3 supplements  triggered rosacea.

I’m sorry I can’t explain the causes and confirm it really is about the supplements and not another external factor, but I’d be really interested in hearing what you guys have to say about that – if you’ve experienced this in the past.

Stress And Rosacea

Limiting stress is probably one of the most important aspect of controlling rosacea. There is a strong correlation between my rosacea breakouts and stress and it seems to be the more important than the food I eat and all other aspects.

I’ve managed over time to control my rosacea pretty well by eating properly and making some changes to my lifestyle, but being an entrepreneur, I have an extra dose of stress added to my life! Whenever go through stressful events, my rosacea gets worse.

I’ve figured out that the best way to manage stress is first to realized you’re stressed! I’m the calm type of people, not looking very stressed from the outside, but still can be very stressed from the inside. So sometimes I don’t realize that my level of stress is through the roof.

Knowing the first signs of stress will help you control it. Some very simple things can be done to reduce your level of stress :

  • Breathe (yep, seriously!)
  • Meditate
  • Go out, walk, run, meet with friends
  • Practice sports, go to the gym
  • Slow down
  • Reduce work hours
  • Etc.

I personally simply take more time for me when I feel stressed : I take time to relax, breathe and just slow down on work a bit.

How Long For Metrogel to Have Any Effect?

I often read on forums questions about Metrogel : how long before noticing changes?

I guess everyone is different and delays may vary. Some might even not respond positively to Metrogel – it has no effect on them! But as a personal experiment, Metrogel started acting very rapidly and within a week I started noticing positive changes. My skin was still red, but pustules quickly went away.

The real changes were visible after about a month. In fact, any improvement to my skin is visible approximately 4 weeks after any change to my diet or medication.

So, if were just prescribed Metrogel and wonder when you’ll see improvements, be patient, the real benefits are seen after about a month!

Olive Oil’s Natural Anti-Inflammatory Effects

Cooking can quickly become a nightmare for anyone trying to control their rosacea symptoms : finding the foods that won’t cause a rash is a real challenge. Not only finding triggering foods is challenging, finding the foods that will help your symptoms is even harder.

It seems that Extra Virgin Olive Oil has some great anti-inflammatory effects and as rosacea is an inflammatory disease, cooking with olive oil is a great way to help you with your symptoms. I’ve found that cooking with olive oil not only tastes great, but is also good for my skin : much better than cooking with butter for example.

For a little more details, here are the findings from a study in Nature:

A substance found in extra-virgin olive oil has anti-inflammatory effects similar to those of ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), reports a study in Nature (2005; 437:45–6). The presence of anti-inflammatory activity in olive oil might help explain why its use has been linked to heart disease prevention and improvements in people with arthritis.

Oleocanthol, the substance isolated from extra-virgin olive oil, inhibited two enzymes involved in the process of inflammation (COX-1 and COX-2) but had no effect on a third inflammation-inducing enzyme (lipoxygenase). This pattern of activity is identical to that of ibuprofen. It is interesting that, while oleocanthol and ibuprofen do not have similar chemical structures, both of these compounds cause a strong stinging sensation in the throat.

It has long been suspected that olive oil inhibits inflammation. In a study of patients with rheumatoid arthritis, supplementing with about 4 teaspoons per day of olive oil for 12 weeks reduced pain and morning stiffness and improved laboratory measures of disease activity. Eating a Mediterranean diet, which is high in olive oil, has also been found to improve symptoms and reduce inflammation in people with rheumatoid arthritis. In another study, the combination of extra-virgin olive oil and fish oil was more effective than fish oil alone in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.

Eating a Mediterranean diet also appears to reduce the risk of developing heart disease. Part of this protective effect may be due to other components of the Mediterranean diet, such as vegetables, fruits, and legumes. In addition, the high concentration of mono-unsaturated fatty acids in olive oil may be beneficial for the heart, as these compounds inhibit the heart-damaging oxidation of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol.

Inflammation also plays a key role in the development of hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis); also, anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin are known to help prevent heart disease. Inhibition of inflammation may, therefore, be another mechanism by which olive oil helps prevent heart disease. Moreover, unlike aspirin and other anti-inflammatory drugs, olive oil does not damage the stomach or promote the development of peptic ulcers.

Washing Your Face Daily

Not so long ago, I recommended Cetaphil as a great solution for washing your face daily without aggravating your Rosacea. After experimenting with facial cleansers for a couple of weeks in a row, my conclusion is that washing your face daily using these products will remove your skin’s natural barrier and worsen your Rosacea.

What seems to work best is washing my face daily simply using fresh water and then using a gentle facial cleanser like Cetaphil once a week.

By doing so, I keep my skin clean, without removing the natural barrier and aggravating the symptoms of Rosacea.

Diet Changes : How Long Before Noticing Improvements

There’s a big difference between the foods that cause you to flush and the diets that will make your rosacea worse or better. Flushing is occasional and usually cause by the ingestion of typical trigger foods (wine, spicy foods, junk foods, etc.), while permanent flushing, bumps or pimples are much more influenced by your whole diet.

So, improving your overall rosacea condition (permanent flushing, bumps and pimples) is not something that can over controlled overnight : it usually takes a couple of weeks, if not months.

It is important to note that even if you drastically change your diet for the better, your body and digestive system still contains trace of your old habits. Your body needs some time to cleanse and your skin can’t rejuvenate in a couple of days, it’s a longer process.

So keep in mind that when changing your diet for let’s say an alkaline, vegetables or low carbs diet, it will probably take around a month before you can notice real changes. Some improvements might be visible after a week or so, but the real benefits will be seen after a month.

The good news about this is that just as eating a lot of vegetables suddenly won’t improve your skin right away, once you start eating very well and get everything under control, eating junk food once in a while won’t ruin all the work you’ve done… as long as it doesn’t become a habit again of course!

Also, be smooth on your diet changes : drastic changes will probably make you feel like you’re lacking energy and you’ll have problems getting through the day, so change things slowly.