Natural Health: acne rosacea

Q. I have suffered from acne rosacea for eight years.

I’ve tried every lotion, potion, and medication, to no avail. It seems to be triggered by stress and junk food, and sunlight makes it worse. How can I reduce the redness?

A. Acne rosacea is a stressful skin condition: it appears across the face and so cannot be hidden. It can differ in appearance — from a flushed and embarrassed look to intense inflammation with raised pustules.

Stress and anxiety are triggers, which creates a catch-22. A reader a few years back outlined how her rosacea was treated by her dermatologist.

Via a microscopic examination of the skin, he found the parasite, demodex folliculorum, a tiny mite on the face and in the hair. These mites, also known as demodicids, are about a fifth of a millimetre long and live in your pores and hair follicles. Since the newly hatched larvae feed on sebaceous oils, they will thrive on only skin and hair. This indicates that the cause of acne rosacea is mite infestation of the skin, but factors such as stress, heat, diet, medications, etc, will change the hormonal and chemical environment in which these mites thrive or fail.

The dermatologist recommended liquid soap, alcohol-based face treatment, and skin cream. I suggest you use Dr Bronner’s liquid castile soap (baby mild/unscented), and alcohol-based witch hazel or rosewater toner, followed by Little Herbal Company’s Kuswera Zuro face cream.

Kuswera Zuro is made from the African potato tuber plant, which is an anti-inflammatory botanical remedy. This cream, whose name translates to “the day before yesterday”, is rich in anti-oxidants, so also reduces wrinkles and ageing, and renews sun-damaged skin. Over the past ten years, clients using this natural remedy to address acne rosacea have had fantastic success. Kuwera Zuro is available from www.littleherbal-international.co.nz; one jar costs £22.50; three jars, €68.50.

Q. I am just over a mild dose of gastritis, which has left me feeling low. My stomach is also sensitive and I’m watching my diet. What foods would you advise me to take?

A. Gastritis describes inflammation of the stomach lining, and, in severe cases, this leads to pain, cramping, burning, nausea, and loss of appetite. Watch your diet, choosing mild and simple foods over spicy or fatty foods.

Cucumbers, which belong to the same family as watermelon, zucchini, pumpkin, and other types of squash, are a highly valuable addition to your diet. While the flesh of a cucumber is primarily water, it also carries vitamin C, caffeic acid, silica, potassium, and magnesium, along with fibre. The ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and caffeic acid both reduce irritation and swelling — hence the popular trick of using cucumber slices to reduce puffiness and bags under the eyes.

It has been noted by scientists in Australia that most patients with gastritis were also carrying the bacterium, Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori). This clever bacterium surrounds itself with ammonia, providing protection from the acidic environment of the stomach, which means that it penetrates the mucous membrane and attaches itself to the epithelial cells.

One of the most effective remedies for H. pylori (and gastritis) is mastic gum—– which is the resin of the Pistacia lentiscus tree. It has been shown to eliminate H. pylori and reduce gut inflammation, while restoring digestive function. Mastika is a supplement containing 500mg of mastic gum — 60 capsules cost €19.99 — and can be purchased from your local health store.



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