How to treat Rosacea?

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What is Rosacea?

Rosacea is a chronic, inflammatory skin condition that most often affects the face. Rosacea worsens with time if left untreated. Rosacea is a common skin disease but can be a very bothersome and embarrassing condition. It often begins with a tendency to blush or flush more easily than other people. It generally affects the central third of the face, especially the nose, forehead and chin.  If left untreated rosacea tends to worsen over time, therefore we always advise on Prompt and proper treatment at Dermology skin and laser clinic

Some of the common symptoms include:

  • Redness or flushing of the face - Rosacea may be mistaken for rosy cheeks, sunburn, or quite often, acne and has periodic ups and downs (flares and remissions).
  • Small red pimples and fine red veins (also known as telangiectasia) on the facial skin,
  • Rhinophyma - enlarged, bulbous red nose
  • Eye problems, such as swollen, red eyelids, conjunctivitis, and rosacea keratitis.


  • The exact cause of rosacea is unknown; it’s possible a combination of factors may be responsible for the condition, although there isn't enough evidence to say this for certain.
  • A light skin colour - a much higher percentage of people with fairer skin develop rosacea compared with those of a darker complexion.
  • Blood vessel abnormalities.
  • Genetics - Family history, inheritance and genes.

How does our clinic treat rosacea patients?

We treat Rosacea patients every single day at the Dermology skin and laser clinic. It is a very common condition which is best treated when the early signs of rosacea start to appear.  If you have rosacea or know of someone who has rosacea, BBL TM is such a wonderful tool to help the skin look and feel dramatically better. Dermology skin and laser clinic uses BBL TM (Broad Band Light) technology to successfully reduce redness, flushing and broken capillaries.  On average, 4 treatments, spaced 2- 3 weeks apart are generally required to achieve a good result. Treatments take approximately 45 minutes.  The patient will be flushed after treatment, but can resume normal activities and go back to work the next day. For patients with bumps and pimples, oral and topical medication is often prescribed in conjunction with treatments. Sunscreen is vital as wearing it every day can help prevent flare-ups. Corrective homecare is recommended after your initial consultation, where we educate our patients on products to help repair the skin and improve hydration.

What about my Diet?

Acid-Base Balance is the Key. A whole-body approach to rosacea recognizes that what you put into your mouth matters and what you eat can affect your health and the look of your skin. A whole-body approach is also an understanding that the body needs balance in order to thrive, and that most of what we typically eat puts us way out of balance.

The basic balance in your body is called the acid/base or acid/alkaline balance. You might have heard of pH balance, but not known what it is exactly. Every food that we eat has a certain pH: it is either a low pH (1 —7) and considered an acid, or it is a high pH (7-14) and considered a base. Water is right in the middle; it is not either an acid or a base. Your body likes to mimic water and keep its own pH close to neutral as possible; the blood, for instance, is slightly basic (pH of 7.3—7.4).

It is this at this neutral or slightly alkaline pH your body functions at its best.

When your body is in an acidic state, instead of the natural alkaline state, it doesn't function well. This means that the body's basic mechanisms such as detoxification, elimination, and repair all don't function as they should. When these mechanisms fail, the result is disease, in your case, this means that rosacea once again flairs up.

This acid problem is made worse by many of the activities we engage in: eating poorly, not sleeping well, not exercising, and feeling stressed... all of these push us to an acidic state.

How to discover your own balance

It is very easy to discover what your own personal acid base balance is by testing either your saliva or urine every morning. You can use pH strips, which are multi-coloured strips that can let you know if you are too acid or alkaline (although it is difficult to be too alkaline).

In order to test your pH simply put a pH strip in your mouth or touch the paper to your urine stream. You want to do this first thing in the morning. As you eat an alkaline diet, you can watch how your pH readings will change from acidic to more basic (from unhealthy to healthy). You can also notice how different foods will change your morning pH and how you feel when you are more acidic.

Is there a diet I can follow?

The rosacea alkaline diet is a general list of foods to eat. Most patients are unaware that acidic foods contribute to rosacea symptoms. The Rosacea Diet is for rosacea patients to learn the effects of diet on their rosacea symptoms, and which foods to avoid to minimize flushing. The Rosacea Diet is a list of common foods organized by their potential of hydrogen (pH). Hydrogen is the key element needed for new skin cell regeneration and is found most often in vegetables, fruits and water. Below you will find an explanation of the importance of acid/alkaline balance in the body and a list of acidic and alkaline foods to help you plan your rosacea diet.

The body’s blood has a healthy pH (potential of hydrogen) range of 7.35 to 7.42 so if we are not within that range, then flushing or a redness of the skin will develop. Over a long range of time, our facial skin will age faster and look older if the proper alkaline nutrients are not consumed.

Rosacea diet guideline to follow

  • Drink plenty of water (rule of thumb is 2-3 litres of water)
  • Eat more fruits and vegetables
  • Eat a diet high in fibre, with plenty of raw or lightly steamed vegetables, and whole grains
  • Make sure you are getting enough of the essential nutrients your body needs; supplements can be used

To reduce rosacea flare-ups through your food, these items should be avoided or at least minimize the effects through proper balance.

  • Avoid dairy foods
  • Avoid fried foods
  • Avoid foods which cause flushing, e.g. hot drinks, spicy foods, and alcohol
  • Avoid acid-forming foods e.g. grains and sugar

Please use the table below to learn about the Alkaline Food to be eaten in the green table to help improve your rosacea while reducing the intake of foods from the Acid Food listed in red table below.

Alkaline Food List

Homecare advice

In terms on skincare stay away from SOAP!!! As well as astringents/toners, perfume/cologne  near the face . Keep the skin moisturised, hydrated and make sure you apply a good quality high protection sunblock daily. In certain cases a topical medication will be prescribed. In general, look for products with mild ingredients and no added fragrance. The more ingredients in a product, the more likely it will irritate your skin. If you’re not sure about a product, ask to try a sample.

Try to avoid exposing your skin to triggers that can aggravate Rosacea, those being:

  • Sun exposure
  • Emotional stress
  • Hot weather
  • Wind
  • Heavy exercise
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Hot baths
  • Cold weather
  • Spicy foods
  • Humidity
  • Indoor heat
  • Harsh skin-care products
  • Heated beverages
  • Certain cosmetics
  • Certain medications

Skincare ingredients – what aggravates rosacea?

For women, the biggest culprits were astringents/toners, soap , exfoliating agents , certain makeup, perfume/cologne) and hairsprays .

For men flare-ups had been caused by shaving lotion; soap; perfume/cologne.  The most irritating ingredient for both men and women is alcohol followed by witch hazel, menthol, peppermint and eucalyptus.

What skincare ingredients would you recommend?

Hyaluronic acid, vitamin E, Green tea, Aloe Vera. Vitamin E and green tea have potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Studies suggest that green tea in topical treatments may also be helpful for a variety of skin conditions including rosacea, acne and eczema.

Moisturizers containing lipids, such as ceramides, are usually well tolerated and improve the barrier that is often compromised in patients with this condition. In addition to ceramides, the humectants glycerine and hyaluronic acid are often added to moisturise, to hold moisture in the skin and hydrate it.


+27 76 424-8809
Building 3
Rivonia Office Park
150 Rivonia Road


+27 72 817-8160
3 New Eskdale Street
Western Cape


+27 72 094-1673
107 George Storrar Drive
Whitelies Aesthetics


+27 64 803-2300
Izulu Office Park
Rey's Place
Block A 102


Dermology’s goal is to produce the best results possible for all our patients, however, everyone is different. Responsiveness to procedures, protocols or ingredients may vary from person to person. Consultation are compulsory.