Treating Acne Rosacea
Acne rosacea, now more accurately know just as rosacea, is a chronic skin condition of the forehead, cheeks, nose, and chin. It consists of flushing, which turns into red coloration from the dilation of the capillaries and can lead to pustules that resemble acne.
Rosacea occurs mostly in middle-aged adults with fair skin. The cause of rosacea is unknown, but there is likely a genetic component. Severe, untreated rosacea can be disfiguring to the face. The skin of the center of the face—typically on or surrounding the nose—is red and swollen, with acne-like blemishes. As the condition progresses, parts of the eye can become inflamed and the nose may enlarge.
Prescription medications used to treat rosacea include topical and oral antibiotics. The main topical drug, metronidazole is thought to have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects.
Alcohol may increase the reddening of the skin affected by rosacea, but alcohol is not the cause of this disease. Spicy foods and hot drinks have been reported by rosacea sufferers to cause flare-ups. Sun exposure, stress, excessive exercise, and extreme temperatures (hot or cold) of weather or bathing water may trigger flare-ups of rosacea, so avoiding these conditions is recommended.
Preliminary reports in the 1940s claimed that rosacea improved with oral supplements or injections of B vitamins On the other hand, one report exists of rosacea-like symptoms in a patient taking 100 mg per day of vitamin B6 and 100 mcg per day of vitamin B12; these symptoms subsided when the supplements were discontinued.10 More research is needed to evaluate the potential benefits or hazards of B vitamins for rosacea.
Some people with rosacea have been reported to produce inadequate stomach acid. In a preliminary trial, supplemental hydrochloric acid, along with vitamin B complex, improved some cases of rosacea in people with low stomach-acid production. Similarly, improvement in rosacea has been reported anecdotally after supplementation with pancreatic digestive enzymes, and a controlled study found that rosacea patients produced less pancreatic lipase than healthy people. Controlled trials are needed to evaluate the effects of hydrochloric acid and digestive enzyme supplements in rosacea. Hydrochloric acid supplements should not be taken without the supervision of a healthcare practitioner.