Rosacea is a common but often misunderstood disorder of the facial skin that is estimated to affect over 45 million people worldwide. It affects both sexes, but is almost three times more common in women, and has a peak onset age of between 30 and 60.

It is not a life-threatening condition, but it can affect appearance and lower self-esteem. If left untreated, rosacea tends to get worse over time. However, in most people rosacea is cyclic – it may flare up for a period of weeks to months, then signs and symptoms lessen for a while before it flares up again.

Whilst it is not possible to cure the condition, effective therapy can be very helpful.


Rosacea symptoms are very similar to a number of other skin conditions such as acne, so it is often misdiagnosed. Typical symptoms include:

  • Red areas on the face 
  • Small, red bumps or pustules on the nose, cheeks, forehead and chin 
  • Red, bulbous nose 
  • Visible small blood vessels on the nose and cheeks 
  • Burning or gritty sensation in your eyes 
  • Tendency to flush or blush easily 
  • Overly sensitive skin
  • Oily skin and dandruff

Contributory factors

Diet: certain foods and drinks such as alcohol, coffee and spicy foods are known to trigger skin flushing reactions that can aggravate rosacea symptoms. High levels of the wrong kinds of fats can also worsen symptoms.

The NutrEval Test can identify dietary triggers. Once identified, Smart Nutrition can give you practical suggestions and meal ideas to make key changes in your diet which will help reduce your rosacea symptoms and improve your overall health.

Nutritional deficiencies: deficiencies of certain nutrients such as B vitamins are known to be factors in the severity of rosacea symptoms. 

Deficiencies can be identified with a comprehensive screening such as NutrEval, which Smart Nutrition can then use to design a personalised diet and lifestyle protocol around, helping you to manage your symptoms and minimise flare-ups.

Small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO): research shows a strong link between SIBO and rosacea. Treatment for SIBO cleared rosacea in 20 of 28 and greatly improved it in 6 of 28 patients, whereas patients treated with placebo remained unchanged or worsened. Placebo patients were subsequently switched to rifaximin therapy, completely eradicating SIBO in 15 of 20 cases. 

This makes SIBO a vital factor in managing rosacea. It can be easily identified with a SIBO Test.

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Low stomach acid: many individuals with rosacea have low stomach acid and their symptoms respond well to digestive support.

Not only does the acid aid digestion, but it helps the body absorb many vital nutrients, digest protein and prevents bacterial and fungal overgrowth, ensuring the health of the whole digestive system.

Typical symptoms of low stomach acid include belching or a feeling of fullness after a meal, and indigestion. If you think low stomach acid is a contributing factor to your condition, a Comprehensive Stool Test assesses this. Smart Nutrition’s nutritional therapists can help you to manage this and other factors that may be contributing to your rosacea. 

Low digestive enzymes: one scientific study found that rosacea sufferers with indigestion associated specifically with eating fatty foods had a deficiency of the pancreatic enzyme lipase, an enzyme that helps to digest fat.

If you feel this is a likely scenario for you, a Stool Analysis provides information about the efficiency of your digestive process, including pancreatic function. 

Food sensitivities: certain foods can cause the release of chemicals that dilate blood vessels and cause flushing. Sensitivity reactions can also exacerbate the inflammatory skin symptoms of rosacea.

If you think you have a food allergy or intolerance, a Food Test can assess this, helping you to then avoid these triggers for your condition.

Stress: lifestyle is a significant influence on rosacea and stress is one of the main parts of modern life for many people. Stress can be a major trigger for a rosacea flare-up, and can make a taxing situation even more difficult to cope with.

If you think that stress may be a component of your rosacea, an Adrenal Stress Test pinpoints precise imbalances in stress hormone levels.

Useful Links

Please do not return samples to the laboratories that may arrive after Wednesday 27th March and up to and including Monday 2nd April.

The laboratories are closed from the 28th March – 2nd April for the Easter Holiday.