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Rosacea is a common but often misunderstood disorder of the facial skin that is estimated to affect over 45 million people worldwide. Rosacea affects both sexes, but is almost three times more common in women, and has a peak age of onset 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 be progressive, which means it gets worse over time. However, in most people rosacea is cyclic, which means it may flare up for a period of weeks to months and 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 relieve the signs and symptoms


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

Underlying causes

Diet – Certain foods and drinks are known to trigger skin flushing reactions that can aggravate rosacea symptoms. These include alcohol, coffee and spicy food to name just a few. High levels of the wrong kinds of fats can also worsen symptoms. Smart Nutrition could give you practical suggestions and meals ideas to make key changes in your diet which will help reduce 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. 

Low stomach acid– Many individuals with rosacea have been found to 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 after a meal, indigestion and a sensation of fullness after a meal. If you think low stomach acid is a contributing factor it may be worth considering a nutrition consultation to address this and other factors that may be contributing to your rosasea. Book a Consultation.

Low digestive enzymes – One scientific study found that rosacea sufferers who had 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 more likely scenario for you, a stool analysis can provide information about the efficiencies of the digestive process, including pancreatic function. Comprehensive Digestive Stool Analysis

Food sensitivities – Certain foods can cause the release of chemicals that dilate blood vessels and cause flushing. In addition, sensitivity reactions to foods can exacerbate the inflammatory skin symptoms of rosacea. If you think you have a food allergy or intolerance, you may want to consider a food testing for this. Food Allergy and Intolerance Testing.

Stress – Lifestyle has a major influence on rosacea and stress is one of the main parts of modern life for many people. Unfortunately stress can be a major trigger for a rosacea flare up, often making the taxing situation even more difficult to cope with. If stress is a major factor in your rosacea you may like to consider having a stress test which can help pinpoint precise imbalances in stress hormone levels. Adrenal Stress Test