Posted by Sunshine (Melbourne, Australia) on 03/01/2013
[BETTER BUT NOT CURED] I want to take the opportunity to post about my rosacea experience and at the same time thank everyone who's posted here.
I got rosacea after an illness. My body wasn't taking in nutrients and I lost about 10% body weight. I'm slender, generally very fit, 54 years old. Losing this weight put my body under enormous stress. Add to this the emotional stress of a failed business venture, and the on-set of menopause, it was a difficult time. About 10 years ago I had minor rosacea that my derm treated with antibiotics, I took them for a few weeks about two or three times per year and thought nothing of it. My skin looked perfectly fine.
This time, weak and emotionally exhausted, I got odd pimples which within a few days turned into full blown rosacea. Red, raised, angry skin, symmetrically on both sides of my face and on my nose. Lots of ugly pimples. No pain or stinging but it looked horrendous. It took over a month for me to get to my derm who prescribed an anti-scabies creme against the mites and antibiotics. I goggled the scabies creme, and, finding what it contained, trashed it. I read everything I could on Earth Clinic and related sites and did this: washed my face with a gentle pure olive oil soap to which I added a few drops of tea tree oil. Moisturised my face with a carrier oil (I alternated between olive oil and sesame oil for the face) and a few drops of tea tree oil. When the crawling sensation of the mites got too bad, I'd take a facial steam bath with added camomile tea, to sooth the skin. This procedure is based on the abstract of an article (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19774398) which states that demodex mites die at about 58 degree C. The steam bath (the 'pot of boiling water and towel' type) always got rid of the crawling sensation for the night. I sometimes did the steam bath 10 days in a row till I had no more nightly crawling sensation. I'm not sure how hot the steam is (obviously boiling is 100 degrees C, but how hot is it when I put my face over the pot - perhaps 50 degrees C?)
When the results were too slow in coming (I am a manager and have a lot of people around me), I took antibiotics (tetracycline) for 20 days exactly. I wasn't cured but thought I'd do all the rest naturally. I paid particular attention to my diet. In my case, I am doing the GAPS diet which is great for anyone who is undernourished due to intolerances. It's a difficult diet, because it requires lots of cooking. I drank apple cider vinegar in the morning and the evening; took lots of supplements such as double doses of Vitamin B, zinc, primrose oil. My naturopath felt I was low on copper, so I took that as well.
My rosacea nearly cleared within 2 months, and then I got a second bout. Different from the first. No pimples, but red, raised, angry skin, this time on my cheeks. The red skin hardened, practically scabbed. I felt and looked horrid. And more so- the skin burned and stung. I believe it may be seborrheic dermatitis.
Back to the internet, back to Earth Clinic. This time I'm doing all of the above, but have added Oil of Oregano. My thought is that this outbreak may well be related to mites, but feels and looks more like some fungus. I tried Selsun Blue which burnt, and it sort-of felt wrong to put a chemically-based shampoo on my cheeks. I turned to Oil of Oregano 3 times daily, 3-5 drops ingested with honey or in vegetable juice (beware, it burns and tastes horrid). I use one drop mixed in a carrier oil on my skin, twice daily. Especially on the angry, hard, raised welts. The oil is amazingly strong, so if you try it, be careful. Oil of Oregano is said to be an anti-fungal. It burnt but I feel it has worked. In three days my face is nearly (not quite) at a point where I can go out without makeup.
My conclusion about rosacea: a very complex, multifaceted disease, defiantly related to stress, and majorly related to the gut (I'm currently sugar, grains, caffein and alcohol free). Once we've got it, I believe we need to get rid of the mites and whatever else there is, on an external basis. But it is an internal disease which expresses itself externally. The GAPS diet is right for me, but others may need to do a raw food or juicing diet - whatever it is that has led the body to be out of sync. I'm dealing with my menopause by taking black cohosh and am feeling more in sync with myself. I drink lots of water with fresh sliced ginger and some lemon. About three litres per day. These past three months have been the most horrid of my life. I have, and can, face many hardships, but when my face looks so horrid, I find it so terribly hard to face up to my ex, or my colleagues, or face the world.
I pray to the Universe this is the last bout of this demoralising, humiliating and humbling illness and that I'll be cured soon. And I pray to the universe that everyone struggling with this disease find their cure.