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Rosacea - alternatives to antibiotics

(53 Posts)
TunipTheVegedude Mon 18-Feb-13 10:48:03

Arsing cunting rosacea is trying to ruin my life.

I went to the doc about it last autumn, and he put me on antibiotics, and for a while I looked like a normal person but it also made me very nauseous and I lost a fair bit of weight because it was hard to get food down when I felt so sick.

Have been off the antibiotics for about 2 months and it's come back with a vengeance - I don't just look so hideous I struggle with going out in public, it is also quite itchy and painful.

What other treatments are there? I have another appointment this Fri. Does anyone have any experiences of successful treatments they can share?

MrsMushroom Mon 18-Feb-13 15:21:28

Have you heard about the association with mites? Specifically Demodex Mites....their poop

I have a mild case of Rosacea and it's horrible...there are some people who are trying ways to kill of the demodex order to stop the allergic reaction. I am trying marigold moisturizer with a few drops of teatree oil in it...apparently the teatree kills demodex in a test tube....but teatree is too harsh to apply directly to you have to mix it with a carrier oil. I asked a herbalist who told me Marigold cream is good for rosacea and that a few drops of teatree will also help.

I've seen some improvement but I've only been doing it for a antibiotics.

I'm joining this thread, I was diagnosed with Rosacea about 10 years ago, and the only times it cleared was when I was pregnant, or on antibiotics.

I am in the middle of a terrible flare at the moment, and can't stretch to forking out for a prescription for the next few months, so am interested in any other ideas!

TunipTheVegedude Mon 18-Feb-13 15:58:59

That's interesting MrsMushroom.
It's been known for a long time that there was an association with mites but he seems to have pinned it down: 'Kavanagh notes that one kind of bacteria in the mites' guts, Bacillus oleronius, is killed by the antibiotics that work against rosacea, and not by other types of antibiotics. His lab reported in June that 80 per cent of people with the most common kind of rosacea have immune cells in their blood that react strongly to two proteins from B. Oleronius, releasing triggers of inflammation. Only 40 per cent of people without rosacea have this reaction.'

Teatree/calendula didn't work for me unfortunately - I tried it before I had the antibiotics.

milktraylady Mon 18-Feb-13 16:01:10

My beautician treats people with this problem. She recommends an antihistamine avoidance diet & really calming oils on the skin. Like avoiding strawberries etc.
Let me know if you want her details.

dadditlass Mon 18-Feb-13 16:11:34

I've been using coconut oil, sometimes I add teatree oil to it. I also put a tsp of coconut oil into hot milk or my hot chocolate. My skin has defiantly improved since I started doing it.

whenwillisleepagain Mon 18-Feb-13 19:18:01

Hi, watching with interest. Got diagnosed by my GP 10 days ago - and started on antibiotics. GP said topical treatments would irritate my mild eczema. However, the same day, various cat-loving friends came round and I started to itch (v allergic to cats) and took antihistamine. Next day noticed the rosacea, which had been sore and inflamed, looked better than it had for ages. I only went to pick up my prescription later that day and didn't start the ABs till the following day. Something is bugging my allergies at the moment, so I'm carrying on with the antihistamines. When I take a break I look a bit pinker again, so it's hard to tell what improvement is due to antihistamine and what to AB - never knew about the mite connection, as I'm just starting to try and learn about rosacea. But this is all my long-winded way of saying, have you considered antihistamines?

TunipTheVegedude Mon 18-Feb-13 19:24:35

That's very interesting, WhenwillIsleepagain.

Are the antihistamines on prescription or can you get them over the counter?

MrsMushroom Mon 18-Feb-13 19:34:18

Yes...very interesting! I might try some too if they're ok with my antibiotics.

I also have had blepharitis which is linked to the same it makes sense!

I only got a disgnosis last week and am going to throw all my makeup away...and I have also begun cleansing my face more regularly...morn and night...apparently you're meant to wash all your bedding on a hot wash....

SCOTCHandWRY Mon 18-Feb-13 19:42:23

I think some people find that gluten is a big trigger.

TunipTheVegedude Mon 18-Feb-13 20:21:17

I've never heard that MrsMushroom, re cleansing and hot washes. Makes sense - except the advice I've seen on cleansing is not to do it too much....
There is so much contradictory advice around re rosacea. It's a bloody nightmare.
I find it really hard to pin triggers down when there are so many that are unavoidable (eg going out in the cold) or very everyday things (hot drinks).

Is it just over the counter antihistamines?

MrsMushroom Mon 18-Feb-13 21:46:24

I think the best thing is to keep a diary, but whose got the time!? Not me....I am hoping the antis help and if not I am looking into laser treatment. Mine is acne rosacea and there was some fungal activity on the slide according to the dermatologist....they took a biopsy as they thought I had lupus!

I knew it wasn't sister has that and I just knew it wasn't somehow.

Gluten link is interesting to Google!

HarrietSchulenberg Mon 18-Feb-13 22:04:32

I find that lavender oil and e45 cream help and I never ever use soap on my face. Didn't know about the mites thing so will investigate - my sheets could probably do eith a good hot wash!

TunipTheVegedude Mon 18-Feb-13 22:06:31

What do you do with the lavender oil? You mean mixed into the E45?

MrsMushroom Mon 18-Feb-13 22:32:58

I was told to mix the oil in with the cream Tunip...

Ruprekt Tue 19-Feb-13 00:49:27

Since giving up alcohol my rosacea has cleared up really well.

I am also low carbing and avoiding sugar which has helped too. Just not sure which new thing I am doing has fixed the skin!

Mrsmushroom I keep getting tested for Lupus, my mum is seriously ill with it. They take one look at my face and assume I have it too.
Would tea tree oil in E45 work the same as lavender oil?

MrsMushroom Tue 19-Feb-13 08:31:19

Well the herbalist told me to try that Manky...I suspect it's trial and error. I was pretty relived not to have Lupus! It's a shocking thing though my sisters has bizzarrley gone she's much better.

I'm glad your sister is ok - my DM has all sorts of complications. sad

I'm going to try the E45 and tea tree oil - I have some of both at home.

TunipTheVegedude Tue 19-Feb-13 09:42:38

That's the trouble isn't it Ruprekt - so hard to isolate a trigger.
I tried giving up alcohol in the past with no effect but maybe I have several triggers of which that is one.
I'm considering giving up all the things on the lists of major triggers and reintroducing one at a time - except that would include giving up exercise, and I can't entirely give up going out in the cold air what with school runs etc. If I give up all the things I love like hot baths, hot drinks, coffee, alcohol, going for walks, my life is going to be quite a bit worse and I'll be well pissed off if I still get rosacea due to the school runs.
And now people on this thread are talking about dietary things, which is a whole other ball game! I have a really good diet but giving up gluten would still be a major change.

SCOTCHandWRY Tue 19-Feb-13 15:40:05

Tunip, the diet link is interesting tho! I don't have rosacea, but I do have other immune/inflammation issues caused by gluten containing grains (not just wheat). Some symptoms like ibs I suspected were due to gluten, for years before i cut it from my diet.

But other symptoms i had no idea gluten was the cause until after I stopped eating it �� ! That includes arthritis pain in many joints, diffuse hairloss and marked horizontal and vertical lines on my nails, and sore gums! All these symptoms had crept up on me over the years and were getting worse...

Those problems have resolved now I'm on a grain free diet, and I've been reading into the role of grain proteins (gluten but also others such as lectins), which seem to have a very strong link with ALL conditions with an autoimmune component - from arthritis to diabetes to ms, many many conditionshmm and the weird thing is, the inflammation caused by the grain proteins may trigger multiple other sensitivities which then makes it harder to point the finger at grains as the cause, it's very interesting stuff, and well worth a google.

MerylStrop Tue 19-Feb-13 15:50:55

Can you ask your dr for a different antibiotic?

I get rosacea and I find if it flares (usually change of seasons) anti-bs are the only thing that address it quickly

Then keeping it at bay:
Avene diroseal/antiredness treatment cream - little miracle for me
cut out sugar and caffeine (or at least cut back)
cut down on alcohol esp red wine

I don't trust topical stuff really, not with inflamed skin

SCOTCHandWRY Tue 19-Feb-13 15:59:07

Interesting mrs mushroom, lupis and rosacea in the same family, I've noticed that a lot - if one family member has a condition with an autoimmune component then there are usually lots of relatives with other, often seemingly unrelated autoimmune conditions!

My family (excluding my various autoimmune issues) - atopy, IBS, diabetes, coeliac, arthritis, HSP (immune system attacks walls of blood vessels), chrone's disease... Some family members have more than 1 of these hmm. All may be caused by, or linked to grain consumption��!

I have had it on and off for 15 years.
Nothing topical works, nor to be fair, does it make things any worse. Antibiotics work well for me and there are different kinds which can be used for Rosacea so maybe you could try another one?
I now find I can go roughly 3 months on and 3 months off the Lymecyline.

MrsMushroom Tue 19-Feb-13 17:08:05

Scotch it is odd isn't it? We have deafness, autoimmune thingies and dodgy hips! I'm not surprised....we've been in the same bloody square five miles for about 300 years! Probably need fresh breeding material! grin

I don't drink alcohol but I love coffee, tea and sugar! The herbalist told me to take some probiotic....she said once you get your gut sorted, it goes...she's seen it time and time again...she told me to get the STRONG's nearly thirty pounds though which is a lot for me....I may have to go for it,

TunipTheVegedude Tue 19-Feb-13 17:20:52

I will ask to try a different antibiotic.

TBH I've been very lucky with my health in general and don't have any other autoimmune problems.

I hardly eat any sugar but I do drink too much coffee. I would struggle to give it up altogether but I could cut back.
Anyone find giving up spicy food helps? DH was shock when I mentioned that one to him!

cookielove Tue 19-Feb-13 17:29:06

I have it to sad its nice to know there is a lot more things I can try!! I was put on antibiotics whem I got my diagnosis 2 years ago, however I found it impossible to take them at the right time so eventually gave up. I have been using a cocoa butter bum cream blush which helps smooth and take some of the redness away and also e45 and sudocrem

captainmummy Tue 19-Feb-13 17:29:37

I've had rosacea and noticed that it is vastly improved by a low-carb diet! I'm sure the little mites (yuk) feed on the sweetness on your skin. I've not used AB for about a year. Not sure about the anti-histamines - i also get hay-fever and don't notice any improvement when taking them
Yes mankyscotslass Anti-hs are available over the counter - tesco do Loratedine (sp) and another one beginning with C blush for under £1

Panzee Tue 19-Feb-13 17:32:26

Evening Primrose Oil works well for me.

TunipTheVegedude Tue 19-Feb-13 17:37:05

hmm, I could lower my carbs a bit.
Would switching to brown rice and brown pasta help? I don't eat a lot of white bread or potatoes.

SCOTCHandWRY Tue 19-Feb-13 18:03:39

Mrs mushroom, I think my family has been in the same small patch for about 300 years also!!!

MrsMushroom Tue 19-Feb-13 18:32:32

Captain it's their poo that makes the irritation apparently...people like us are allergic to an enzyme in their poo and as they have no anuses, they just explode when they die and then leave their poo in our skin. [blech]

MegBusset Tue 19-Feb-13 18:37:04

Marking my place as I have rosacea and can't take ABs due to having colitis (another autoimmune disease). Funnily enough DS1 also has food allergies and eczema, and DS2 is being investigated for suspected lupus!

Mine is also worse in the cold weather. It helps if I cut back on sugar and alcohol. The only thing I use on my face is Avene Cleanance Gel.

TunipTheVegedude Tue 19-Feb-13 18:41:04

I do love the bit about the exploding poo. Next time a little bugger of a child at dcs' school asks why my face is so read I'm going to give them the full explanation, exploding poo and all, not forgetting to mention that EVERYONE has these mites on their face <evil laugh>

TunipTheVegedude Tue 19-Feb-13 18:41:24

red, not read. Obviously.


I need to do something - I have given up the booze, and sugary drinks - next step is my tea drinking habit - and I will try to cut down on my carbs - not easy when we are on a budget to start with and I bulk everything out with them!

MrsMushroom Tue 19-Feb-13 21:29:47

I am going for the probiotic's stronger than those little yogurt things..I will invest and report back when I have it.

I can't say I'll give up coffee because I'll die if I do....I've got exploding, shit ridden mites all over my cheeks.....that's enough hardship if you ask me!

earlybird71 Tue 19-Feb-13 23:10:46

Hello there, I have had papulopustular rosacea since my early 30s, was worst in my 40s and 50s, now it's almost unnoticeable. I got rid of it by using Body Shop tea tree oil products since last summer. I use them after cleansing, let them soak in and then moisturise with their aloe vera or Vitamin E as the tea tree products aren't moisturising enough. Their tea tree oil is cut with a carrier oil so you can apply straight to your skin. My rationale was that tea tree is toxic to skin mites so if I kept battering them with it their numbers would diminish. I had tried it previously but a bit half heartedly but keeping it up finally seemed to work. I had just accepted that I had 'bad skin' and it feels really liberating to just wear moisturiser and a teeny bit of concealer to hide slight redness. I hope you find something that helps.

TunipTheVegedude Wed 20-Feb-13 10:07:26

It's interesting how many people seem to have had positive results with tea tree oil. Unfortunately it made mine worse. I think my skin was just too sensitive to it.

Vagndidit Wed 20-Feb-13 10:17:23

I recently tried the dandruff shampoo suggestion that I read here on MN to disastrous results. My skin is much, much worse as a result. I even gave it a month to settle down, but nothing sad

Right now I'm having greater success with E-45 cream at night as well as cutting out berries from my diet. I'm lowcarbing so this is a massive pita to give up, but I'm tired of looking like a pimply pizza faced teen.

earlybird71 which tea tree products from the Body Shop do you use?

TunipTheVegedude Sat 23-Feb-13 10:59:45

I saw the doctor yesterday and when I told him about the nausea problems with the last antibiotic, he said there's a new one that might be better, so I'm starting with that.

He also said mine was so bad I should take it all the time, rather than having a few months off as most people do shock

(<starts to get competitive about rosacea> Tea tree oil? My demodex mites drink tea tree oil for breakfast!)

Thanks for all the suggestions, everyone. Hope everyone else with rosacea manages to find something that helps x

Hi OP,

Glad you are trying something new, hope it works!

I would really encourage you though to see a dermatologist, even if you have to pay to go privately. GPs are generally very bad at diagnosing and treating rosacea. It's possible you don't even have rosacea but some other kind of eczema or acne.

Also you may end up trying a load of different things just by guesswork whereas a dermatologist will give you a proper plan and help you figure out your triggers.

I know it sucks to give up so many things, but what can you do? Try to remember you're not giving them up forever. It's very common for rosacea to go into remission (mine mostly is).

Also I really recommend using Cetaphil cleanser (it's non-soap, super gentle and usually recommended by derms) and only using products for sensitive skin (ideally paraben free).

TunipTheVegedude Sat 23-Feb-13 11:46:06

Thanks DreamingBohemian.

DH is also very keen for me to see a dermatologist. If these drugs don't work, I will.

I use Cetaphil. It's great - when I started it my skin immediately became smoother and less dry and flaky. I think practically everything else I used in the last few years irritated my skin. I used to use things that were far too harsh, before I sussed out I had rosacea not acne.

TunipTheVegedude Sat 23-Feb-13 11:46:44

It's really good to hear it often goes into remission, too. I didn't know that; I thought it only ever got worse.

Ah glad you already know about Cetaphil, it's great isn't it?

I also use Avene products for moisturising and such, they are for very sensitive skin.

Yes it can go into remission -- mine was quite bad when I first got it, about ten years ago? Then it calmed down a lot when I moved to England -- I don't know if it was the cooler weather, the water, or what, but it definitely improved, and after a couple years it pretty much faded. Now it's just like I have very sensitive skin but I don't do any special treatments.

My stepmother also has rosacea and has had long periods of remission, although it can come back.

There's no way to know what will happen but at least have some hope it might go away mostly! That's why I suggest trying to suck it up and avoid all the triggers for a while. If you can calm things down for a while it might not flare up again so badly.

pollypandemonium Sat 23-Feb-13 12:27:36

Marking my place here. I have pinched my daughters prescription for a product called Finacea. It seems to work by unclogging the pores blocked by the mites. You can feel it working. Not brilliant results yet but it feels like its doing the right thing. Ver expensive to buy though.

roundabout1 Sat 09-Mar-13 19:33:27

My skin is suffering a bad flare up at the mo, started with a small patch of spots & very red nose, the normal symptoms & then had a few big spots, now 2 weeks later I have quite a lot of spots & the original ones are still very big & red. I started using tea tree products on it & not sure if this has made it worse or not.

Bonners Mon 11-Mar-13 18:28:00

very interesting post! My dad had it and told me when I was in my twenties that it is hereditary. I thought I'd bypassed it but now in my thirties it is a real nuisance. I've not gone to the Dr as I don't want anti-bs so assumed there was nothing else they could do.
I'm convinced that an anti-inflammatory diet helps (no wheat, red meat, sugar, processed food or alcohol) but I haven't the time or energy to follow it with DS 2.5yrs. The mite connection is interesting so I might see my GP after all for a derm referral.
I use Clinique redness solutions soothing cleanser, moisturizer, foundation and powder and think they're fab. I was told that oil free products are best for rosacea and certainly find I get less irritation from oil free. They're not cheap though! I almost cried when I left a brand new pot in the gym change room and it got nicked.

Procrastinating Mon 11-Mar-13 18:41:33

I know just how you feel OP. I had rosacea for years and I tried everything. Nothing worked until I got the right antibiotic. It made my life such a misery that I wish I hadn't messed around trying various potions & diets before I went for medication. I tried a few different antibiotics before finding one that suited me, then I took it for over 6 months. It worked.
Rosacea can go into remission, I have been completely free of it for 7 years now. Hope your new antibiotics work for you Turnip, I still look in the mirror every day and feel so thankful that it has gone.

Procrastinating Mon 11-Mar-13 18:43:31

Just wanted to add that I found dead sea mud mask soap (about £3 from Boots) works well, & yes Clinique redness solutions moisturiser, but not the cleanser.

artsybetty Wed 17-Apr-13 23:15:12

Hello to all !
I'm new on here - this is my first post - but just want to say a big thankyou for all the info given here re the rosacea problem - never knew that about the skin mites tho' Eeuuwww!!!!.

After reading this thread a while ago, and after trying countless other preparations, prescription s etc, I bought some sudocreme (yep, it's a babybottom rash creme), and finally, after walking round with facial cheeks that mimic the redness of a baboons bottom for heck knows how many years, I can honestly say that the twice daily application of this cream on my skin is definitely working, and that I'm now more of a mid pink tone, and am not blushing at the drop of a hat anymore!

It does tend to leave a white film on the skin, but at night that's not a problem. Through the day if I'm at home, I've applied it - and hope i don't get any visitors, but I don't know how it would work under make up as I don't use it.

Also, as I read somewhere, I've been using a little fake tan moisturiser to blend my (usually) ghost white complexion with the redness, so that there isn't such an obvious divide between the two.

Hope this is useful.

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