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Natural Medicine : Rosacea

Red spots, a red rash, and swollen and painful lesions on the face; cheeks, chin, sometimes forehead, eyelids, and nose. In women it is sometimes called "menopausal acne" as it may occur at the time of menopause.

It is not normal to continue to have acne into the thirties; nevertheless, it does occasionally occur. For such a person it is usually a part of what is called "adult acne," "menopausal acne," or rosacea. Probably he or she has become allergic to certain foods.

Natural remedies
1. Use Grandpa's Pine Tar Soap (only this brand). (Users should test themselves for sensitivity to it. One person broke out in a rash from head to toe when using it.) If not sensitive, lather up at night and leave a heavy lather on the face to dry overnight. Wash it off next morning using more Grandpa's. Rinse, dry, and apply a thick layer of Bag Balm immediately after rinsing. Get this from a feed store and insist on this name. Wear the salve for at least an hour and preferably all morning; but even wearing it 10 minutes will help.

2. Check yourself for a food sensitivity. This step is most important. Involved foods may be some you have eaten all your life. See the appendix for the Elimination and Challenge Diet and our book Food Allergies Made Simple for more information on this subject.) The diet is done by eliminating those foods we have found to be most likely involved for a period of two to six weeks. As soon as the face clears up, begin eating the foods that had been avoided, one at a time. When a food causes the pimples to return, the person should make a list of those foods so that he or she can omit them for at least one year to see if the body heals itself. Response to removing a certain food from the diet may not be instantaneous, but may require some months.

3. Purchase all new face creams if there is any chance of a germ or skin parasite (Demodex folliculorum has been implicated in this disease) having been transferred to your lotions or creams or makeup by your fingers. Rosacea may be caused by a skin mite which lives in hair follicles. The mites may be stimulated by your reaction to your food sensitivities or other allergies. The mites can be treated by using compresses of garlic; compresses of grapefruit seed extract - diluted; compresses of golden seal powder or other antibacterial, antifungal, or antiparasitic herbs. Artemisia is one of the most effective anti-parasite herbs known. A compress using this herb could be very helpful, or it may be taken by mouth.

4. "On The Spot" from the pharmacy made by Neutrogena is good for single spots or particularly resistant pimples. A tincture of cayenne may be made by putting two heaping tablespoons of red pepper into a jar having a screw-top lid. Pour about two ounces of rubbing alcohol onto the red pepper and swirl. The alcohol can be used immediately, but does not develop its full strength until after three weeks of setting on the red pepper. Pour up the alcohol after three weeks and store it in a dark bottle. The alcoholic extract can be applied once an hour to a fever blister to promote healing. The same tincture is good for many other skin lesions such as acne rosacea, shingles, and herpes genitalis.

5. The best face cream for daytime use is Neutrogena Hand Cream. It comes in a tub. Only a small amount is needed as it is very concentrated.

6. Drink 10-12 glasses of water daily between meals, and no drinks with your meals. Become a total vegetarian-no meat, milk products (read labels), eggs or cheese. Use no vinegar (read labels), nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, black or red peppers. Chew your food to a cream before swallowing (very important!). Take small bites, chew thoroughly, eat slowly. "Leaky gut" is now being implicated in this disease.

7. Drink two cups of fenugreek tea daily as a treatment for adult acne.

8. Never overeat; get plenty of exercise, sleep and bring all your health habits up to par.

Help for acne
During the period of most active growth, the oil glands of the skin go through an extended period of development, along with other glands of the body. In some young people, these glands become clogged, swollen, and inflamed. They are prone to infection. The following suggestions may be helpful:

1. Keep the hands clean, nails short, and never touch the face except with a clean tissue. Most people with acne have an unconscious habit of frequently touching the face, the eyes, or the lips.

2. Keep hair clean by frequent shampooing. Never allow hair to touch face or shoulders. Have a daily shower.

3. Drink enough water to keep the urine almost colorless, as good hydration keeps the secretions of the body more fluid. Spread a thin film of lotion on face after careful washing of both hands and face to prevent all dryness.

4. Be regular with mealtime, bedtime, arising time, planned water-drinking time, personal hygiene, including a bowel movement, if possible, after each meal (even if a cold water, single ear syringe enema must be taken to obtain it). Regularity in all things is essential.

5. Practice good posture, deep breathing, and daily exercise out-of-doors for one hour or more. Good circulation to the face is important.

6. Leave off all animal products until the condition is under control. Read labels to be sure. Milk is especially harmful.

7. Do not mix too many foods in one meal or a chemical warfare will occur inside you. Keep individual dishes and menus simple.

8. Fast one day weekly unless you are already painfully thin. Eat all meals at the same time daily, and nothing between meals.

9. Gas-forming foods should be used in small quantities and chewed well, taking small bites. These include: beans, corn, apples, raisins, bananas, prune juice, and apple juice. Spend 30-45 minutes on a meal, chewing food to a cream before swallowing it. Never overeat.

Case history
A woman physician tells of her experience with rosacea. We have had several patients who responded similarly.

"I began having pimples on my face just under my eyes in the soft tissue. Gradually the pimples increased in number and in severity until they covered my cheeks. Through the next several months my cheeks and jaws became covered with pimples about down to the edge of my nasal flanges. It was about a year before it began to clear above but started moving downward to involve my upper lip and outward toward my ears. As it moved downward, it seemed to clear slightly above. I never had any pimples on my forehead. But after about another year it began to clear on my cheeks, still involved my upper lip, and moved down onto my chin.

"For four years I continued to have pimples. During this time I suspected I had some kind of food sensitivity, but everything I tried led to a dead end. It never crossed my mind I might be allergic to bread. Finally a physician friend suggested perhaps I might be allergic to certain common foods, and upon her suggestion I did an Elimination and Challenge Diet and discovered I was allergic to wheat, yeast, and cucumbers principally, but also somewhat to honey, certain other grains, and some beans. I had been a total vegetarian (no meat, milk, eggs, or cheese) for about 20 years, and did not have to test myself on those foods, but they are the commonest to cause rosacea.

"Within two weeks of leaving off wheat I had cleared of all pimples, but I still had a red rash, more prominent after eating. It was then that I eliminated all the gluten grains. Within two more weeks the rash had disappeared. For four years I avoided, except for rare accidents, all the foods to which I was sensitive. Then, one day I accidentally ate something with wheat and did not break out. Before that, I could even take the small piece of unleavened bread at communion at our church and would break out within an hour.

I was very hopeful when I did not break out to the accidental ingestion of wheat, but dared not test myself again for an entire week. At that time I took a small bite of bread. No pimples. A week later I ate half a slice. Again, no pimples. For the last three years I have been able to eat occasionally wheat and other gluten grains (barley, rye, and oats) without getting either rash or pimples. I am also able to eat yeast and cucumbers. I am very careful not to eat them frequently, but on the days I do eat wheat, I can eat a fairly normal amount." Wheat and gluten are not the only food items by any means that can provoke rosacea. Try out all foods you eat frequently, beginning with the items on the Elimination and Challenge Diet list, but continuing to less common causes if your face does not clear up from the first items on the list. Elimination and challenge food sensitivity diet

This diet has a large list of foods which should be eliminated. When the problem stops, you should add one food at a time every five to seven days until the problem returns. At that time you should begin making a careful list of all those foods causing your problem and eliminate those from your diet.

-Foods To Avoid-
Dairy products, Wheat, Bananas

Chocolate, Oatmeal, Seeds

Colas, Onion, Lettuce

Coffee, Yeast, Garlic

Tea, Cane, Sugar, Nuts (all kinds)

Eggs, Cinnamon (irritating substances, spices), Legumes (beans, peas)

Pork, Beer (all alcoholic beverages), Citrus fruits and juices

Beef, Artificial colors, Corn (cornstarch, corn products)

Fish, Strawberries, Apples

Rice, Nightshades (tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, peppers, tobacco)

* responsible for over 60% of all food allergies

-Foods Allowed-
Amaranth, Buckwheat, Millet, Quinoa

Tapioca, Cassava Root, Arrowroot

Basil, Dill, Sage, Bay leaf, Parsley, Thyme

Artichoke, Cauliflower, Pumpkins
Asparagus, Celery, Rhubarb
Avocado, Collards, Rutabaga
Broccoli, Cucumber, Spinach
Beets, Honeydew, Squash (acorn, zucchini, butternut, hubbard, summer)
Brussels, Sprouts, Kale, Sweet Potatoes
Cabbage, Melons, Swiss Chard
Cantaloupe, Okra, Turnips
Carrots, Parsnips, Watermelon

Apricots, Currants, Nectarines, Pear
Avocado, Figs, Olives, Pineapple
Blackberries, Grapes, Papaya, Plums
Blueberries, Kiwi, Peach, Pomegranate
Cranberries, Mango, Persimmon, Raspberries

-Dried Fruits-
Currants, Dates, Figs
Pineapple, Prunes, Raisins

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