6 Natural Ways to Relieve Rosacea


  • By Robin Westen

    According to the National Institutes of Health, almost 12 million Americans have rosacea, a skin condition that dilates and inflames hundreds of tiny blood vessels near the surface of the skin leaving a reddening blush. Some people find relief with antibiotics or laser treatments. But there are also simple and natural herbal remedies that may also work:
  • Chamomile This herb contains several active components that reduce inflammation. To make a chamomile compress at home, steep two chamomile tea bags in warm – not hot or boiling – water for 30 seconds. Pat them dry (be careful not to wring out every bit of moisture) and test the temperature on your wrist to make sure it’s not too hot. Place one bag on each of your cheeks for 10 minutes.
  • Licorice According to a study presented to the American Academy of Dermatology, licorice extract helps improve rosacea. That’s because licorice root has coumarins, flavonoids, plant sterols and glycyrrhizin, which all reduce rosacea’s redness. Look for it in capsule form at your health food store. Note: Licorice may also affect thyroid medications. Speak with your doctor.
  • Lavender Used for centuries to treat a host of skin maladies, including rashes, blemishes and rosacea, when applied topically lavender can ease inflammation and shrink facial blood vessels. You can buy the essential oil of this herb and safely apply it directly to the skin. Or use beauty products that contain the ingredient. But stay away from any products with additional ingredients that may irritate your skin.
  • Feverfew When this herb is applied topically, it prevents blood from pooling in facial capillaries, according to a 2010 University of Louisville study. That means fewer tiny red lines during a rosacea flare-up.
  • Green Tea An anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, green tea reduces the skin’s reaction to ultraviolet light, which helps calm sun-triggered flare-ups. A recent Case Western Reserve University study showed that epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), the tea’s main polyphenol component, also prevented papules and pustules on the faces of rosacea sufferers.
  • Oatmeal When uncooked oatmeal is made into a paste and applied to the skin it can sooth itchiness and dryness and help promote the skin’s natural ability to protect itself from inflammatory attacks like rosacea.

    About the Author

    Robin Westen is ThirdAge's Medical Director. Check for her daily updates. Her latest book, co-written with Dr. Alyssa Dweck, is "V is for Vagina."