Natural Treatments for Rosacea

flushed cheeks
Rosacea causes redness and flushing of the cheeks.. Gone Wild/Photographer's Choice/Getty Images

What is Rosacea?

Rosacea is a chronic skin condition that causes redness and flushing in the face. It can also result in small red bumps or pustules and dilated small blood vessels particularly on the nose or cheek area. Some people may notice eye problems (ocular rosacea) such as a burning sensation or inflammation around the eyelids or eyes, or a thickening of the skin around the nose (known as rhinophyma).

Standard treatment for rosacea may involve creams, gels, lotions, or oral medications such as antibiotics. Also important to managing this condition is avoiding exposure to anything that triggers a flare-up, such as sunlight, stress, hot or spicy foods and drinks, and alcohol. In some cases, laser and light therapy may be suggested to reduce flushing and the appearance of blood vessels.

Natural Remedies For Rosacea

A number of home remedies and natural treatments have been said to reduce rosacea symptoms, but there’s no conclusive evidence that any of these approaches are effective. Here's a look at some of the most frequently used home remedies for rosacea.

1) Topical Ingredients

Based on their purported anti-inflammatory properties, certain herbs and natural ingredients are often used in lotion, gel, or cream form for rosacea.

  • Green Tea
  • Licorice
  • Feverfew
  • Oatmeal
  • Aloe Vera
  • Wild chamomile
  • Honey
  • Niacinimide
  • Wild chrysanthemum 
  • Golden chrysanthemum
  • Essential oils such as tea tree oil

A cream containing an extract of the herb golden chamomile (Chrysanthellum indicum) may help treat rosacea, according to a study published in Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology in 2005.

For the study, 246 people with rosacea used either a cream containing one percent Chrysanthellum indicum extract or a placebo every day for 12 weeks.

Results showed that the cream was significantly more effective than the placebo in reducing rosacea symptoms (including facial redness). 

2) Diet

Anti-Inflammatory Diet

Research shows that inflammation plays a key role in the development of rosacea. Therefore, many practitioners of alternative medicine recommend following an anti-inflammatory diet to reduce rosacea symptoms.

While there's currently a lack of scientific support for the anti-inflammatory diet's effectiveness as a rosacea treatment, adopting an anti-inflammatory diet may help enhance your overall health and possibly protect against diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and obesity.

See The Anti-Inflammatory Diet for foods to eat and foods to avoid on an anti-inflammatory diet.

Trigger Foods to Avoid

Since certain foods can trigger flare-ups by increasing blood flow to the skin. Common trigger foods are hot drinks and beverages, spicy foods, and alcohol. In addition to these triggers, some practitioners of alternative medicine may recommend temporarily avoiding certain foods in the diet in order to reduce rosacea symptoms.


An elimination diet may be recommended, focusing on temporarily avoiding milk products (with the exception of probiotic-rich yogurt and kefir), wheat and other gluten-containing foods. Reducing intake of refined sugar is usually suggested. The recommended diet usually consists of whole foods, focusing on non-starchy, fiber-rich vegetables, fruit, legumes, nuts and seeds, lean protein, and gluten-free foods such as quinoa, brown rice, and flaxseeds.

Gut Health and Probiotics

According to some alternative practitioners, improving gut health may help to decrease inflammation in the body and symptoms like bloating, skin flushing, tiredness, food sensitivity, skin rashes, and headache. A 2015 study published in the United European Gastroenterology Journal found that 44/90 (48.9%) of patients with rosacea were infected by H. pylori (compared to 24/90 (26.7%) of control subjects, and that eradication of the H. pylori infection led to an improvement of skin symptoms. Another study, published in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology in 2008, found a higher prevalence of small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) in rosacea patients, and a significant improvement of their skin symptoms after eradication of SIBO.

Foods rich in probiotics, such as yogurt, kefir, and fermented foods, as well as probiotic supplements are sometimes suggested as part of a complementary approach to the standard treatment of H. pylori and small intestine bacterial overgrowth. They may inhibit other strains of bacteria in the intestines that may be causing symptoms, or probiotics may affect a person's intestinal immune system and decrease inflammation.

3) Stress Management

Because stress is considered a common trigger for rosacea flare-ups, stress management techniques may help keep rosacea in check. For example, a 2003 report published in Dermatologic Therapy indicates that hypnotherapy may help improve symptoms in people with rosacea.

Using Alternative Medicine For Rosacea

For optimal treatment of rosacea, it's important to work with a healthcare professional and find out which lifestyle changes and treatments are most likely to be beneficial in managing your condition. If you're considering the use of alternative medicine in treatment of rosacea, talk to your doctor and/or dermatologist for help in determining which approaches might be best suited to your particular needs.


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Gravina A, Federico A, Ruocco E, Lo Schiavo A, Masarone M, Tuccillo C, Peccerillo F, Miranda A, Romano L, de Sio C, de Sio I, Persico M, Ruocco V, Riegler G, Loguercio C, Romano M. Helicobacter pylori infection but not small intestinal bacterial overgrowth may play a pathogenic role in rosacea. United European Gastroenterol J. 2015 Feb;3(1):17-24. doi: 10.1177/2050640614559262.

Parodi A, Paolino S, Greco A, Drago F, Mansi C, Rebora A, Parodi A, Savarino V. Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth in rosacea: clinical effectiveness of its eradication. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2008 Jul;6(7):759-64. doi: 10.1016/j.cgh.2008.02.054. Epub 2008 May 5.

Rigopoulos D, Kalogeromitros D, Gregoriou S, Pacouret JM, Koch C, Fisher N, Bachmann K, Brown M, Schwarz E, Camel E, Katsambas A. "Randomized placebo-controlled trial of a flavonoid-rich plant extract-based cream in the treatment of rosacea." J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2005 Sep;19(5):564-8.

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Disclaimer: The information contained on this site is intended for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for advice, diagnosis or treatment by a licensed physician. It is not meant to cover all possible precautions, drug interactions, circumstances or adverse effects. You should seek prompt medical care for any health issues and consult your doctor before using alternative medicine or making a change to your regimen.

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