By Ana Maria Aguirre
Cat lady without cats. Obsessed with music, cosmetics and NYC. Always politically incorrect. When I was little I thought I was She-ra (Master of the Universe), but at most I got a Master's degree in public communication of science (among other novels).
Acne rosacea or rosacea is an inflammatory disorder that affects the central area of the face. The most affected are Caucasian people, women, although the most severe cases occur in men.
It generally occurs in adults over 30 years of age, with very rare cases in young people.
It is characterized by the presence of erythema (redness of the skin), telangiectasias (spider veins) and superficial pustules. Rarely it also involves the back and chest. Initially it manifests itself with redness in response to emotional stimuli, heat, spicy food, alcohol, hot drinks. As the disease progresses, the redness lasts longer and eventually becomes permanent. Pustules, papules and telangiectasias may appear on the redness. It can also affect the eyes (ocular rosacea), and for this you should visit an ophthalmologist.
Acne rosacea has long been treated by dermatologists as a skin disease, topically with metronidazole (an antimicrobial antibiotic) or sodium sulfacetamide (an antibiotic used to treat acne). More severe cases have been treated with oral medications such as tetracyclines.
But have these treatments really been effective?
Currently, functional medicine considers rosacea as an autoimmune inflammatory disease, closely related to the intestine, one of its causes being dysbiosis - the overgrowth of non-beneficial bacteria in the small intestine.
In a study of 113 patients with rosacea, they concluded that all of them had intestinal dysbiosis (imbalance in the microbial balance of the microbiota) and by eradicating it they all improved and even reversed their lesions and maintained their results for at least 9 months.
Other data from studies have shown that there are patients with rosacea who have pancreatic exocrine insufficiency and who respond to oral pancreatic enzymes.
Helicobacter pylori bacterial infection may also play a role in rosacea.
These new revelations indicate a new path to combat this disease, which has nothing to do with the external but internal part of our body, and originates in the intestine. If the studies showed that dysbiosis was one of the causes of this disease, it seems illogical to treat it precisely with antibiotics, since in the beginning, their excessive use is what could have caused the imbalance of the intestinal microbiota.
As a student of functional nutrition, and from my own experience, I recommend taking the following steps as a starting point before resorting to medicines that can compromise the health of our organs and/or worsen the situation:
Eating a healthy, balanced diet, full of real foods, is essential for the overall health of the human being.
- The first step I recommend is to eliminate gluten, dairy and refined sugars (and all processed ones). This will help us 1. reduce inflammation in our digestive system. 2. restore balance to our intestinal flora, stopping feeding the bacteria that cause infection, as well as 3. eliminate foods that may be causing sensitivities or intolerances.
- Increase good fats rich in omega 3 fatty acids such as: olive oil, avocado oil, almonds, pistachios, flaxseed, chia seeds, kefir. Eat wild caught fish that are low in mercury such as salmon and sardines. Avoid cooking with toxic oils such as canola, corn, sunflower. These oils are high in omega 6, they inflame us and lead us to cardiovascular risk, fatty liver, among other diseases.
- Incorporate fermented foods that provide you with probiotics, such as kimchi, kefir, sauerkraut, miso, sauerkraut. Now you find many options on the market, you can even prepare them yourself.
- Consume proteins from organs such as heart that are high in CoQ10, which will help you incredibly reduce inflammation of your skin because it is the best food for the mitochondria (in addition to being anti-aging by keeping the mitochondria healthy).
Activate the vagus nerve
The vagus nerve is the largest nerve in the human body, and is related to important functions such as digestion. By activating it we will improve our digestion and general health.
To activate it:
- gargle (salt is antiseptic and eliminates bacteria)
- repeat "OM" (stimulates the vocal cords)
- Brush your tongue all the way back to lightly gag.
Generate more gastric juice
Contrary to popular belief, most digestive problems occur due to a lack of acid in the stomach. The acid that our stomach secretes is extremely important to be able to digest and break down food molecules to make them water-soluble so that they can be absorbed and enter the bloodstream. The acid also protects the body from bacteria and pathogens such as salmonella, etc.
To generate more acid:
- Take half a yellow lemon (Meyer) or a tsp. of fermented apple cider vinegar (with the mother) diluted in a glass of warm water, on an empty stomach or after a meal
- Bless your food and enjoy the moment so that you also activate your salivation.
- Eat slowly, chewing well and without stress.
Stress, whether physical or emotional, causes damage to our body. That is why many diseases are aggravated by chronic stress. I give you 2 very simple techniques to start managing it:
- Breathe. Inhale and exhale deeply and slowly.
- Meditate. You can start with 5 minutes of breathing. There are apps like Calm or Headspace that can help you.
- Exercise. Performing light and constant exercise daily helps you regulate your hormones and relax. Nothing extreme is necessary, but if you can do resistance exercise about 3 times a week, even better. It is more beneficial if you do it outdoors, in contact with nature, such as in a park.
You can incorporate certain supplements if you feel that you are still not absorbing the necessary nutrients with your diet, always with the guidance of a professional and monitoring the levels through laboratory tests.
- Omega 3 (krill oil)
- CoQ10 (Ubiquinol)
- Vitamin C
Avoid being in contact with chemicals that are harmful to your health, with hormonal breakers such as parabens, phthalates, lead, mercury, among others. Choose cosmetic and cleaning products that are non-abrasive, as toxic-free as possible.
Moisturize the skin
Use a gentle, emollient and preferably natural moisturizer. I recommend 24k gold oil , which has been very effective for skin with rosacea. Don't forget to drink plenty of water.
*NOTICE: THIS ARTICLE IS MERELY INFORMATIONAL AND IS NOT INTENDED TO REPLACE A DOCTOR'S OPINION OR TO TREAT OR DIAGNOSIS. IF YOU HAVE ANY RELATED SYMPTOMS, CONSULT YOUR DOCTOR.