How to Treat Rosacea from the Inside

Are you looking for natural remedies for rosacea or ways to control skin inflammation internally with your diet and habits? This article will explain how to treat rosacea from the inside.

Although we do not know a lot about treating rosacea internally, this blog will discuss what we do know about vitamins, supplements and foods to treat rosacea. To get rid of rosacea permanently, you need to get inflammation in your body under control.

Skin care can also help.

It is certain that you need to be on the right skin care routine for your Baumann Skin Type to calm rosacea prone skin.

Your Health Affects Rosacea

To get rid of rosacea permanently, you need to target your skin and your overall health and focus on reducing inflammation in the body.

In general, you need to improve your overall health and get your blood sugar under control and stabilize your microbiome to improve rosacea.

Rosacea tends to improve when you:

  • Are healthy
  • Eat well
  • Are less stressed
  • Have stable hormones
  • Have normal blood sugar levels
  • Have healthy gut flora

This means that there is an unknown link between general health and rosacea.

This may have to do with inflammation that occurs in the body when you are out of balance.

For this reason, the focus of treating rosacea from the inside should be to lower inflammation.

Learn more about rosacea and its causes and rosacea in men.

Blood sugar and rosacea

Blood Sugar, Insulin Resistance, and Rosacea

In a 2015 study (6) researchers investigated the association between rosacea and insulin resistance (IR). This study included 47 rosacea patients (12 men and 35 women, aged 35-68) and 50 control participants (11 men and 39 women, aged 38-78), all matched based on age, gender, and body mass index (BMI). Among the rosacea patients, 24 had the erythematotelangiectatic type, 22 had the papulopustular type, and one had the phymatous type. 

The findings revealed a significantly higher rate of insulin resistance in the rosacea group compared to the control group (p = 0.009). Additionally, the rosacea group demonstrated notably higher fasting blood glucose levels, total cholesterol levels, and systolic and diastolic blood pressure levels, with all differences being statistically significant (p<0.05). Mean levels of LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, total cholesterol, and CRP (C-Reactive Protein) were also significantly elevated in the rosacea group compared to the control group (p<0.05). Based on these findings, the study suggests a notable association between rosacea and insulin resistance, as well as elevated levels of specific cardiovascular risk factors.

smoking and rosacea

Smoking and Rosacea

Studies on the effects of smoking and rosacea re conflicting.  (9-11) Nicotine in tobacco can cause vasoconstriction which might explain why a study in May 2020 showed that smoking was associated with less of a risk of rosacea.

This study (12) aimed to examine the association between cigarette smoking and the risk of developing rosacea, gathering participants from four rounds (2001, 2005, 2009, and 2013) of the Taiwan National Health Interview Survey. Out of the 59,973 participants, 379 developed rosacea during a mean follow-up of 10.8 years. Intriguingly, after adjusting for potential confounders, current smokers were found to have a lower risk of rosacea compared to those who had never smoked, with an adjusted hazard ratio (aHR) of 0.60 and a 95% confidence interval (CI) of 0.39–0.92. 

The data also revealed that an increase in smoking intensity was associated with a decreased risk of rosacea among current smokers (Ptrend = 0.0101). Specifically, current smokers of more than 15 cigarettes per day had an aHR of 0.51 (95% CI: 0.26–0.99) for developing rosacea. Additionally, for incident rosacea, the aHRs (95% CIs) of current smokers with 10 or fewer years of smoking and 10 or fewer pack-years of smoking were 0.44 (0.22–0.88) and 0.51 (0.29–0.89), respectively. Notably, former smoking was not associated with the risk of rosacea. The study concluded that current smoking was significantly associated with a decreased risk of rosacea.

I do not recommend that you use tobacco as a treatment for rosaea!

Natural ways to treat rosacea internally

Ways to Treat Rosacea from the Inside Naturally

Vitamins and Rosacea

Rosacea is not caused by a vitamin deficiency. However, it does seem to clear up when inflammatory diseases improve.

This means that diet and vitamins that soothe inflammation may help rosacea.

What Vitamins Should I Avoid if I have Rosacea?

Vitamins that cause facial flushing can trigger rosacea. The most common vitamin that can trigger a rosacea flush is niacin. Niacin is also called Vitamin B 3.

People with an excess of Vitamin D may also get rosacea flares.

So avoid these vitamins when you have rosacea:


Vitamin B 3

An excess of Vitamin D

What is the best vitamin for rosacea?

There are really no good vitamins for rosacea. Instead add anti-redness foods and drinks to your diet.

Can Vitamin D supplements make rosacea worse?

Some studies have shown that an excess of Vitamin D can make rosacea worse. If you are taking Vitamin D supplements to treat a vitamin deficiency,, and you are not taking too much, it should be ok for you to take Vitamin D.

Foods that may help soothe rosacea:

Foods High in Omega-3 Fatty acids

This is a list of foods rich in anti-inflammatory fatty acids, specifically omega-3 fatty acids, which may help to manage inflammation and could be beneficial for people with inflammatory skin conditions like rosacea. 

These foods are known for their potential to reduce inflammation in the body:

  1. Salmon: A fatty fish known for its high content of omega-3 fatty acids, specifically EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid).

  2. Flaxseed Oil: A rich source of ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), a plant-based omega-3 fatty acid.

  3. Chia Seeds: These seeds are a great plant-based source of ALA.

  4. Walnuts: A good source of ALA and other healthy fats.

  5. Sardines: These small fish are packed with omega-3 fatty acids.

  6. Mackerel: Another fatty fish rich in omega-3s.

  7. Algal Oil: A plant-based source of DHA and EPA, derived from algae.

  8. Hemp Seeds: Contain a healthy balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.

  9. Edamame (young soybeans): A good plant-based source of ALA.

  10. Egg Yolks (from pasture-raised chickens): Some egg yolks contain significant amounts of omega-3s, depending on the diet of the chickens.

  11. Canola Oil: A versatile cooking oil that is a source of ALA.

  12. Krill Oil: A supplement that contains both EPA and DHA, sourced from krill, tiny marine creatures.

  13. Brussels Sprouts: When cooked, these vegetables provide a source of ALA.

  14. Grass-fed Beef: Tends to have a better omega-3 to omega-6 ratio than conventionally raised beef.

  15. Anchovies: Small, oily fish that are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids

Foods High in Polyphenols

 Polyphenols are powerful antioxidants found in a variety of foods. Eating these can help soothe inflammation in your body.

Here's an alphabetical list of foods that are known to be rich in polyphenols:

  • Apples
  • Artichokes
  • Berries (Blueberries, Strawberries, Raspberries, Blackberries)
  • Black Beans
  • Black Tea
  • Cherries
  • Chocolate (Dark)
  • Cloves
  • Coffee
  • Cranberries
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Flaxseeds
  • Green Tea
  • Hazelnuts
  • Kale
  • Oregano
  • Pecans
  • Plums
  • Pomegranates
  • Red Cabbage
  • Red Grapes
  • Red Onion
  • Red Wine
  • Rosemary
  • Soybeans
  • Spinach
  • Star Anise
  • Turmeric

Drinks That May Help Rosacea

These drinks have anti-inflammatory soothing ingredients that may help decrease generalized inflammation in the body:

What can I take internally for rosacea?

There are anti-inflammatory probiotics to treat rosacea, but it is too early to know if they work and which probiotics are best.

Right now it is better to regulate your gut microbiome with a healthy diet rich in fruit and vegetables.

Stay away from rosacea triggers when possible:

Level up your skin care knowledge with medical advice from dermatologists

Best References and Scientific Publications on Treating Rosacea with Vitamins, Supplements and Diet

  1. Zeicher J., Mitchell K., Rosacea in Ch. 17 of Baumann's Cosmetic Dermatology Ed 3. (McGraw Hill 2022)
  2. Sun, M., Weisberg, E., Baumann L. Nutrition in Ch. 9 of Baumann's Cosmetic Dermatology Ed 3. (McGraw Hill 2022)
  3. Ekiz, Ö., Balta, I., Şen, B. B., Dikilitaş, M. C., Özuğuz, P., & Rifaioğlu, E. N. (2014). Vitamin D status in patients with rosacea. Cutaneous and ocular toxicology, 33(1), 60-62.
  4. Park, B. W., Ha, J. M., Cho, E. B., Jin, J. K., Park, E. J., Park, H. R., ... & Kim, K. J. (2018). A study on vitamin D and cathelicidin status in patients with rosacea: serum level and tissue expression. Annals of dermatology, 30(2), 136-142.
  5. Steinhoff, M., Schauber, J., & Leyden, J. J. (2013). New insights into rosacea pathophysiology: a review of recent findings. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 69(6), S15-S26.
  6. Akin Belli, A., Ozbas Gok, S., Akbaba, G., Etgu, F., & Dogan, G. (2016). The relationship between rosacea and insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome. European Journal of Dermatology, 26, 260-264.
  7. Searle, T., Al‐Niaimi, F., & Ali, F. R. (2020). Rosacea and the cardiovascular system. Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, 19(9), 2182-2187.
  8. Kucukunal, A., Altunay, I., Arici, J. E., & Cerman, A. A. (2016). Is the effect of smoking on rosacea still somewhat of a mystery?. Cutaneous and ocular toxicology, 35(2), 110-114.
  9. Breton, A. L., Truchetet, F., Véran, Y., Doumat-Batch, F., Baumann, C., Barbaud, A., ... & Bursztejn, A. C. (2011). Prevalence analysis of smoking in rosacea. Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, 25(9), 1112-1113.
  10. Alinia, H., Tuchayi, S. M., Patel, N. U., Patel, N., Awosika, O., Bahrami, N., ... & Feldman, S. R. (2018). Rosacea triggers: alcohol and smoking. Dermatologic Clinics, 36(2), 123-126.
  11. Tan, J., & Berg, M. (2013). Rosacea: current state of epidemiology. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 69(6), S27-S35.
  12. Dai, Y. X., Yeh, F. Y., Chou, Y. J., Chang, Y. T., Chen, T. J., Li, C. P., & Wu, C. Y. (2020). Cigarette smoking and risk of rosacea: a nationwide population‐based cohort study. Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, 34(11), 2593-2599.

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