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ImageI have Rosacea, My nose and cheeks are always flushed and very tender. I have been using a steroid cream but it works only temporarily. I would like to know if Chinese medicine can help?

Rosacea is actually a chronic acne condition known as Acne Rosacea affecting the forehead, nose, cheeks and sometimes the chin that occurs mainly in people with light skin tone of northwestern European descent. The cause of rosacea is unknown, though genetics are thought to play a role. Diet and life style are key contributors as well. Recent research suggests that parasitic mites, known as demodex mites (also thought to cause some severe cases of acne) are more abundant in people with rosacea. In severe, cases, untreated rosacea may be disfiguring to the face. Many well-documented triggers have been identified to cause the sudden flushing of the face including extreme whether and temperature exposure, excessive sunlight or sunburn, alcohol, caffeine, spic foods and even certain medications. Topical steroid use can also trigger an outbreak. Variety of palliative treatments are offered from western medicine including antibiotics, creams, and light therapy involving broad spectrum intense pulse light exposure.Flushing of the face in Chinese medicine has many etiologies and involves many internal organs. Of most interest is the invasion of heat in the lungs affecting the skin, too much alcohol flaring up pathogenic heat affecting the face or stomach heat from over consumption of heavy pungent foods. Emotions also manifest on the face. Excess stress, anxiety and anger can flare up the yang energy and cause rosacea. The heart is at the center of emotions and my approach always involves dealing with the emotional aspects of my patient’s condition. By soothing and nourishing the heart, clearing heat, removing the stagnation of blood and advising my patients on proper lifestyle and dietary habits to avoid triggers. Here are some of my recommendations to my patients with Rosacea.

Dietary Recommendations

Foods play a major role in triggering rosacea. Your diet should be on the bland site with a healthy mix of whole grains, green leafy vegetables, and fresh fruits. Identifying and avoiding triggers can dramatically reduce your symptoms. Incorporate more Chinese prunes, guava skins, pearl barley, water chestnuts, lotus seeds, lotus leaves, mulberries, lycium fruits, cucumber, beets, beet tops, dandelion greens, squash, mung beans. Omega fatty acids, obtained from cold-water fish can nourish the skin. Water is essential in cleansing the body drink at least 60 ounces per day. Eliminate processed foods, foods containing artificial additives, simple bleached sugars, flowers and soft drinks, spicy, hot, fried and oily foods. Proteins from animal meats should be avoided. Excessive sun exposure should be avoided. Alcohol, especially red wine and aged cheeses are notorious for triggering the condition.

Some Home Remedies

• Take rinds of one fresh cucumber and mash into paste. Apply with cotton ball to affected area leave for 30 minutes, and then wash with clean water. Repeat three times per day

• Make chamomile tea and use as soak with clean soft gauze. Changing the application every 15 minutes, twice per day.

• Take one tablespoon flax seed oil daily or use it in your salads as dressing.

Potentially Helpful Supplements

• Vitamin B complex, pancreatic and digestive enzymes have been shown to work.

• Topical application of vitamin A often used for Acne helps with inflammation

• Betaine hydrocloride helps with stomach acid production and may be helpful. It has been found that some people suffering from rosacea are not producing sufficient stomach acid.

Some Herbal Remedies

• Burdock, yellow dock, red clover and cleavers have been used to relieve symptoms.

• Sarsaparilla and Coleus forskohlii are also effective in skin conditions.

• Calendula, Apis Mellifica, and Sulfur are good homeopathic alternatives

• Herbal prescriptions for rosacea from Chinese medicine include herbs such as pagoda tree flower, gypsum, skullcap, coptis, capejasmine fruit, rehmannia, peaonie, cardemon.

Mind and body Exercise

Research has shown that stress and anxiety affecting the heart can trigger and worsen rosacea. It is important to reduce stress and anxiety. Tai Chi or Qi Gong, are great for reducing stress, calming the emotions and also provide a good physical benefit. A good Qi Gong meditation called the Nourish the Heart Qi Gong can help with calm anxiety and stress, promote healthy circulation, and relieve symptoms. Nourish the Heart Qi gong Beginning stance and preparatory breathing.

• In a quiet, aerated place, stand with feet shoulder width apart, knees slightly bent, spine erects, and head tilted slightly forward. (Imagining a string pulling the spine straight from the top of the head). Feet slightly turned inwards and toes slightly curled to create a small space between the ground and the sole of the feet.

• Weight should be distributed evenly on the soles of the feet. The thighs should be relaxed and slightly open. Shoulders should be relaxed; hands hang loosely on the side of the body.

• Curl your tongue curled up against the palate, like sucking on a candy.

• Relax and begin a rhythmic calm breathing that is smooth, deep and deliberate.

• With an inhale, focus your mind on guiding your Qi energy from the lower abdomen (Lower Dan Tien about 2 finger widths below the umbilicus) through the perineum, to the back and up the spinal column to the center of the upper back level with the shoulders. (Big Spine Bone) point at the end of the cervical vertebrae.

• With exhale bring the energy down the arms to the center of the palm (Labor House acupoint) of both hands.

• Note: Breath should be moving in a smooth, circular, rhythmic fashion.

• Repeat this breath three times.

Begin the Heart Qi Gong exercise

1. Inhale: From the side of your body, gently raise your arms up to the head with palms facing up, when you reach the head, turn the palms so they face the top of the head (Hundred Meeting Point)

2. Exhale: Exhale through the center of your palm (labor palace point) into the top of the head (hundred meeting point)

3. Inhale, and then exhale gently bringing the arms down, with palms facing down. At about head level, start exhaling out of the labor palace point visualizing bringing the energy down through the lower abdomen. End by turning the palms with palms facing towards the abdomen.

4. At this point, arms should be curved, relaxed at about waist level and. Hold this posture and conduct gently breathing and mediation.

5. Inhale: Bring the energy up from the perineum to the top of your upper back just below the cervical vertebra (big spine bone point)

6. Exhale: Exhale down the inside of the left arm, out to the labor palace point and into the lower abdomen.

7. Inhale: reverse the direction and Inhaling from the Labor palace point bring the energy up the left arm, to the center of the chest (between the breast point).

8. Exhale: Exhale and visualize the energy down and around the lower abdomen, starting down the right side and finishing up around the left side.

9. Inhale: Bring the energy up from the perineum to the top of your upper back just below the cervical vertebra (big spine bone point)

10. Exhale: Exhale down to the right arm, out to the labor palace point and into the lower abdomen

11. Inhale: reverse the direction and Inhaling from the Labor palace point bring the energy up the right arm, to the center of the chest (between the breast point).

12. Exhale: Exhale and visualize the energy down and around the lower abdomen, starting down the left side and finishing up around the right side.

13. Inhale: Inhale from the center of the left sole (left sole point) bringing the energy up the left leg, thigh and up to the hip.

14. Exhale: Exhale and visualize the energy around the abdomen, starting up the left side, to the top, down the right side and finishing up around the left side of the lower abdomen.

15. Inhale: Inhale from the center of the right sole (right sole point) bringing the energy up the right leg, thigh and up to the hip.

16. Exhale: Exhale and visualize the energy around the lower abdomen, starting from the right side, to the top, down the left side finishing up the right side of the lower abdomen.

17. Inhale: Inhale and visualize the energy from the top of the head (hundred meeting point) bringing the energy down to the center of the chest (between the breasts point).

18. Exhale: Exhale and visualize the energy around the lower abdomen, starting up the top, down the left side, and finishing up the right side of the lower abdomen 19. Begin to return the good energy or (QI) to the Body

20. Inhale: Bring hands to the side, then with palms facing towards the back, start to gather the energy around you (making a circle), bringing the arms in front of you, now palms facing towards the lower abdomen.

21. Exhale: Bring the energy back to the lower abdomen by visualizing the gathered energy entering the lower abdomen and swirling around the umbilicus

22. Close Inhale: Slowly raise palms and facing down, level with lower abdomen.

23. Exhale: Bring the energy back to the lower abdomen.

24. Repeat the exercise twice daily. The evening exercise should be conducted no later than 7pm.

IMPORTANT

• Avoid exposure to temperature changes, cold or hot water and detergent use.
• Exposure to sunlight UVA rays can trigger an outbreak.
• Avoid excessive use of cosmetics, creams, and abrasive skin cleansers.
• Alcohol, smoking and caffeine are irritants and generate heat to flare up.
• Stress, anxiety and emotional upsets are notorious for initiating and flare-ups

 

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