Lady in her 40's

Reducing Rosacea Stress

Rosacea Nutritional Advice

Lisa is a qualified Nutritional Therapist. She has been practising nutrition for 12 years across a broad spectrum of health conditions. She has a special interest in Rosacea, and her research, together with hands­on experience, led to the writing of her thesis entitled “The Nutritional Management of Rosacea”.

Continuing from last week on the subject of reducing rosacea stress. This week I want to share with you several simple ways to decrease your stress response, and so reduce the potential for Rosacea flushing.

No person on planet Earth can escape the stress of one kind or another. Not all stress is bad and in fact, some stress is necessary to healthy living. Only when the lifestyle is not well balanced between activity, stress, and relaxation does the system go awry.

There are various relaxation techniques that you may already be familiar with, and which I will not be covered at length. These include Yoga, Meditation, Deep Breathing and Tai Chi.

A number of clinical studies confirm that these practices have positive long-term effects such as reducing cortisol, strengthening and regulating the immune system and improving emotional well-being.

In many cases, the person under chronic stress will not take up these practices because they already feel exhausted!

For those with Rosacea, there is an additional hurdle in taking up such classes; increased body heat due to exercise can trigger a flushing episode. The social situation of attending classes can be very challenging for the Rosacea sufferer. It is very common for a person with Rosacea to withdraw from as many social situations as possible.

Whether you perceive your stress as coming from Rosacea, demanding deadlines, emotional upsets, competition in the workplace or redundancy, it is your mental responses to stresses that trigger the physical, hormonal response. Your personal thought-reaction to stress, therefore, contributes to current and future health potential.

The following are a few suggestions you can implement into your lifestyle. Monitor for yourself what happens with your Rosacea and your general well-being over the course of a few weeks.

Use the data below to experiment. Keep a diary of flushing episodes (their frequency, intensity, and duration) for a few weeks, while performing at least one, preferably more, of the following each day:

1. Stress/Thought reaction: When faced with a situation that makes you feel anxious, nervous and generally stressed out, ask yourself: how bad is this really? What is the worse that could happen?

Also, think up/imagine a problem of a similar seriousness (unrelated to the current stress) and compare the two.

2. Boost your antioxidant potential by Grounding to Mother Earth. This simply means walking barefoot on the ground. The skin is a great conductor of electricity, and when your skin is in contact with the Earth there is a transfer of electrons from the Earth into the body. These electrons are potent antioxidants that help considerably in reducing inflammation.

Surfaces that allow for this transfer of electrons include sand and grass (preferably wet), soil, ceramic tile, and even concrete (unpainted). You need to spend around an hour and a half with your bare feet in contact with one of these surfaces, so if you have ceramic tiles at home it can be fairly easy to implement. This natural healing activity may also explain why so many people experience stress relief, improved mood, less Rosacea and better sleep after a holiday at the beach or a barefoot day spent in the garden in Springtime.

3. Sleep and Using The Progressive Relaxation Technique. The importance of quality, restful sleep cannot be emphasised enough! One reason for this is that there are two basic nervous systems, the sympathetic nervous system that speeds things up, and the parasympathetic nervous system which slows things down. When we are under the parasympathetic nervous system (during deep relaxation and sleep) repair, maintenance and restoration occur.

When we are persistently under the sympathetic nervous system these actions do not occur sufficiently. The following technique helps promote deeper levels of relaxation/sleep and stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system to take over from the sympathetic.


Do this at night when in bed just before sleep.

• Lie flat on your back with your arms down by your sides.

• Tense your toes for a count of 10, feel the tension, then relax the toes and breathe deeply with your mouth closed and your tongue behind the front teeth near the roof of your mouth.

• Enjoy the feeling of release as you let out your breath.

• Tense the whole of both feet and hold for a count of 10, feeling the tension; then relax and breathe deeply.

• Enjoy the feeling of release as you let out your breath.

• Tense your calf muscles and hold for a count of 10, feel the tension, then relax and breathe deeply.

• Enjoy the feeling of release as you let out your breath.

• Continue tensing the muscles of your body, progressing upward from your calves.

• Remember to breathe deeply and to enjoy the feeling of release as you exhale.

• If you are not sleepy by the time you have tensed and released your facial muscles, begin again with your toes.

4. The Air You Breath: In many cases, there is an overload of environmental toxins in the air, especially for those who live or work close to a busy road. You want to ensure that your indoor air quality is good by using a high-quality HEPA air purifier to reduce environmental irritants.

This Week’s Quote:

“In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.” — John Muir