Just a Red Face – or Something More?

You've got a red face. Red blotches. Is it just a temporary thing? Or something More. Rosacea is a real health condition. Find out why I had a red face--and what I did to get rid of it.

Last night a new acquaintance said to me, “You have a beautiful complexion!” (and no, the above photo is not of me).

I almost couldn’t believe it, and then I told her what a testimony that was to my health improving.  I mentioned to her my previous struggles with acne and rosacea and thought, “I need to share with others what I’ve been through with my skin and my health.”

Your skin can be a reflection of what is going on inside of you.

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If you have acne, rosacea, eczema, or other things going on, something isn’t quite right inside.

Approximately 45 million people worldwide don’t know that they have rosacea, that it is treatable, and that it is a symptom of other deeper issues.

There are different thoughts in the alternative medical community about the causes of skin problems, but I’m going to share part of my skin story so that hopefully you can benefit from what I’ve learned.

In my childhood, I always had beautiful olive-toned skin.

The first signs that I had a problem showed up in my late 20s.  I remember wondering about faint flushing that I’d begun to experience and I asked an older woman in my church if she thought that I had rosacea.  She had mild rosacea, and she said that there was no way I did.

But the redness continued to come and go.  Slight, but still there.

Several years later, I asked my doctor what he thought, but he dismissed my concerns and told me to just be gentle with how I washed my skin – “Use tepid water and don’t scrub,” was his advice.

Fast forward again.

Another year or so later and I saw my dermatologist for another issue.  I timidly voiced my concerns, and he validated my suspicion.  “Mild rosacea – but it probably won’t get so bad that you’ll have a bulbous nose.”  Well, I was glad about the nose thing, but I didn’t want the red face either.

Years went by and I just avoided wearing pink and red.

It all was manageable until about 4 years ago when things got really bad.

My face was red.  Really red.  Nose, cheeks, chin. 

I felt this awful irritated tingling all the time.  I could feel it creeping up into my skin and it was basically petrifying.

I was crying, complaining to my husband, and scouring the internet for solutions.  I even got an intense case a few times when the rash got bright red and looked like the classic lupus butterfly rash.

Talk about stress.  Here’s what I found:

Typical Recommendations for Managing Rosacea:

  • Special face creams and washes
  • Dietary changes (e.g. avoid spicy foods, too hot or too cold drinks, and alcohol)
  • Avoid intense exercise
  • Avoid stress
  • Avoid extreme temperature changes
  • Green-tinted cover-up (can you say, “Wicked Witch”?)

Basically, I was supposed to change my whole life.  Meanwhile, rosacea was changing mine.

I didn’t want to go anywhere.

One night my husband kindly drove me across town to a woman’s house to try samples of her expensive skin care routine that was supposed to help rosacea.  More money to throw after a problem that wasn’t going away.  And how I was supposed to avoid stress when I felt like I my skin was inflamed all the time?

Well, finally I found some answers. 

What is Rosacea?

Rosacea is a chronic skin condition that can affect your whole life (believe me!)  It is characterized by (Source: Rosacea.org):

  • flare ups and remissions (comes and goes)
  • typically starts around age 30
  • redness on cheeks, nose, chin, and/or forehead (can be elsewhere)
  • typically gets worse over time, forming pimples and pustules and even the huge “bulbous” nose (e.g. W.C. Fields)

What Causes Rosacea?

There are a number of thoughts out there, but rosacea is thought to be linked to acid reflux.  And I’d been having heartburn.  So I talked with my physician and he prescribed Zantac.  Now, me being the “anti-pharmaceutical” person that I am (I’ve had enough damage done to me by antibiotics already, thank you), I put off taking them.  And did more research.

One thing on the internet caught my attention.

Acid reflux can be caused by too little acid in the stomach – not too much.

The remedy?  Betaine HCl (that stands for hydrochloric acid.  Stomach acid).

It sounded simple, but a bit scary. But after digging around on the internet more I thought it sounded pretty safe.

And the $17 bottle at the health food store for 200+ pills was a lot cheaper than the expensive skin care routine.

Next thing I knew I was driving to the health food store.

Two pills with my dinner and a good night’s sleep and …

My face looked a TON better in the morning.

I couldn’t believe it.

The rosacea wasn’t completely gone.  But it sure had been set back a lot.

I wasn’t afraid to go out in public anymore.  Though I didn’t want to wear red yet, at least I didn’t feel like I was going to crawl out of my skin.

Since then, I’ve continued to work on my health and my skin.

Please note:  Many of the links below are affiliate links.  If you make a purchase after clicking on them, I might make a commission.  Your support of my blog and the free resources here is MUCH appreciated.

I actually wore a scarf with pink in it a few weeks ago and was told by a friend how nice it looked :-).

Now, wearing pink or red is not my goal.  What I truly hope is that this information can help you or someone you love.  It may appear to be a merely a cosmetic issue, but looking and feeling inflamed all the time is not fun – and more importantly, it means something needs addressing inside.

Other related posts:

What is the Best Probiotic?
The “Straight Poop” About Probiotics

Finally, I am not a doctor. Even though I was Pre-Med at a quality university, I decided that I couldn’t likely juggle being a physician while being a mom.  In hindsight, I was probably right, but that doesn’t make me any less interested in all things medical.  Still, you must check with your own physician prior to changing your diet, exercise routine, or supplements.  Just makin’ sure we understand each other :).

If you struggle with rosacea, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

If you know someone struggling, please share this information with them!

{Photo Credit}

This post contains affiliate links.  Here is my disclaimer.



    Speak Your Mind


  1. You are right about that. Eating right not only helps you have a beautiful, glowing and healthy skin but also you feel happy and positive in every way of life.

  2. Interesting post! I’ve never heard of your digestion having anything to do with it. I take antibiotics daily for mine. If I miss a dose, I turn beet red, my skin not only feels like it’s got ground glass in it when I touch it, but it also feels like something crawling under my skin and 1 eyelid swells closed. Nice! As for foods, I’ve found that the typical no-no’s don’t bother me, but spinach & yogurt destroy my face. Temperature extremes are a real problem for me too. Can’t wait to try some HCI.

    • Jeannie, I would love to help you more w/ this if you would like. I would consider getting away from the antibiotics if possible. They will only hurt you in the long run. I am not a dr., but your skin “feelings” are just what I had. Let me know how you do w/ the HCl. Try the jojoba wash too. Best wishes.

      • I thought she (Jeannie) meant ‘pro-biotics’. Somehow, I even read it as probiotics. Had to re-read her comments again and oh dear, she did write ‘antibiotics’.

  3. Hi, what are your recommendations for acne? I am 46 and I have teenage acne, it’s so embarrassing! Thank you!

    • Sasha, acne is tough, but I might be so bold as to suggest the same things. In looking back on my life, I think that the acne was a sign of the things that were already plaguing me – poor digestions, the Standard American Diet, candida, adrenal fatigue, heavy metals, etc. So I would look at all of these things and take them step by step as you can handle them. Typically, from what I am learning, skin issues are closely tied to copper toxicity. I hope that helps and I hope to share more that may help in the future.

    • Hello again, Sasha. I just wanted to encourage you also. I had horrible acne in my late 20s. It was awful. My path towards better health has been a long one and I haven’t always done the right thing. But gradually, as you work on whole foods and less toxicity, I think you will get to a better place with your skin as well.

    • I am with you, Sasha! 30 this month, and still struggle with acne. I have always thought it was linked to my hormones. I hoped a whole food diet would help, but not seeing anything change on my face. What step should we take next?

      • Right now, I would say that the same recommendations would apply. I would start with sugar free and going with fewer grains and only whole grains. Work on digestibility and all the other things I mentioned. I have emailed my practitioner to see if she has other thoughts, but I am betting that acne is tied to high copper. Are you using filtered water (as in reverse osmosis)? I think that is pretty crucial too. I will get back to you after I hear back from Theresa Vernon on this. Hormones are tied to adrenal and thyroid. It all goes together.

      • Theresa just emailed me back about the acne. She says it is closely tied to too much copper, too little zinc and too much sugar. I highly recommend talking w Theresa about all of this. Reducing sugar on your own is easy. There’s a great book on copper toxicity: Why Am I Always So Tired?.

    • Hi Sasha. I just heard back from my practitioner about acne. She says it is closely tied to too much copper, too little zinc and too much sugar. I highly recommend talking w Theresa about all of this. Reducing sugar on your own is easy. There’s a great book on copper toxicity: Why Am I Always So Tired?. I so hope this helps.

      • Dear Adrienne,
        Thank you for the reply and for the info. I remember that about 10 years ago i did heavy metal hair test and it came back showing very high copper indeed. I was surprised, did not know how to interpret it. I will certainly order this book and read about it. Thank you very much! I love your site.

        • Hi Sasha. Just so you know, most tests are not like the one that I did. After checking that book I would look into Theresa’s information if you don’t get the relief that you want. Copper toxicity (and other metal issues) are very complex. I will hopefully go into more on my blog, but suffice it to say that a lot of things I will share will likely convince you and others about this being a huge issue. Take care and thanks for the sweet words.

  4. I am crying as I read this. I cannot wait to try these products, I have been unsuccessful in everything else. I am not handy with my computer, would it be possible for you to make this article printable so that I can refer to it often. I would like to make several copies to keep with me til I can conquer this thing. Thank you so much. If there is more to help please keep us informed: products, where to get them, more nutritional advice. 5 years ago I did a huge research and unfortunately did not find anything to help and I gave up. This gives renewed hope. Thanks again.

    • Oh, Cat. You are so welcome. I was in tears basically daily before I found this solution. Is it the Rosacea solutions that you would like to be printable? I will go and do that now. Just stay tuned. As I can handle it I will be sharing more of what is hopefully turning my health around,

  5. Thank you, Adrienne. Initially it is the rosacea I hate. But I can’t seem to find the underlying cause, so I guess it is all part of it that has to be explored, not just the skin. I am thankful it is just the cheeks that are affected. I have always been one to blush easily and am easily over heated, so I may have had it even longer than 5 years. It wasn’t even on the radar! But Ican’t wait to try to get rid of this thing. Thank you again.

  6. I am now thirty-one, but have had diagnosed rosacea (mild) since my early twenties – arrgh! Did I mention I still have problems with acne? I’m fair-skinned, I get hot or cold easily, I can be easily embarassed… so when I read that one of the ways to prevent the redness is to keep yourself from flushing, I was like – seriously? Also, don’t eat hot or cold foods. Ooookay.

    I’ve tried different creams, but right now I’m not doing anything proactive about it. My skin seemed to improve a bit with healthier eating habits, but I still have the redness around the nose/cheeks. I sometimes wonder if just cutting something out of my diet entirely would help, but I don’t feel like trying the whole process of elimination.

    I’ve never heard about indigestion contributing to rosaca, and I’ve never had a problem with acid reflux, so that just may be a matter of personal experience. Thanks for sharing!

    • Hi Karla,

      You are right – that it might be just applicable to some part of the population. However, I am finding that more and more people appear to be suffering from digestive issues and that the HCl (and enzymes and everything else that I wrote about) can be great helps for a lot of people. I know what you mean about all of the recommendations. They are ridiculous. Basically you are supposed to eat lukewarm and keep yourself lukewarm. Impossible :-).

      The elimination thing can be really hard. I may have to move forward with that due to other issues I am having, but I would really consider the jojoba wash that I recommended and think about fewer raw foods (just lightly steamed veggies) and trying the HCl. There are different thoughts on how to use HCl and I think the enzymes are preferable (I stopped using the HCl for quite awhile and had great skin – my practitioner wants me to start taking it again for awhile and I have read that as you age your HCl amount decreases). In any case, these are all easy, inexpensive things to try. My kind of experiment.

      Take care,

  7. I am glad that you have found a natural way to help clear your face, but I have found through great research that rosesa is caused by the body’s reaction to foods….most of the time it is gluten and refined sugar. I know of other people (personally) that had it and went all natural on the sugar and cut out gluten. You can’t tell they’ve ever had it, their face isn’t even pink anymore. I have tried it as well (although the gluten free has been challenging) and when I stick to the diet my face clears up. The pimples, pistules, redness and all! But I can always tell if gluten has accidentaly snuck in somewhere because the next morning my face itches and the rosesa come back. I would rather get rid of what is causing it than simply treat the symptoms :)

    • Hi Bethany. I actually think that what you and I are saying is quite similar. Rosacea is related to digestion and malabsorption. HCl, bitters, enzymes, improving digestibility of foods, eating fewer processed foods and sugars, and avoiding gluten, are all a part of improving digestibility. I personally think that if you added some other options to your regimen that you might be able to tolerate those “accidentals”. Of course, I might be wrong. I didn’t change my diet at all when the rosacea originally improved a great deal. It is possible that rosacea is different for different folks, but the digestion link is important and perhaps universal. Thanks :-).

  8. Great info..thx for passing it along…stopping by from the Fitness Friday hop!

  9. Thank you for this informative post. I was diagnosed with mild rosacea in my mid-twenties when I saw a dermatologist for severe acne, but never did anything about it (the acne eventually cleared up). I flush very easily and have what I call a very “ruddy” complexion that I just try and cover up with makeup. I looked up copper toxicity after reading some of the comments here and saw that it can cause not only rosacea but hair loss as well….and hair loss is what I am more concerned about than my face. I guess the scalp is just an extension of my facial skin and so if my skin is unhealthy, so is my scalp. I’m losing hair at an alarming rate; brewer’s yeast was also mentioned here as a good source of zinc and I once read at a hair loss site that brewer’s yeast is recommended as one way to combat hair loss. Malabsorption of nutrients is another. It all goes hand in hand, I guess.

    • You’re welcome, Betsy. There is so much that I want to share (and learn) about copper, etc., but suffice it to say that it is all connected. I am more and more convinced that allopathic (mainstream) medicine treats symptoms, but good alternative care goes after the root issues. The practitioner whom I am working with said, when your hair doesn’t grow, or your nail growth slows, or you lose reproductive function, it’s because those are unnecessary functions. The body is storing up energy that it doesn’t have for other, more important things. Of course, these things can come and go so this may be simplistic, but now my skin is in good shape and my hair is not falling out again and my nails look good. And reproductive issues are another story as well. Maybe too much info for some, but I will maybe have to post on a lot more of this. Take care of yourself.

  10. Hi Adrienne!
    I’m so happy for you that you managed to find some success with natural methods… although I haven’t suffered with rosacea, I had severe adult acne and I have managed to completely get rid of it quickly with lifestyle improvements. Getting rid of dairy and gluten are huge, as well as improving digestion!! Lack of HCL is a major hidden factor in acne as well as rosacea and people need to know this information…. it saddens me every day to know that people are dealing with terrible skin diseases with no where to turn… you’re so right saying “How can I not be stressed out when my whole face is inflamed!?”. Anyway… if anyone is interested, I have a whole blog dedicated to healing acne naturally with lifestyle improvements and it seems like there are many here who may benefit from checking it out.
    Much love xox

  11. Did you have large pores and inflmamation too? My pores are so large, I think you could probably drive a small car through them. And my cheeks around my nose on either side are always puffy and inflamed, that on top of the “mild” rosacea. I was told to take anti-biotics, but I am nursing, so I have not tried it yet, but I just hate how I look. My face is always so red and for some reason I am really puffy. Like everywhere, but especially in the face. I will look up the copper toxicity, because I am always horribly fatigued. More so than I probably should be. Thank you for the info!

    • Hi Kim. I have visible pores, but I wouldn’t say that they are large. Perhaps the ones on the sides of my nose are. I of course am not a physician, but I would take a look at the Betaine HCl and try one capsule. It shouldn’t be an issue w/ nursing since it is just stomach acid but you could check w/ a lactation consultant first if you would feel better. I am starting to think that copper toxicity is epidemic. The Gittleman book is fabulous. It’s a keeper too. Someone loaned me her book, but I am going to purchase one for myself.

  12. Thanks for sharing this! I have such sensitive skin, which only worsens in the winter. I would be delighted if you would link this post to Spa{ahhh} Sundaze (http://www.projectpossessed.com/spaahhh-sundaze-1113-healthy-eating-habits-questionnaire/).


  13. It is also possible that an elimination diet could reveal some sensitivities that exacerbate and/or create certain skin conditions. I know that cutting out gluten and dairy did amazing things for my skin. And cutting out refined sugar did even more. This is fascinating information. Thanks for sharing your experiences :)

    • Yes, of course it is possible. Gluten, dairy and sugar are for sure the three big culprits. And, in my opinion, refined white flours as well. Thanks for stopping by!

  14. I’ve been noticing more redness, so I want to try this. Thanks!

  15. I’m so glad you were able to heal yourself without all the drugs and toxic “treatments!” It’s so sad to me how many of these modern diseases can be treated with a healthy diet and natural supplementation, yet so few of the people suffering from them know about it. I’m pretty sure rosacea is a GAPS condition and could definitely be helped even more through that. Thanks for linking this to Sunday School, Adrienne!

    • Hi Emily! I have heard so much about GAPS but haven’t tried it yet, though I will say that we do a lot of the things on it. I agree – so much of our ailments are treatable naturally.

    • What does GAPS stand for? I have Rosacea & just bought Hcl (I hope it helps). I’ve been trying to find the root cause of the Rosacea. I’m hoping that I don’t have to go gluten free.

  16. I cannot tell you how much I related to your post – I have been told all of the same things with how to deal with it. Basically don’t eat what you want, don’t exert yourself, buy these expensive creams and use green make up. No thanks. I’m absolutely trying HCl. Going out tomorrow! Thank you thank you!

  17. Hmmm. I have had rosacea for years AND I have G.E.R.D. or a hiatal hernia, depending on which doctor you believe (that would be neither, by the way.) Anyway, it’s interesting to hear that there may be a connection between the two conditions. Thanks for the info, I will definitely try this!

  18. Thanks for linking your great post to FAT TUESDAY. This was very interesting! Hope to see you next week!

    Be sure to visit RealFoodForager.com on Sunday for Sunday Snippets – your post from Fat Tuesday may be featured there!


  19. I am 38 and was diagnosed at 15! Talk about a suck fest! I have learned a lot about this lovely disease over the years. Natural soaps made with tea tree oil work fabulously and feel good on a flushing face, Nutragena (sp) products (their gentle line) aren’t bad either. Clinique makes a yellow face powder that helps tone down the redness. I know a lot of you may cringe when you read this, but…a vegetarian diet helped me get off of 1000 mg of antibiotics a day! (Metrogel quit working for me years ago) I started using shampoo/conditioner/body wash with less fragrance. I started using fragrance free laundry detergent. I changed about a million things, and now there are days where I could actually wear blush!! (I’ve always wanted to, but NEVER needed it!)

    Sadly, red wine makes me redder than the wine itself. (I could really use a glass right now!)

    • Wow – you’ve done a lot of work, Candace. I am not cringing about the vegetarian diet, but interestingly, that might be showing how this is related to digestion since digesting meat can be more difficult. If you ever try the HCl I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts.

  20. As a child my eczema was very bad (I would scratch myself bloody). My dermatologist gave me steroid creams, never mentioned that dairy might be the problem. As a teenager I had awful acne. Dermatologist gave me antibiotics (kept me on them for 3 years…ugh). Well you can imagine the damage that was done to my stomach and intestines. I was in a health food store asking questions about all of my digestive troubles and the NTP helping me asked if she could palpate an area on my rib to see if I was having any HCl issues. Sure enough she touched that spot and I told her how painful it was. I left with a bottle of HCl and then read the book “Why Stomach Acid Is Good For You.” After a year my adult acne went away, the bumps on the backs of my arms disappeared, and my itchy dry skin became smooth. I quit having stomach problems. I did other things like up my EFA’s and took gluten and dairy out of my diet as well. However I think my low HCl was the main culprit. HCl is so important, and it seems that very few people even know about it. Thanks for sharing!

    • You’re welcome, Kathryn! Wow. What a story. My son was up every 1/2 hour as a baby due to his allergy to the dairy, eggs and peanuts that I was eating. He was literally covered w/ eczema and was even oozing on his face. Now he has life-threatening food allergies to those and other foods. Thanks for sharing. It’s amazing how much mainstream medicine (and even alternative) doesn’t know, isnt’ it?

  21. Thank you so much for this post! My mom always said I had a “nice rosy glow” throughout high school but now as a 28-year-old, I see it has gotten worse. Lots of warm red bumps over my cheeks, but fortunately it doesn’t irritate me beyond just looking bad. It gets really bad after running and hot showers, both of which I absolutely love! I’m a bit frustrated because first of all, my dermatologist wasn’t even sure if I had rosacea or lupus (it looks excatly like roasacea, looks nothing like lupus!) and second of all because I haven’t noticed any differences since changing my diet (I’ve become vegetarian since December with very limited amounts of dairy, but I still really enjoy desserts, I’m working on it!) I don’t eat spicy foods, nor do I drink alcohol, coffee, or any caffeine anyways. The HCl sounds interesting, I’m willing to give it a shot!

    • Hello Dawn – I so hope this works for you! If not, drop back and let me know – well, let me know either way:-)! I’ve been working on other things with my diet and things that maybe I could help with also. Did you see my jojoba face wash post? You might really like that as well. Take care.


  22. Hi Adrienne,

    Good to know you have found something that works.

    I have mild rosacea and so it isn’t the rash that’s irritating me as such, it’s the tip of my nose has got fat and bulbous! Do you think what you took would help get my nose shape back to normal? Or does it just work for the rash?

    • Hmmm…I have no idea. Has a dermatologist told you that it is permanent damage? I looked on the internet a little and I couldn’t find anything definitive. If you are having any digestive issues at all it would for sure be worth a try. I would also consider using good enzymes. I don’t have a shopping cart set up on my site yet, but it you look on my store page you can see the enzyme that I use. I love it. Funny thing is I didn’t realize how bad my digestion was for so long and now that it is working so much better (most of the time) I am hooked! The HCL just really works on helping you digest your food so your skin can do better. Hope that helps somewhat.

  23. Ive had a red and ruddy complexion since childhood and never thought anything of it (well, never thought it might have a cause, ive often been asked if im sunburnt even if ive not been out in the sun).
    I also suffer ezcema and psoriasis off and on (mostly on when I am under alot of stress, I dont know if its the stress or if I eat badly in these periods I’ll have to take better notice of that).
    It was a really interesting read and really got me thinking – Thanks

  24. Thanks so much, Adrienne, I am definitely interested in trying the jojoba face wash! I forgot to mention that I am pregnant (baby is due in less than 2 weeks!) and I plan on breastfeeding for at least a year. Do you know if the HCL will be safe for me to take while pregnant/lactating? Do you recommend taking it with every meal? Most days I don’t really eat “meals” per se, I kind of “graze” throughout the day :) Would I have to take the HCL every single time I eat anything? Oh, and the HCL pills are about $8-$10 on Amazon.com for 200-250 pills!

    • Hi Dawn. The HCL is just stomach acid. I’m not a physician but I can’t see any reason why it wouldn’t be safe. I took it while lactating. I wouldn’t take it every time you eat. Just for bigger meals / with protein maybe. Maybe 3 per day. Also a good digestive enzyme might help as well. Check out the brand on my store page. I really like it. And if you haven’t checked out Vitacost, they have the brand that I use, Country Life, for $8.60 for 250 tablets and you can get $10 off your first order. They have free shipping at $25 now until 5/1. Here’s my post to get your $10 off: Vitacost post. Feel free to ask any other questions!

  25. I did some more reading and was trying to find something that didn’t have to be ingested. I read about how many rosacea sufferers have a high count of demodex mites(um, ew!) and many people have had success with 100% tea tree oil applied to the face. I have been applying tea tree oil to my face once or twice a day for almost 2 weeks and can already tell a difference! It’s not completely gone but looks more controlled, no bumps, skin looks smoother and more pinkish than bright red. It does have a slight drying effect though.

  26. if certain foods/substances aggravate rosacea, doesn’t it make sense that an imbalance of digestion could add to it? it’s interesting how so many women experience rosacea these days and our eating supplies and eating habits are so whacked out. it could be worth a try for a few supplements. re the tea tree oil. in my experience with rosacea, less is more. meaning, the less i fuss with my skin and the less threatening (to the skin) the product, the less reaction I have. so using oil neat on the face is a very non-threatening (to the skin) way of applying skin care whether or not mites have anything to do with it (have heard that also). that’s why the oil washes have such good reviews by people…it’s just simple and they slide on, you can apply with your fingertips, no friction needed, no harshness.

  27. Eliminating sugar and wheat from your diet will almost always clear up acne. And it seems I’ve read that Rosacea is the result of a bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine — H. Pylori seems to be one of the usual suspects

  28. What are your thoughts on raw milk? Or raw goat milk and cheeses? My problems got worse over the last few years. I got rid of sugar and most wheat unless it’s been fermented, I make my own sourdough, but it isn’t much this last year, but no changes. I noticed a real outbreak when visiting my sis in fla and it was warm in the house and I got a cold and use nose spreaders for nasal congestion(I always loved them). I don’t use them anymore(can’t)and had to stop all the face washes and creams I have used in the past. I will try the hcl and have jojoba oil(which I love) to help with the dryness but around the face not directly on the nose though. I will try the wash too, and hope this helps, but your thoughts please on this. Thanks.

    • I think it’s great for lactose intolerant folks, but are you eating it? I think dairy is a highly allergenic food so it could be a culprit. There are also folks who have reactions to fermented foods. I can’t have too many right now.

  29. Hmm, I wasn’t aware of that. I do intact fermented foods and drinks, kombucha, raw kefir, sauerkraut, sourdough, yogurt and cheese. What about raw acv? I wonder if that could be making my breakouts worse. I have always drank milk, and love it and don’t want to give that up, it helps fill me up, but I could stop the others and see if that helps. Thanks.

  30. Adrienne, I’m curious if you’re still following the same routine. Has this continued to work for you?

  31. Test comment

  32. I have scanned your treatment suggestions and admit that I have not read all the comments but I did not see anyone talking about a CULPRIT that contributes to rosacea. TYPICAL MOUTHWASH AND TOOTHPASTE! Once my friend figured this out and eliminated it, switching to natural toothpaste and mouthwash without all the chemicals, it totally cleared her rosacea and breakouts on her chin.

  33. Amanda Hayes says:

    I am so happy to have found this! I am 27 and have suffered from heartburn requiring prescription medication since I was 23. I was told it’s normal for people my age. Really? I don’t know anyone my age in otherwise good health who has constant heartburn? I am going to give the HCl a try, maybe that’s my problem!

    Thank you!

  34. Thanks, for your post! Last night my husband and I were discussing some of the changes I noticed since recently going dairy free (I have been gluten free for several years.). I thought it sounded crazy, but I noticed my face was less splotchy. Now I feel validated. ????

  35. Very interesting!

    I’ve been having gut/silent reflux/bloating issues for a few years now after an episode of food poisoning or gastritis, don’t know which since the ER didn’t do tests.
    I eat a real foods diet with fermented foods.
    I’ve always had a ruddy complexion, but these last few years the pimply like and increasing redness was becoming obvious.
    Although I have not been diagnosed with rosacea by a professional there is no doubt that I have it.
    In my research to try to heal my gut, I have tried HCl with some degree of success. In further research I began finding a trail of H-Pylori also being a link to rosacea.
    I put myself on Mastic Gum, vita C, broccoli sprouts, VSL#3, monolaurin, and garlic.
    The redness is not even noticeable at times. It really is SO much better.
    I really think the H-Pylori may be part of the issue.

    • I haven’t heard of many of those things, so I can’t speak to them, but I am glad you are better. :)

      • Thanks.

        Mastic gum is a tree resin from the Mediterranean. There are studies that it does kill H-pylori bacteria, which lives in the mucosal lining of the gut which can cause acid reflux and most ulcers. Broccoli sprouts are found to kill it as well.
        The other supplements are boosters for the immune system and anti -viral support.
        VSL#3 is a probiotic, 112billion.

        I only mention this in case HCl and diet is not the full answer for some.

    • Hello Libby,

      Could you add a link to more info on that protocol, please? I found information but doesn’t get very specific.


  36. Ok, I got some Betaine HCl, 650, and it made me quite sick; called the natural food store and they said it was because I already had enough stomach acid, which makes sence, but I wasn’t sure. I do try to eat/drink some things that are good for your stomach; my own homemade yogurt and kefir, I also drink almost daily fresh squezed lemon & orange juice and eat fruit every day. So, low stomach acid is not my Rosesa cause, and my Rosesa is quite bad right now, and has been for awhile, has spread over most of my face, down the sides of my neck and on my upper chest, it’s like a really bad rash. I’ve been using the jojoba oil for a while now…don’t know what else to do.

    • What do you mean by sick? I wish I had other ideas, but I am convinced personally it is often digestion related, though I have heard of folks talking about antibiotics on the face. I can’t medically advise, but have you maybe tried something probiotic on there? Or could you maybe have a food allergy? I am so sorry,

      • I was sick to my stomach, and the runs. The health food store told me to eat some yogurt and it would subside and it did. Maybe it is related to food allergies, not sure. I haven’t used antibiotics in probably more than 5 years at least, I try to heal myself naturally when I’m sick, etc. Can I put something probiotic directly on my face?? (Is that what you were saying?) I make my own yogurt and kefir; I’ve heard of putting yogurt directly on your nether regions if you have a yeast infection, which i’ve never had so i can’t say personally. I’m to the point that I may actually go to a dermatologist to see what they offer. I have to use a lot of make-up to cover.

        • I have never heard of the runs related to too much acid but I can ask someone who would know. I was saying to put it on your face. If the info is right that it is bacteria then I would think that would help. Again, not medical advice. Again, you could try the HCl again, at 1/2 the dose. If you subscribe to my blog you will see the Heal Your Gut course offered from time to time. It is great and I think it would be great for you. Alternatively, I use Miessence skin care which I would think might help. Their soothing line would be an option. They are pricey but they have decent discounts including 2x the rewards points this month. Let me know if I can help further. http://www.miessence.com/wholenewmom/en/category/1/skincare

    • Here is the response I got from the teacher of the Heal Your Gut course regarding your HCl reaction:

      I wouldn’t say it’s a sign of too much acid – but could be a die off type of reaction. I might back the dose down and try again and see how it goes. Some people have a lot of die off when first starting out.

  37. I deal with rosacea and stress related skin eruptions. It sounds crazy, but I recently read that Brazil nuts have something in them that is a super healer for skin (ref: Web MD )and I was in the midst of a stress breakout. I keep them them on hand (organic from Azure Standard cooperative, available in most parts of the USA) and hadn’t eaten any for a while. I got some, ate them, and the next morning the eruptions were scabbed over and the redness reduced. By the third day my face was cleared up!

    • I am guessing it’s the selenium which is apparently really good for thyroid health. Interesting. Might inquire about that. I have been taking 200 mcg of selenium b/c it’s hard to know how much you are getting from the nuts. Love ’em though!

  38. Adrienne – I am interested in the miessence skin products. I don’t have acid reflux/heartburn at all. I do have Stage 3 Adrenal Fatigue and possibly candida but have been on a gluten free, very low sugar (NO refined sugars but some honey/maple syrup or a little coconut palm sugar) and my face is not any better. Are there still discounts available and what would the final price be for the soothing skin essentials pack?

    • Hi Tina. Hmmm…I am sorry you aren’t doing better. I would personally do an acid test to see if you might need the HCl. Some folks don’t know they need it–but that isn’t medical advice, just observations from what I have read and heard, like from Lydia who teaches the Heal Your Gut course I’ve talked about. Otherwise, you can still get discounts–from 20-40% and they have extra bonus points for ordering. I will shoot you an email.

  39. Someone shared this with me on Facebook and all I can say is WOW! I’ve had severe acid reflux for years, so severe that I now have Barrett’s Esophagus which is Pre Cancer of the esophagus. I have the typical butterfly pattern of redness. My doctor has me on proton inhibitors for the acid reflux which sounds like is not what I need. I’m going to give the Betaine HCI a try. Thanks so much.

  40. Deirdre O'Malley says:

    I have the bumpy, pimples type of Rosacea. I’m 66 years old and it seemed to manifest after a serious horse riding accident 6 years ago. Maybe it was the trauma? Perhaps the medications I was given. I’ll never know. I do tend to have adrenal fatigue so there’s a connection.
    I’m writing to that tell you this ; I’ve been to countless dermatologists, used their prescription drugs, all to no avail. They worked a bit, or for a while and if I missed a day, it was all back. I found a company called BeautiControl. I tried their Sensitive Skin care line using the face wash, moisturizer and their Calming Fluid for flare ups (usually from being in the sun too long). I have found that buy using these products in the morning and before bed, my Rosacea is almost non existent. Best thing is if I skip a session or even a day or two it doesn’t flare up again like when I was using the prescriptions. The stuff is not too expensive and lats quite a long time (months).
    I want to share this with other sufferers.
    Full disclosure :I did work for BeautiControl after my accident. I’m a massage therapist. I broke my back in that accident and couldn’t do massage anyone, but seriously missed that spa environmental I found this company and did home spa parties. I still ‘belong’ to that company, but purely for the small discount I get when purchasing my skin products. Happily, I’m back to doing massage again.
    I’m intrigued by your information about actually getting rid of this nasty condition and will now continue reading what you have to say about it in your blog. Thank you for doing the research!

    • Glad to hear something is working for you! I wonder if the stress might have upset your gut and caused the condition. I am using a line by Miessence that is likely more expensive but I am happy with it. Not sure about BeautiControl’s ingredients. I haven’t looked at them in a long time. Welcome!!!

  41. Thanks for sharing your experience with rosacea, reflux, and stomachs acid. That may explain why tomato gravy does not aggrivate my reflux. In fact, I crave acidic foods. I need to do more research myself now.

    Have you found any connection between reflux and tongue tie? My children have both been diagnosed with tongue tie and I suspect I also have a degree of it. If you are interested in starting some research google Holly Puckering and read the PDF file. Wow.

    Thanks for the time you put into your work.

  42. Adrienne, do you still take this? I’m just learning about it and hope it could help my acid reflux. Thanks! <3

  43. I just found your blog today and came across this post. I don’t have rosacea, but I am really having a lot of heartburn. I read about HCL with pepsin and tried it last week (250 mg…wanted to start slowly a) with my evening meal. I never experienced any warmth, but woke up in the middle of the night with a terrible acid taste in my mouth and a super uncomfortable, gurgly stomach. I’m guessing I have enough acid??? Can you describe the warmth you are supposed to feel?

    • Oooh…I guess you might. I can’t medically advise, but I would guess so. Perhaps trying during the day is better b/c you can be awake to evaluate how you feel. I was told that it’s best to start supplements in the morning for that reason. Hope that helps :). My “warmth” ended up being more of a tummy ache….

  44. I also found a product that helps shade the redness, it’s Physicians Formula face powder. There’s a shade with green and pink and white, it’s a great cover up for emergencies till you can get your skin straightened out. I work in a restaurant and it’s stressful and you run around constantly, my face gets red and heated. I go to the ladies bathroom and dust some on my cheeks when I feel them tingling, it hides the redness without making my face look washed out (pink shade) and doesn’t look green or white.. the three shades work together to give you a natural blush cover up.

    • Hi there. I think I tried some samples of that – it didn’t work great for me, but glad it’s working for you. Have you tried the HCl?

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