After trying prescription antibiotics, Prosacea, tea tree oil, jojoba oil, sea buckthorn oil, apple cider vinegar, snail slime, IPL lasers, homeopathic remedies, Chinese herbs and redness creams, a reader finds a surprising solution for rosacea.
Q: The only thing that has ever helped my rosacea has been milk of magnesia. Over two decades, I have tried prescription Metrogel, prescription antibiotics, Prosacea, tea-tree oil, jojoba oil, sea-buckthorn oil, various “healing” muds, splashing my face with apple-cider vinegar (ouch!), snail slime, IPL lasers, homeopathic remedies, Chinese herbs and more “redness” creams and lotions than I can remember.
I’ve eaten yogurt and banished gluten, taken supplements, including magnesium, and used antihistamines. In the end, MoM was the only thing that worked for me on a lasting basis. The IPL laser treatments helped for about one week before the redness returned.
I applied the milk of magnesia at night about five minutes before going to bed (to give it a chance to dry) and rinsed it off first thing in the morning. There was a noticeable difference after the first night, and within five nights my skin was clearer than it had been in 20 years. I now do “maintenance” by using MoM about once a month.
Everyone’s body is different. MoM may not work for others, but given its low cost it could be worth a try.
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A: Rosacea (also called “acne rosacea”) is a skin condition associated with flushing, redness and bumps on the face. The cause is unclear, but some dermatologists suggest that it is an overreaction to Demodex mites that live on everyone’s skin. There also is evidence that Helicobacter pylori infections of the stomach can trigger rosacea (BMC Infectious Diseases, July 11, 2018). Treating the H. pylori seems to help as much as or more than the usual rosacea treatments.
We could find no clinical research on milk of magnesia used topically for rosacea. You are not the only reader who has found it helpful, however.
Some people use the dandruff shampoo Selsun Blue, containing selenium sulfide, to wash their face. They report noticeably less redness. Dietary restrictions that avoid personal rosacea triggers such as black pepper, yogurt, canola oil, citrus fruits or tomatoes might be helpful for some individuals.
Q: Our family has been adding cinnamon to our coffee for years. We put a mixture of cinnamon and cocoa powder (no sugar) into the coffee filter. Then, we put another filter on top of the cinnamon-cocoa filter in which we put the coffee. It gives the coffee a slight chocolate-cinnamon flavor. Are there any health benefits?
A: Cinnamon can help keep post-meal blood sugar from spiking (Lipids in Health and Disease, June 12, 2017). It also may help control cholesterol levels (Clinical Nutrition, online, March 11, 2018).
Some research indicates that cocoa also might have health benefits, reducing the risk of cardiovascular complications and diabetes (Clinical Nutrition, online, June 1, 2018). Coffee itself appears to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes (Diabetes Care, February 2014).
To learn more about a variety of ways to control blood sugar, including other natural approaches, you may wish to read our People’s Pharmacy “Guide to Managing Diabetes.” Anyone who would like a copy, please send $3 in check or money order with a long (No. 10), stamped, self-addressed envelope to: Graedons’ People’s Pharmacy, No. DM-11, P.O. Box 52027, Durham, NC 27717-2027. It also can be downloaded for $2 at www.peoplespharmacy.com.