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The best rosacea home remedies according to dermatology providers

From lifestyle changes to diet, these factors can help you to limit flare-ups.

Curology Team Avatar
by Curology Team
Updated on Dec 23, 2023 • 11 min read
Medically reviewed by Meredith Hartle, DO
Woman with Mild Rosacea
Curology Team Avatar
by Curology Team
Updated on Dec 23, 2023 • 11 min read
Medically reviewed by Meredith Hartle, DO
We’re here to share what we know — but don’t take it as medical advice. Talk to your medical provider if you have questions.

In this article

What is rosacea? 
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Summary

  • Rosacea is a chronic, inflammatory skin condition that can look like flushed skin.

  • Rosacea doesn’t have a permanent cure, and symptoms can vary by person.

  • Home treatments that may be able to help with rosacea include skincare products with oatmeal, aloe vera, green tea, and tea tree oil.

  • Avoiding dietary triggers, like alcohol and spicy foods, may help your rosacea.

  • Certain lifestyle choices, such as following a beneficial skincare routine and exercising regularly, may help improve the symptoms of rosacea.

If you’ve been experiencing recurrent flushing on your face, you may be dealing with rosacea. This common skin condition affects an estimated 14 million people, and the American Academy of Dermatology Association (AAD) also notes that it usually develops in adults between the ages of 30 and 50.¹ Multiple factors may contribute to your rosacea, including genetics, your immune system, and certain types of bacteria.

Identifying what is triggering your rosacea can be an important part of treating it. Even if you haven’t yet made time to meet with a licensed dermatology provider, there may be steps you can take at home to help your skin. Seeking professional help is a key part of treating your rosacea, but here we’ll discuss home remedies you may want to consider trying in the meantime.

What is rosacea? 

Rosacea is a chronic inflammatory skin condition that primarily affects the face and sometimes even the eyes.² It’s characterized by recurring “flushing,” with some subtypes causing acne-like lesions or eye problems. In fact, there are four subtypes in total, including vascular, inflammatory, phymatous, and ocular rosacea

Overall, the symptoms of rosacea are highly individual, as the severity of redness, pustules, and papules can vary.⁴ Rosacea symptoms also most commonly occur along your cheeks and nose, as well as the forehead and chin. Rosacea doesn’t have a cure, but a personalized treatment plan from a licensed dermatology provider may help reduce the appearance of rosacea symptoms and help prevent flare-ups. 

Home treatments for rosacea

In addition to customized treatments from a licensed dermatology provider, there are home treatments that may potentially help with rosacea. Skincare products with oatmealaloe veragreen tea, and tea tree oil are among some of the most potentially helpful ones. Here’s what current research says about these treatments, and how you might be able to use them as a part of a rosacea treatment plan. 

Oatmeal for rosacea

Colloidal oatmeal, a type of finely ground oats found in many over-the-counter skincare products, has been found to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.⁵ You may have heard about the potential benefits of colloidal oatmeal in other skin conditions, such as atopic dermatitis (eczema)—which has been shown to improve itchiness, dryness, and the quality of life for those people suffering from this condition.⁶ And it’s typically well-tolerated for people of all ages, from babies to adults. However, research also suggests that colloidal oatmeal may be beneficial for rosacea, too.

According to a 2022 study using a facial skincare product containing protein-free sap taken from oat plantlets and mandarin extract, the combination was shown to decrease the signs and symptoms of rosacea and also reduced transepidermal water loss in the skin after just four weeks.⁷ Patients in the study also reported good tolerance to the product.

You can use oatmeal-based skincare products or you can consider applying oatmeal with water directly to your skin as a face mask to potentially achieve these same benefits. 

Aloe vera for rosacea

Topical applications of aloe vera have been historically used for treating many conditions including skin burns.⁸ Such benefits may also translate to the relief of symptoms associated with rosacea flare-ups, such as inflammation. A 2015 clinical review briefly stated that aloe vera may hydrate and alleviate inflammation caused by rosacea.⁹ Furthermore, a more recent review from 2023 found that aloe vera could also help improve the skin barrier and improve redness.¹⁰ 

Still, you may want to keep in mind that aloe vera, like other home remedies, isn’t regarded as a cure-all for rosacea. More research is needed to determine the effects of aloe vera on rosacea.

Green tea for rosacea

Drinking hot tea can be a rosacea trigger.¹¹ However, green tea itself has anti-inflammatory effects, and researchers are trying to determine if it could possibly benefit people who suffer from rosacea. One 2019 review determined that the addition of green tea in various types of cosmetics could benefit the skin by decreasing inflammation.¹²

Instead of drinking hot tea, though, you might be able to gain similar benefits from the beverage in other formulations. According to a previous 2013 study, researchers found that a topical formulation containing green tea polyphenols, resveratrol, and caffeine was found to reduce facial redness by 6 weeks of continuous treatment.¹³ You may be able to mimic these effects by choosing cosmetics that contain green tea, or even by applying brewed and cooled green tea bags to your skin.

Tea tree oil for rosacea

Another possible home remedy for rosacea is tea tree oil. A 2020 clinical trial found that a topical gel containing tea tree oil along with anti-mite medication permethrin 2.5% decreased inflammation in rosacea patients.¹⁴ The combination also reduced Demodex mites that might contribute to rosacea. Separately, another 2022 in vitro study found that a 25% concentration of tea tree oil had a similar efficacy rate as permethrin 5% in killing Demodex mites.¹⁵

These effects may be attributed to the antimicrobial effects of tea tree oil.¹⁶ Historically, the oil has been used as a remedy for fungal infections, acne, and lice. For rosacea, you may be able to use products containing tea tree oil, but never use undiluted tea tree essential oil on your skin. 

Diet and rosacea 

Aside from specific home remedies you can apply externally to your skin, it’s also worth thinking about what items could affect your skin from the inside out. A lot of this has to do with the dietary choices you make. 

While it’s not clear how diet and rosacea may be linked, researchers have identified some of the most common dietary triggers of this skin condition, including:¹⁷

  • Alcohol

  • Hot beverages

  • Marinated meats

  • Spicy foods

  • Fatty foods

While such foods and beverages might be acceptable in moderation for the average person, these can increase inflammation.¹⁸ Since rosacea is an inflammatory skin condition, it would make sense that consuming too many of these items could exacerbate your symptoms. If you have ever noticed immediate facial flushing after drinking alcohol or consuming spicy foods, it’s likely that the food in question could be aggravating your rosacea. As symptoms are different for everyone, so are the dietary triggers for rosacea. It can be helpful to keep a food diary to help keep track of when your symptoms flare up. 

Furthermore, according to the AAD, having rosacea may increase your risk of developing other diseases.¹⁹ These include chronic conditions such as diabetes and heart disease. To combat this, the AAD recommends a healthy diet focusing on fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, legumes, and whole grains.²⁰ 

Lifestyle and rosacea

While there’s no evidence that rosacea can be cured with any particular diet or home remedies, the lifestyle choices you make can help you manage this condition. In particular, you may consider focusing on the following:

Stress management: Stress is a common trigger for rosacea, which can be worsened with other triggers such as alcohol and caffeine. According to one survey of individuals with rosacea, three out of four people found that they were able to reduce their symptoms with stress management techniques.²¹ Meditation, a healthy sleep routine, and regular exercise are some of the steps you can take to help manage stress.

Follow a healthy skincare routine: When a rosacea flare-up occurs, it may be tempting to skip out on washing your face or trying out multiple products to get your symptoms under control. However, this can make your symptoms worse. Instead, work with a skincare expert to determine the right skincare products for you. 

Exercise regularly: Since exercise can raise your body temperature and cause your rosacea symptoms to flare up, it may be tempting to skip out on your regular workouts.²² Yet not exercising can also make rosacea worse, and also increase your risk of related conditions, such as heart disease and depression. The best approach is to establish an exercise routine but also take steps to decrease post-exercise redness.²³ Drinking cool water, exercising indoors when it’s warm outside, and using cool compresses post-workout are all strategies that can help. 

Stay at a healthy body weight: The ideal body weight is highly individual, and you should discuss this with a primary doctor. If they recommend that you lose weight, know that this can help you manage rosacea symptoms while also decreasing the risk of common comorbidities such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease.²⁴ 

Speak to a skincare expert about your rosacea 

Rosacea is a chronic inflammatory skin condition that currently has no cure. The goal of treating rosacea is to help control flare-ups and worsening symptoms, usually with medical treatments provided by a licensed dermatology provider. However, certain home remedies, such as tea tree oil, topical green tea, oatmeal, and aloe vera can help soothe rosacea while complementing a rosacea-friendly diet and lifestyle. 

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Before you try any new product or home remedy, it’s best to have a professional provide advice regarding your skin. A licensed skincare expert can also determine which type of rosacea you have so that you get the most out of your products and home remedies. 

Consider a custom formula* from one of Curology’s licensed dermatology providers. All you need to do is take a few photos of your skin concerns and answer a handful of questions, and our team will provide you with skincare solutions that are personalized to your needs.

FAQs

How do I get rid of my rosacea naturally?

There’s currently no known cure for rosacea, and no natural remedy is known to get rid of this chronic skin condition. However, there are natural methods that can help you manage your symptoms. These include eating a healthy diet, adopting healthy lifestyle habits, and possibly using remedies such as oatmeal or aloe vera.

What clears rosacea fast?

Learning the triggers of your condition can help reduce the symptoms of rosacea flare-ups, such as redness. Common triggers you can try to avoid include stress, alcohol consumption, hot beverages, and spicy foods.

How can I calm my rosacea flare up at home?

Try using skincare products with oatmeal, aloe vera, green tea, and tea tree oil.

How do you clean your gut for rosacea?

Avoid alcohol, hot beverages, marinated meals, spicy foods, and fatty foods. Instead, focus on consuming fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, legumes, and whole grains.²⁵

• • •

P.S. We did the research so you don’t have to:

  1. American Academy of Dermatology Association. ROSACEA: WHO GETS AND CAUSES. (n.d.).

  2. Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care. Rosacea: Overview. InformedHealth.org. (2020, September 10).

  3. Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care. Rosacea: Overview. InformedHealth.org. Ibid.

  4. Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care. Rosacea: Overview. InformedHealth.org. Ibid.

  5. Kurtz, E.S. and Wallo, W. Colloidal oatmeal: history, chemistry and clinical properties. J Drugs Dermatol. (February 2007).

  6. Fowler, J.F., et al. Colloidal oatmeal formulations as adjunct treatments in atopic dermatitis. J Drugs Dermatol. (July 2012).

  7. Fabbrocini, G., et al. A cream containing the sap of oat plantlets and mandarin extract soothes the symptoms of rosacea and improves the quality of life of patients. Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology & Venereology. (2022, July 7).

  8. Feily, A. and Namazi, M.R. Aloe vera in dermatology: a brief review. G Ital Dermatol Venereol. (February 2009).

  9. Weinkle, A.P., et al. Update on the management of rosacea. Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol. (2015, April 7).

  10. Sobkowska, D., et al. The Role of Cosmetology in an Effective Treatment of Rosacea: A Narrative Review. Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol. (2023, June 5).

  11. Wang, B., et al. Relationship Between Tea Drinking Behaviour and Rosacea: A Clinical Case-control Study. Acta Derm Venereol. (2021, June 30).

  12. Koch, W., et al. Applications of Tea (Camellia sinensis) and Its Active Constituents in Cosmetics. Molecules. (2019, November 24). 

  13. Ferzli, G. et al. Reduction of Facial Redness With Resveratrol Added to Topical Product Containing Green Tea Polyphenols and Caffeine. J Drugs Dermatol. (July 2013).

  14. Ebneyamin, E., et al. The efficacy and safety of permethrin 2.5% with tea tree oil gel on rosacea treatment: A double-blind, controlled clinical trial. J Cosmet Dermatol. (June 2020).

  15. Yurekli, A. and Botsali, A. The comparative in vitro killing activity of tea tree oil versus permethrin on Demodex folliculorum of rosacea patients. J Cosmet Dermatol. (May 2022).

  16. Kairey, L., et al. Efficacy and safety of Melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree) oil for human health–A systemic review of randomized controlled trials. Front Pharmacol. (2023, March 24).

  17. Searle, T., et al. Rosacea and Diet: What is New in 2021?. J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. (December 2021).

  18. Searle, T., et al. Rosacea and Diet: What is New in 2021?. J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. Ibid.

  19. American Academy of Dermatology Association. LIVING WITH ROSACEA? HOW TO REDUCE YOUR RISK OF OTHER CONDITIONS. (n.d.).

  20. American Academy of Dermatology Association. LIVING WITH ROSACEA? HOW TO REDUCE YOUR RISK OF OTHER CONDITIONS. Ibid.

  21. American Academy of Dermatology Association. LIVING WITH ROSACEA? HOW TO REDUCE YOUR RISK OF OTHER CONDITIONS. Ibid.

  22. American Academy of Dermatology Association. LIVING WITH ROSACEA? HOW TO REDUCE YOUR RISK OF OTHER CONDITIONS. Ibid.

  23. American Academy of Dermatology Association. LIVING WITH ROSACEA? HOW TO REDUCE YOUR RISK OF OTHER CONDITIONS. Ibid.

  24. American Academy of Dermatology Association. LIVING WITH ROSACEA? HOW TO REDUCE YOUR RISK OF OTHER CONDITIONS. Ibid.

  25. American Academy of Dermatology Association. LIVING WITH ROSACEA? HOW TO REDUCE YOUR RISK OF OTHER CONDITIONS. Ibid.

Meredith Hartle is a board-certified Family Medicine physician at Curology. She earned her medical degree at Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine in Kirksville, MO.

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Our medical review process:We’re here to tell you what we know. That’s why our information is evidence-based and fact-checked by medical experts. Still, everyone’s skin is unique—the best way to get advice is to talk to your healthcare provider.
Curology Team Avatar

Curology Team

Meredith Hartle, DO

Meredith Hartle, DO

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