Rosacea can be treated successfully - here's how...


By Dr Des Fernandes, Linda Jackson and Dr Ernst Eiselen



Between 1 and 10% of people are affected by the uncomfortable skin condition called Rosacea. Most of those are women between 30 and 50 with paler skins.

We don’t know what causes Rosacea, but it does run in families. It’s a long-term condition without a real cure, but with treatment, the symptoms can be improved.

This is what Dr Ernst Eiselen says about it:

”Rosacea is a curse. It attacks the central face, which is the immediate contact point for most people. Medical science has no cure and in my opinion, only expensive second rate treatments. With the success rate Dr Des Fernandes has with an uncomplicated  treatment , the word should be spread.”


Dilated blood vessels
A red, enlarged nose

Rosacea is exacerbated by stress, heat, cold, spicy food, alcohol, exercise, menopause and the sun.

The ingredients that will help Rosacea are:

Vitamin A
Vitamin C
Moisture factors
Alpha Hydroxy Acids

Skin Needling may help too.

Dr Des Fernandes says:

“This very debilitating condition starts off with simple redness of the cheeks, chin and forehead but increases in severity with eruption of acne-like lesions and may end up with rhynophyma, and one wants to avoid that by early treatment. I have found the best success I know of by treating the skin with an oil of vitamin A, C and E in high doses and then combining that with TCA or Lactic acid based creams in low concentration that are applied to the area for only ten minutes and repeated weekly for a total of six weeks. Independent research on 30 women and men showed that 80% of cases were treated in four weeks and 100% by six weeks. Supplementary treatments may be required after a year or two.”

Rosacea is one of the many SKIN CONDITIONS we discuss and treat in SKIN ANALYSIS A PRACTICAL GUIDE


Linda Jackson is a Medical Skin Therapist who has worked with top doctors for over 30 years

She has had a slightly different experience of Rosacea treatment in her Skin Wellness clinic, in Auckland, New Zealand.

“I have quite a number of clients displaying varying symptoms of Rosacea so, establishing the extent of it (stages 1, mild – stage 4, severe) and, of course, it’s cause, is important  
We know there is no cure as this condition could well be due to an auto-immune deficiency, so it’s about a management plan:
2. Design the daily regimen
3. What treatments I can offer, and how often?

As each case is a little different - we are individuals after all - having some experience of what works for others is helpful. Some clients tell me that most cleansers they try burn their skin, some find toners sting and some even tell me that they can’t stand the feel of oil and/or moisturisers. Many, of course, hate sunscreens as they’ve had bad experiences in the past, so it is really important to listen and take this all into consideration before making suggestions.

Of course there are numerous factors that disrupt these skins, ranging from sun, to heated environments, to food and drinks. I take note of each clients’ personal triggers.


Then, of course, there are the gut issues.

The doctor I work with often suggests digestive enzymes and HCl to improve digestion, so this is a discussion I have. Then there’s the question of milk. I suggest clients with skin issues of most kinds shouldn’t have cow’s milk. I’ve had good results from removing milk from the diet. I also suggest that they begin eating later in the day to give the gut a longer ‘time out’ or fasting period. Most worry they’ll be hungry, but soon find this easy to adapt to. 

All products for this skin condition require intelligent ingredients to be truly anti-inflammatory and to mitigate the discomfort these clients suffer.

I suggest gentle cleansing agents that won’t strip the natural oils from the skin and, importantly, cleansing only once a day, at night. Toners also need to be gentle and contain anti-oxidants to settle this skin. I prefer gels to creams as these naturally cool the skin. These will contain anti-oxidants & suitable vitamins for the time of day.

Next I look for and suggest products that contain hyaluronic acid (the most anti-inflammatory one, as these are not all created equal!), a skin barrier repair mechanism that will boost skin immunity. This should be used twice daily and mixed into the gel/s.

Finally, (yes I keep it this simple to begin with) the sunscreen …
This is often selected by trial and error. I start with a low SPF (far less irritation with fewer chemical additives) and recommend re-application many times a day. I have even begun telling these clients (above stage 1) that they should consider themselves ‘allergic to the sun’ as it helps them to understand how terrible sun exposure is for them. 

Make-up is also helpful, if it can be tolerated, as this protects skin too.



The treatments I offer are anti-inflammatory so these range from:
Cool (v.v. light) lactic and mandelic acid ‘peels’
Anti-inflammatory masks that contain HA, zinc and B5
Vitamin skin infusions – ah the skin saviour! These can be done with wonderfully soothing serums and gels
Superficial dermal needling for mild to moderate conditions only

The frequency of treatments will depend on the selection or mix of treatments but I err on the side of caution, which means they probably only see me monthly.
Finally, I keep in touch with these clients fairly regularly as they need ongoing support when they have breakouts or intense facial flushing, which they do experience from time to time or when triggered.