by Anne Henderson
I first realized I had rosacea in the late fall of 2005. I diagnosed myself on the internet at a very helpful site called Rosacea.Org, which describes the various symptoms and different degrees of severity that may characterize the condition. In my case, there was the tendency to flush bright red over the nose and cheeks and rash-like red bumps on the cheek area. I went to my doctor, who wasn't immediately convinced that it was rosacea and tested me for various alternatives. He also prescribed metrogel, an antibiotic topical. Later, to deal with swelling on the sides of the nose, he prescribed a mild steroid cream.
The antibiotic gel did nothing for the red bumps. Even my doctor admitted the treatment was completely ineffective. In the meantime, I had found an essential-oil based cream made in New Zealand and was using it daily. It clearly was making at least some difference: although the red "rash" didn't go away, the bumps did. My skin was smooth again. In addition, the very first symptom I had noticed--dry, rough patches of skin--went away and didn't come back. But when I went to reorder the cream, the site didn't work and I thought perhaps they had gone out of business.
So I made my own with the essential oils they listed on the label and the assistance of a friend who is in the essential oil business. It was, of course, much more potent than the commercial preparation. It was also, not surprisingly, much less expensive.
This mixture has not cured my rosacea, but it certainly helps. I used the ingredients in equal portions, except for the two most costly oils, calendula and St John's Wort, which I used half as much of. These are the ingredients: lavender, peppermint, tea tree, eucalyptus, palma rosa [also known as geranium rose], calendula, and St John's Wort. We put these in a base of jojoba oil, which absorbs quickly into the skin and is not at all greasy. If you'd like this blend, please email Michael.