Seabuckthorn and Rosacea Cause and Effect

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Introduction 3



Subtypes and specific symptoms


Causes and coexisting conditions




Suppressed immune system


Demodex mite


Migraine disease and (other) vascular disorders


Specific causes and irritants


Other issues


II – FAQ & A


What about Demodex mites?


What about the ‘Niacin flush’ that is caused by B3 and is believed to exacerbate Rosacea?


What about oil? Wouldn’t the ingestion or topical application make it worse?







Seabuckthorn is a promising new treatment for Rosacea, the only known treatment besides laser

surgery. Rosacea is a complex and mysterious syndrome that is as yet not well understood by

the medical community, although its results can be devastating to sufferers. The following five part

document is intended to be a guide to the causes of and treatments for Rosacea. Part I

outlines some of the specific qualities of Seabuckthorn that positively impact Rosacea. Part two

is a detailed outline of Rosacea itself, a description of the symptoms and supposed causes, Part

III is a FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) section, Part IV is a point form ‘Quick Facts’ sheet,

and Part V is an annotated outline of the SBT Rosacea treatment programme. Suggestions of

how Seabuckthorn can be used to treat specific symptoms and causes are in bold italics.

Related information is footnoted.


Seabuckthorn is such a complex and synergistic product that it can be a challenge to try to

explain what specifically about Seabuckthorn conquers a particular issue or disease. When

approaching the problem of Rosacea, it is helpful to focus on the following qualities of

Seabuckthorn (explained in detail later) that directly impact Rosacea: Anti-Inflammatory

(reducing swelling, flushing, irritation and cell damage); Auto-Immune Moderator (discouraging

over-zealous immune system responses that attack healthy tissue); Heart and Vascular Healer

(strengthening blood vessels, cell walls and circulation); Anti-Microbial (making the skin and

body an unwelcome place for bacteria, microbes and parasites); and Skin Conditioner

(nourishing and retaining young, healthy cells while softening scar tissue and tough, fibrous or

abnormal ones).


  • Regulates hormones (soothes hormonally-induced Rosacea and limits Demodex mite

  • food), as well as normalizing sebaceous secretions, blood chemistry, endocrine balance

  • and other systems that can be affected by hormone imbalances

  • Is an anti-inflammatory, nerve and vascular conditioner, and an anti-irritant

  • Is an anti-microbial (bacteria, yeast, fungus, other microbes)

  • Protects the skin from sun and conditions the skin after (sun exposure is a known

  • Rosacea irritant)

  • Performs many of the same functions as prescribed steroids, but without the same side effects

  • Conditions the skin in many ways; it helps Rosacea by healing micro-tears in the skin,

  • Thinning out thick, coarse areas and constricting pores, as well as softening and healing 
    scars beyond what is possible with any other non-surgical treatment

  • Rosacea has been correlated with a depressed immune system, a condition that ingestion of 
    Seabuckthorn products is known to improve

  • Quercetin, an ingredient in Seabuckthorn berries, is an antihistamine, counteracting both

  • histamine-inducing foods, and the vascular expansion reaction of B3, an element in the

  • flavone capsules.

  • Seabuckthorn’s anti-aging properties may slow down cell death, resulting in less skin

  • thickening

  • Many skin care products can exacerbate Rosacea, either due to over-drying, chemical 
    reactions, allergies or sensitivities. Unlike many other skin care products, Seabuckthorn 
    soaps, creams and oils are simple and natural, decreasing the likelihood of negative reactions.



Rosacea is a skin condition estimated to affect 45 million people worldwide. Rosacea sufferers

tend to be female, between 30 and 50 at the onset of symptoms (although men, while less likely

to suffer from rosacea, tend to have the worst cases), and Caucasian. Rosacea primarily affects

the face, although it can also be present on the neck, ears, chest, and shoulders, and symptoms

include persistent or unusual flushing or redness, visible blood vessels, thickening or scaling of

skin, pimples, white heads, blackheads, enlarged pores, pustules and bumps, and in some cases

red, irritated eyes, scaly, flaky eyebrow skin and a bulbous, even misshapen nose.

Rosacea is sometimes mistaken for, or co-exists with, Acne Vulgaris1 or Seborrhoeic dermatitis,2

and while there are several pharmaceutical treatments including antibiotics and steroids, the only

known cures for Rosacea are laser surgery and Seabuckthorn.

Subtypes and specific symptoms

There are four sub-types of Rosacea; they can exist singly, may overlap in an individual sufferer,

or may progress from one type to another.

  1. Erythematotelangiectatic rosacea: Affected areas are permanently red and individual tends to flush
     and blush more easily. Small blood vessels may be visible, and individuals may experience a burning sensation.
    Seabuckthorn is a known analgesic and skin soother, as well as a vascular conditioner.

  2. Papulopustular rosacea: Affected areas may be permanently red, with red bumps and whiteheads. 
    This type is often confused with acne.

  3. Phymatous rosacea: Affected areas are thickened, red, even bulbous, with enlarged pores and 
    sometimes cystic acne or irregular surface nodularities. Small blood vessels may be visible. 
    This type occurs more often in men and is (often mistakenly) associated with excessive drinking 
    (Bill Clinton, Boris Yeltsin and W.C. Fields are sufferers).

  4. Ocular rosacea: Red, dry and irritated eyes and eyelids. Other symptoms include foreign body 
    sensations, itching and burning.
    Seabuckthorn oils are rich in Omega 3, which is a proven 
    treatment for dry eye syndrome.

1 See Acne article.

2 Seborrhoeic dermatitis is a skin condition that affects the same body parts as Rosacea, and is thought to be caused by an overgrowth of a normally-benign fungus called Malassezia furfur. Topical anti-fungal creams and shampoos are the recommended course of treatment, although steroids are sometimes prescribed (see steroids in the Rosacea article). The symptoms of fungal overgrowth (excess oil production, thickened, red, flaky skin) are thought to be an auto-immune reaction, which suggests that the anti-inflammatory and immune conditioning features of Seabuckthorn would be a good fit. Note that yeast and fungal overgrowths are associated with depressed immune systems, a condition that Seabuckthorn also treats. Omega 3 is also known to decrease the frequency and intensity of flare-ups.


Causes and coexisting conditions

A lot has been said about the supposed causes of Rosacea, but the truth is no definitive cause has
been proven. There are, however, a number of illnesses, conditions and factors that have been
shown to correlate with incidences of Rosacea.


Sufferers tend to be female and symptoms tend to appear during perimenopause and menopause,

and some sufferers experience a decrease in symptoms at the conclusion thereof. It is believed

that menopause may cause or exacerbate Rosacea due to: a) hormonal changes (see Demodex),

or b) hot flashes (see Specific causes), but it is important to note that currently, no conclusive

evidence exists to prove the correlation. Seabuckthorn is a hormone regulator and a vascular

conditioner, both of which ameliorate menopausal symptoms.

Suppressed immune system

There is a loose correlation between depressed/suppressed immune systems and Rosacea,

although the relationship is not yet proven or understood. There is also loose evidence of a

three-way tie-in between depressed immunity, Rosacea and Demodex mites, although the key

has not been found (studies on the Rosacea-Demodex-Immune correlation note that not all

Rosacea sufferers have increased Demodex numbers or weakened immunity; conversely, not all

immune-deficient people have Rosacea or elevated Demodex numbers; and not all those with

elevated Demodex numbers have either Rosacea or suppressed immunity). It may be, however,

that the symptoms, indicators and treatments of immune disorders are not yet well codified.

What is known, however, is that Seabuckthorn is an immunity booster and an auto-immune

conditioner (it ameliorates auto-immune reactions). Interestingly, one of the symptoms of

lupus (another auto-immune disorder) mimics Rosacea, and leads to many mis-diagnoses.

3 Quercetin (a bio-active ingredient in Seabuckthorn berries) is an antihistamine. This is important 
a) because of its ability to calm flushing and other histamine reactions, and 
b) because it counteracts one of the contraindications of Niacin (B3), the ‘niacin flush’ considered 
to aggravate Rosacea.

Demodex mite

Much has been said about the connection between the Demodex mite and Rosacea; in fact, some

groups state categorically that it is the cause of Rosacea, however, no conclusive evidence has

yet been found that this is true. What is known about the Demodex mite is that it:

  1. Lives in hair follicles, eats dead skin, oils and notably, excreted hormones (See No 3).

  2. Exists harmlessly on the majority of the 98% of people who have it.

  3. Is associated particularly with Steroid-induced Rosacea, a sub-sub-type that is unfortunately
    caused or exacerbated by steroids (which are often prescribed to treat Rosacea and other skin
    conditions). It is known that Demodex mites eat topical hormones, and this has been
    suggested as a reason why people with Steroid-induced Rosacea often have noticeably
    elevated Demodex numbers.

  4. Does NOT show in elevated numbers in all, or even the majority, of Rosacea sufferers.

  5. Has such an efficient digestive system that it has no excretory orifice.

Some medical and commercial documentation suggests that Seabuckthorn kills Demodex mites.

This may be true, and in fact elevated levels of Demodex may exacerbate skin conditions.

However, it is extremely important to remember that the majority of Rosacea sufferers do not

have elevated levels of Demodex mites, and in sufferers with elevated levels, the mite infestation

may be a symptom, not a cause of their condition. Consider that Rosacea = thicker skin, which =

deeper pores, more sebaceous secretions and more dead skin cells, which = more food and living

space for Demodex mites.

Migraine disease and (other) vascular disorders

Migraineurs suffer from Rosacea at a rate significantly higher than average. This is believed to

be due to the vascular nature of migraines; although migraine disease itself is a neurological in

origin, the attendant pain and some other symptoms are due to the abnormal engorgement and

constriction of blood vessels. This lends credence to the current prevailing wisdom that Rosacea

is a vascular disease. The B and C vitamins and flavonoids present in Seabuckthorn are

known to contribute to vascular health.

Specific causes and irritants

The simplistic ‘cause’ of Rosacea is stated as simply progressive thickening of the epidermis and

deterioration of blood vessels caused by repeated engorgement. What is unsatisfying about this

explanation is that it says nothing about why Rosacea is hereditary, why it affects primarily

Caucasian people, why it is on the increase, why repeated blood vessel dilation doesn’t always

result in Rosacea, and WHY Seabuckthorn is such an effective treatment.

Interestingly, many of the so-called ‘migraine triggers’ are also considered to bring on or

exacerbate Rosacea episodes: Cheese, chocolate, red wine, MSG (all of which can cause

histamine reactions), yeasts, moulds, beer (which can cause auto-immune reactions), sun (casual

exposure and sunburn), changes in temperature/humidity, exercise (which can overtax blood

vessels), ingested and topical hormones (birth control pills, HRT, other therapeutic hormones,

cortisone, steroids) as well as stress, are all common triggers between the two conditions.

Additionally, physically hot or spicy food can be a Rosacea contributor, although neither is

considered a common migraine trigger.

Certain acne and wrinkle treatments have been known to trigger or irritate Rosacea, including

chemical and mechanical (dermabrasion) peels, and such acne treatments as benzoyl peroxide,

tretinoin and isotretinoin (Retin-A based preparations).

As noted above, there is considerable debate over whether Demodex infestations are a cause or a

symptom of Rosacea.


Other issues

There is mounting evidence that identifying and avoiding allergens (food allergies as well as

environmental allergens), avoiding sugar, reducing auto-immune stimulation and combating

yeast overgrowth is not only useful in treating and minimising particular skin diseases (like

Seborrhoeic dermatitis and psoriasis), but is in fact useful in most if not all skin conditions.

Scientists are beginning to recognise the relationship between allergies, auto-immune

dysfunction, suppressed immunity, overactive immune response, and sugar consumption.

Seabuckthorn is proven to regulate and soften the overactive immune responses that result in

many auto-immune disorders.

The role of immune cells and inflammatory mediators (histamines, prostaglandins and others)

in the progression of Rosacea has been proven: they leak from the microvascular bed, causing

inflammatory pustules and papules (red bumps); Seabuckthorn is known to moderate

histamines and prostaglandins.



What about Demodex mites?

Despite considerable press on the topic, Demodex mites are not currently considered a

significant cause of Rosacea; at best they are a contributing factor, a cause in some cases, or a

symptom. Although from a sales POV it can seem attractive to focus on the ‘bug hysteria’

element, this emphasis may be misplaced given the science limiting Demodex’s contribution to

the symptoms of Rosacea. Seabuckthorn – used topically and internally – contributes to skin and

overall health in so many ways, relegating it to an insecticide is doing it – and us – a disservice.

What about the ‘Niacin flush’ that is caused by B3 and is believed to exacerbate 

Many experts recommend that Rosacea sufferers avoid B3 because of the ‘niacin flush’ that

accompanies consumption of this important vitamin. This is unfortunate because even the

known B vitamins are critical to vascular health. Consider that the known, named vitamins are

only a tiny part of the spectrum of vital micro-nutrients, the depletion of which can contribute to

ill health in an individual. The numerous phytochemicals in Seabuckthorn (including the

antihistamine Quercetin) significantly strengthen and regulate capillaries and their functions.


What about oil? Wouldn’t the ingestion or topical application make it worse?

This is a fallacy. First, when skin is too dry, it a) suffers from microscopic cracks and tears due

to dryness, which provides a breeding ground for bacteria and leads to more eruptions; and b)

causes pores to secrete more oil to compensate. Second, oily skin is not a problem per se, it is oil

that gets mixed with dead skin, bacteria, dead microbes, dirt, make-up etc deep in the pores that

is a problem. Third, oil applied to the surface of the skin can actually draw oil up from deep in

the pores, balancing it. Fourth, Seabuckthorn oil in particular is very healthy for consumption

and topical application.

I thought soap isn’t good for your skin?

SBT Seabuckthorn soaps gently remove dirt, oils and impurities from skin and rinse away clean,

without leaving either greasy or soapy residues like many soaps and liquid cleansers.


  • Rosacea is estimated to affect 45 million people worldwide, primarily Caucasians between

  • 30 and 50 at the onset of symptoms

  • There are four sub-types of rosacea

  •  While much has been made of the Demodex mite connection, there has been no causal proof

  • as yet; while some Rosacea sufferers do have elevated levels of the mites, they may be a

  • symptom, and not a cause

  •  Anything that causes flushing is considered to exacerbate Rosacea

  • Topical steroids (including nasal steroids) can cause or exacerbate Rosacea

  • Nasal disfigurement often attributed to alcohol consumption is often Rosacea

  • Adult acne and Rosacea are often mistaken for each other

  • Many adult acne treatments (high doses of Retin-A, Benzoyl peroxide, chemical peels,
    dermabrasion, steroids) actually cause or exacerbate Rosacea. Many Rosacea patients are
    unfortunately prescribed the very treatments that irritate their condition. NOTE: Encourage
    patients to consult with their doctors before changing any prescribed treatment; for example,
    abruptly halting steroid treatments can result in negative side-effects.

  • The only permanent treatments are laser surgery and Seabuckthorn. Steroids/hormones have
    a spotty record for treating the disease, and antibiotics, while effective, only show
    improvement during the course of treatment and may have long-term negative effects,
    particularly because of the known correlation between antibiotics and a) yeast/unfriendly
    bacteria overgrowth, and b) auto-immune dysfunction

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