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Does a vacation to the South Pacific which includes snorkeling improve rosacea?


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This Question and Answer was published in the Albuquerque Journal (also reported in the People's Pharmacy)

Q: I am a 53-year-old man. When I turned 50, I developed severe rosacea. I tried everything, and nothing helped.

I just returned from a two-week vacation in the South Pacific. I learned to snorkel and scuba dive and was in the ocean every day. By the time I left, all signs of rosacea were completely gone.

I don’t know why salt water works to clear up the skin, but it’s almost miraculous.

A: Thank you for sharing your great results. For those who may not have the opportunity to go snorkeling, other readers have suggested some unconventional ways of calming rosacea. This skin condition causes redness of the cheeks, nose and forehead. Sometimes there are fine red lines visible just under the skin, and there may be pimplelike blemishes.

Use trial and error to determine if any of these remedies might help:

  • Selsun Blue dandruff shampoo with selenium sulfide. Apply it in the morning and leave it on for a few minutes, then rinse it off.
  • Milk of magnesia. Dab it on the affected areas morning and night, let it dry and apply the usual moisturizer.

Admin note: Whether it is the salt water or less stress or the sun, wouldn't you like to try this treatment for your rosacea?

Scroll below for more anecdotal reports that this treatment for rosacea works. Please add your report to this thread. 

There is evidence to point that it is the RF radiation that attenuates rosacea (see post dated May 21, 2020 [4th post] in this thread)

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Anecdotal reports of rosacea clearance on a vacation 

anon24 reports that going to the beach improved his rosacea.

CrabbyCathy » Wed Oct 20, 2010 1:53 am (sixth post in the thread) posts, "My skin has calmed down nicely--partly, I think, because I am on vacation! No joke."

Mister88 (also nat007 post #8, Acne Rosacea Support post #9, maroon5 post #10):

post no 1: "I clearly nailed down my triggers;-) and sun is Ok! not sure why my face cleared up but I think it's one of these, dr said don't use rosula( sulfar wash) while on vacation.. maybe the sulfar causes more harm?  I also introduced accilophodus+ hcl digestive supplements. Or it could be that the sun helped?" 

post no 8: "I heard so many stories from rosacea friends dreading their holidays as their skin is in a bad state, and I have had the same situation plenty of times, and almost always they go with dread and find their rosacea is way less bad during the vacation! It must be the emotional factor, being relaxed, and warmer temperatures might play a role too!"

post no 9: "I tend to agree, when I go on vacation my symptoms don't seem to be as bad."

post no 10: "Also tend to agree my skin is generally clearer on holiday - although I'm very careful with my face and would never risk getting burnt."

People's Pharmacy Comments confirms similar results for Tracy, Dave, Lynn and her husband:

Tracy: "I’ve just returned from the seaside and all my rosacea has cleared . I was only there for 2 days"

Dave: "That being said, in January I went on a weeklong trip to the Virgin Islands. During that week I snorkeled several times, probably for 2 hours total. I was convinced beforehand that the saltwater would irritate my skin (anything irritates my skin). I couldn’t have been more wrong, my skin looked better than it had for 3 months using all types of medicine from the dermo."

Lynn and husband: "Both my husband and I also have Rosacea. We too have noticed when we return from a trips from Florida or Hawaii, the Rosacea has cleared up."


Nick [nfaieta] (and BVokey see post #2) writes, "Why did my skin clear up on vacation? Why is it that my skin pretty much cleared up when I spent a week in Florida recently. When I got home it went right back to being red and irritated. Is it just because I got some sun and it looked more tan? My face did not get irritated by the sun, it actually felt way better."

BVokey posts: "The exact same thing happened to me while in Hawaii recently and also happens whenever I am staying in a warm climate. I was there for two weeks and my Rosacea cleared up almost completely however slowly returned once I got back home to the cold weather and back to the grind."

RaymondS post #8: "No stress....come back to normal life and things get worse, my skin looked amazing in Thailand. Very humid / was in the water a lot. But it's hot here in summer and I swim and my skin is not amazing? Thinking stress less"


tifer (post no 1) reports, "there’s only 1 thing that COMPLETELY eliminates my seb derm (AND dandruff): going on vacation. and whats mind blowing is the fact that my scalp goes back to normal 100% within 3-5 days. it’s unbelievable. 

‎Lee-Ann Findlater‎, Rosacea Tips and Support Group, posts, "i thought the sun is meant to make rosacea worse. I've came on holiday thinking the worst as its all new to me. and its a actually cleared it up a good bit?? its definitely rosacea."

Seb91 [post no 6] reports, "I went to Central America last year travelling for 4 months. I went to visit my girlfriends family in Canada on the way and my skin was so bad whilst I was there that I said to her "I don't think I am going to last 2 weeks in Central America," I was dreading it. I got to C, America and after 3 days my skin started to improve. I was in the sea surfing, my skin started to burn less, sensitivity went down, even had a few drinks that I hadn't had for years without a flare up. Whether its a combination of stress, humidity, surf, sea, sun, I don't know, but it showed me that it CAN get better. It might not always seem the case, much like the period that I am going through now, I need to remind myself, last year I went to C, America in 30C heat and it was manageable."

Seb91 [post no 34] didn't mention the South Pacific or a beach but did say this: "I went to Mexico for 4 months with my girlfriend 2 years ago, a trip I was absolutely dreading because my skin was in a bad place, and I ended up being absolutely fine and having the best time, without much pain, sensitivity, and redness. Not sure why? Maybe it was because I was doing something I love (surfing), humidity, the air quality, I really don't know. But seeing my skin on that trip said to me that this isn't the result of lasers, this is a result of an environmental change."

BVokey [post no 1] reports, "Honorable mention: going to the beach and swimming in the ocean, warm/hot showers, hot tubs, etc all actually reduce my redness for a short time. I think it's related to my entire body getting water. The biggest healer of the above is swimming in the cool ocean saltwater - it drastically reduces my redness to an almost pale pink. Being out in the sun as much as possible as long as I am wearing sunblock,,,"

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  • 1 year later...
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Sunny Beach Treatment Increases RF Irradiation in Rosacea

A paper about RF irradiation may explain why short term sun can improve rosacea when you are on a vacation on a sun filled beach. When you are exposed short term on a vacation by the sun you are receiving more RF radiation in the form of radio waves along with the visible sun light due to you being on the beach. [1] This exposure may actually accentuate* your rosacea. Of course, over exposure to sun light and radio waves will trigger your rosacea, so you have to be careful to not get sun burned, which would exacerbate your rosacea. Balance is the key. A little sun can help your rosacea, not to mention reducing your stress level.   

"Notably, blood vessel densities in the skins of UVB-treated mice and rosacea patients were significantly decreased by RF irradiation. These results provide experimental and molecular evidence regarding the effectiveness of RF irradiation for the treatment of rosacea." [2]

End Notes

[1] "All of the energy from the Sun that reaches the Earth arrives as solar radiation, part of a large collection of energy called the electromagnetic radiation spectrum. Solar radiation includes visible light, ultraviolet light, infrared, radio waves, X-rays, and gamma rays."

Lab Activity: Heat Transfer by Radiation, NOAA Earth System Research Laboratories (ESRL)

[2] Exp Dermatol. 2020 May 20;:
Radiofrequency irradiation attenuates angiogenesis and inflammation in UVB-induced rosacea in mouse skin.
Son M, Park J, Oh S, Choi J, Shim M, Kang D, Byun K

* "Attenuate is a verb that means to make or become weaker. The effects of aging may be attenuated by exercise — or by drinking from the fountain of youth. The versatile word attenuate denotes a weakening in amount, intensity, or value." vocabulary.com

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