Salsa seems to help rosacea sufferer


March 10, 2002|By Joe Graedon and Teresa Graedon | Joe Graedon and Teresa Graedon,Special to the Sun; King Features Syndicate

Q. I have rosacea, a skin condition that gives me a red nose and cheeks. My dermatologist says it can only be treated by taking tetracycline, which upsets my stomach. After a few weeks on the antibiotic, the rosacea gets better. But when I stop the drug, the redness comes back.

My neighbor told me he had heard that taking two full tablespoons of salsa daily would control rosacea. I started on salsa a month ago, just as the rosacea was returning. The salsa seems to have held the condition off, since my nose is not red or itching as usual. Have you ever heard of this treatment before? It's hard to believe something that tastes so good could be good medicine.

A. Rosacea (pronounced row-ZAY-sha) can cause redness and little pimples on the face. While antibiotics can help, they aren't a perfect solution for everyone.

Doctors usually tell rosacea patients to avoid anything that could dilate blood vessels, including hot beverages, alcohol and spicy foods. But your experience with salsa is intriguing.

We have heard from people who have eaten hot salsa for skin problems such as psoriasis and eczema, but this is the first time anyone has suggested using it for rosacea. Capsaicin, the ingredient in hot peppers that gives them a zing, has been tested topically for other skin conditions. Please let us know if it continues to work.

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