Flax oil triggers skin flare?

Seborrheic Dermatitis, or Seb derm for short, can cause dry itchy, red and scaly skin. It can be found together with rosacea making it even harder to treat. Use this forum to get help with your SD.

Flax oil triggers skin flare?

Postby y-gwair » Tue Mar 29, 2011 12:11 pm

I've had ongoing problems that may be rosacea, starting in my eyes, more recently facial flushing/burning. A couple of weeks ago this suddenly got a lot worse, my cheeks and chin have become very red/inflamed and started to swell up alarmingly; the skin pores are really prominent and oil is literally gushing from them. Historically, my skin may have been a little shiny on chin/nasal folds but I've never had anything like this before. The only change I can connect it too is starting to take flaxseed oil supplements. Has anyone else ever found that flax or omega 3 supplements ever trigger this sort of sebaceous over-reaction? There aren't any papules/pustules, just swollen, reddened skin and gushing, shiny oil film over nose, cheeks, brow and chin with a few 'islands' of dry, flaking skin.
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Re: Flax oil triggers skin flare?

Postby Peacock » Tue Mar 29, 2011 1:14 pm

Hi y-gwair,

Previous to starting rosacea treatment (8 weeks ago) and becoming educated on potential food triggers, I supplemented for years
with Carlson's Omega 3 Fish Oil (lemon flavored) , Flax Oil (liquid) and Udos Oil . Although not as quite as severe as you described,
I noticed I had a reaction after taking the oils (morning in a smoothie/protein drink). Copious amounts of face oil (over dry skin),
reddening of the skin and some swelling on my nose.

Thru testing, here is what I found and what now works (no inflammation) for me:

*#1 Fish oil (with lemon flavoring) was the main culprit. I switched to no flavoring. This immediately helped.
*#2 One tablespoon (fish oil) was too much. I switched to a concentrated MedOmega fish oil, now only needing one teaspoon (half the amount)
for the same nutritional value.
*#3 Limited flax oil/ udos oil to one tablespoon per day.

The answer for me was found thru my very own testing, journaling and researching foods and how they affect me.

My testing continues with a wide array of foods, but I am glad I found the fish oil early on.

Good luck.
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Re: Flax oil triggers skin flare?

Postby fanny » Tue Mar 29, 2011 1:35 pm

Hi y-gwair
Peacock gave you very good advice. I am afraid it is a trial and error thing for each individual. Personally I tried taking fish oil and found it resulted in a kind of spontaneous bruising (I did some research and found that this had happened to others), so I do not take it and have not sustituted anything.
Best wishes
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Re: Flax oil triggers skin flare?

Postby y-gwair » Tue Mar 29, 2011 2:22 pm

Thanks, it wasn't just in my imagination then! I wasn't taking very much at all in comparison, only tried flax oil as it was recommended by ophthalmologist for eyes, and I had to stop the fish oil capsules as they really irritated my stomach. The oil weeping was dreadful, wiping it with a tissue left a stain like you'd get from wiping up a kitchen oil spill. The oilyness has subsided quite a bit in the last 48 hours, but the redness/swelling is better but still there, don't know how long it will take to get out of my system if that was the cause.

Also wondered about UV, as this episode also coincided with the first few really sunny days of Spring here (though I always wear a big floppy hat outdoors as I can't tolerate sunblocks), maybe they combined to set off a really bad reaction.
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Re: Flax oil triggers skin flare?

Postby CrabbyCathy » Thu Mar 31, 2011 12:49 am

I hate it when it could be factor A or factor B. Was it the sun, or was it the coffee, or was it.....you get the idea.

Just remember to drink a lot of water to help flush the irritant out of your system, and if you do chose to experiment again, take smaller doses, as Peacock suggested.
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Please note: Any advice offered here is not meant to replace medical advice. Always see your dermatologist.
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