Rosacea affects millions of men and women in the U.S., and symptoms come in many forms, ranging from mild redness and flushing of the face, forehead, nose
Typically, rosacea symptoms come and go in “flares,” appearing and disappearing for up to several weeks at a time. Controlling these flare-ups begins with understanding your rosacea triggers. Exercise, sun exposure, extreme weather or even stress have been known to cause rosacea flare-ups. Many times, certain foods can also play a role. Here are some of the common foods that have been known to trigger rosacea flare-ups:
Spicy (and Thermally Hot) Foods
Spicy and “hot” foods can cause you to sweat, which can
Sometimes, hot beverages such as tea, hot chocolate, hot cider
Alcohol affects everyone differently, but it has been known to induce flare-ups in some people with rosacea — especially red and white wines. Patients have also reported experiencing rosacea symptoms after drinking beer, champagne, vodka, tequila, bourbon, gin, rum
If you notice that alcohol is a rosacea trigger for you or aggravates your symptoms, reduce your alcohol intake or avoid it altogether. Many patients report that reducing their alcohol consumption has helped limit flare-ups.
According to the National Rosacea Society, other foods that may trigger rosacea flare-ups include: liver, yogurt, sour cream, cheese (except cottage cheese), chocolate, vanilla, soy sauce, yeast extract (bread is OK), vinegar, eggplant, avocados, spinach, broad-leaf beans and pods including lima, navy or pea, citrus fruits, tomatoes and bananas, red plums, raisins, figs and foods high in histamine.
In some cases, taking an antihistamine about two hours before a meal may counter the effects of histamine. Aspirin can also reduce the effects of niacin-containing foods.
Best Treatment Options for Rosacea
Typically, rosacea begins as redness or flushing on the cheeks, nose, chin or forehead that can come and go, eventually leading to the appearance of small dilated blood vessels. In some severe cases, bumps and pimples appear and the nose can become swollen.
“Because rosacea can be progressive, it is important to get an accurate diagnosis and seek treatment as soon as you start to see symptoms,” says Dr. Roopal Bhatt, a board-certified dermatologist with U.S. Dermatology Partners Mueller.
While there is no cure for rosacea, there are treatment options that will improve your symptoms and prevent long-term damage to your skin.
Switching out your skin care products to milder, more gentle cleaners and rinsing your face with lukewarm instead of hot water can soothe aggravated skin during a flare-up, as does avoiding skin care products with alcohol or harsh astringents. Remember to dress appropriately for
In addition to these simple lifestyle changes, laser rosacea therapy can help reduce intense redness caused by broken blood vessels. A pulsed dye laser (PDL) targets visible blood vessels to reduce redness and flushing by destroying the lining of the inflamed blood vessels.
For milder rosacea that causes small, acne-like bumps on the skin, oral and topical medications can be used to control flare-ups. Topical gels can also reduce the appearance of bumps and redness and help to constrict blood vessels in your face. Oral antibiotics can also be used to reduce skin inflammation in some cases.
“There is a wide range of rosacea symptoms and also a wide range of rosacea triggers,” says Dr. Bhatt. “To help determine what triggers your flare-ups, track your activities, the products you use, and the foods you eat that may contribute to a flare-up and then work to avoid them.”
To discuss treatment options for your rosacea or for help identifying your rosacea triggers, make an appointment with one of U.S. Dermatology Partners’ board-certified dermatologists today to find a treatment plan that works for you.