What Foods Cause Rosacea?

We are often asked about what foods cause rosacea, and it’s important to understand that no foods actually cause rosacea. The cause of rosacea is unknown, but many things can trigger an increase in blood flow to the surface of the skin, which makes rosacea symptoms worse. While rosacea is not caused by any particular foods, there are a number of foods that cause rosacea symptoms to get worse. Not everyone with rosacea will experience an increase in symptoms after eating all of these foods, so pay attention to how various foods affect you. If certain foods make your symptoms worse, then eat less of them or avoid them altogether.

So What Foods Cause Rosacea Symptoms to Worsen?

Taco shells

This varies from person to person, but the following foods cause symptoms to worsen in many people with rosacea:

  • Alcoholic beverages (like beer, wine, and hard liquor)
  • Spicy foods (like chili, salsa, Mexican food, Indian food, and oriental mustard)
  • Dairy products (like milk, yogurt, cheese, sour cream, and ice cream; many people that have problems with other dairy products seem to do all right with cottage cheese for some reason, however)
  • Hot beverages (like coffee, tea, and hot chocolate)
  • Caffeinated beverages (like coffee, tea, and many soft drinks)
  • Chocolate
  • Vanilla 
  • Soy sauce
  • Eggplants
  • Spinach 
  • Avocados
  • Bananas 
  • Citrus fruits
  • Tomatoes 
  • Raisins
  • Figs 
  • Marinated meats
  • Liver
  • Vinegar
  • Yeast extract (this is not the yeast found in bread, however)
  • Some legumes, including lima beans, navy beans, and peas

This is a long list and you may be wondering what you’re going to be able to eat. Don’t panic, though. Chances are you will be able to eat at least some of these foods without making your rosacea symptoms worse. For instance, the National Rosacea Society reports that while 52 percent of people with rosacea experience an increase in symptoms after drinking alcoholic beverages and 45 percent experience an increase in symptoms after eating spicy foods, only 10 percent have problems after eating marinated meats, and only eight percent after consuming dairy products. Keeping a food diary will allow you to see which foods cause rosacea symptoms to worsen for you, so you’ll know which foods you can safely eat and which foods to avoid.

For general guidelines on safe foods to eat when you have rosacea, follow the link.

What if You Eat Foods That Cause Rosacea Symptoms to Get Worse?

Well, you’ll do that at least occasionally. We all do. So many different foods cause rosacea symptoms to get worse, it’s almost impossible to avoid eating some of them at some point. Symptoms only worsen temporarily after eating foods that trigger a flare-up, though. Your skin will return to its baseline in a few days, most likely.

Limiting your exposure to foods that cause your symptoms to worsen, as well as other triggers such as stress, cold air, sun (use sunscreen to protect your skin, even in cool weather), vigorous exercise, and certain medications (talk to your doctor about medications that might make your rosacea symptoms worse, but don’t stop taking any prescribed medications without talking to your doctor first), may reduce the severity of flare-ups when they do occur.

Treatments For Rosacea

There are also treatments that can reduce your rosacea symptoms. We like the Zenmed Skin Support System, which is made from natural botanical ingredients. For instance, the Anti-Redness Mask contains willow bark extract (a natural anti-inflammatory), licorice root extract (long used to treat skin disorders), and organic aloe vera gel (which soothes reddened, inflamed skin). The Support Serum contains tea tree oil (a natural antiseptic that helps kill bacteria) and lavender essential oil (which reduces inflammation and purifies the skin). To learn more about the Zenmed Skin Support System, just follow the link to their website.