- What to Eat and What to Avoid to Reduce Rosacea Flares
- What Foods Should You Avoid When You Have Rosacea?
- Strategies to Identify Your Rosacea Triggers
- Which Foods Can Help When You Have Rosacea?
- Final Words on a Rosacea Diet Plan
- Top foods to eat & avoid if you have Rosacea
- Should You Go on a Rosacea Diet?
- Rosacea Diet: Food and Beverage Triggers
- Foods to Add to Your Diet for Rosacea
- How To Treat Rosacea Naturally [Updated in 2019]
- Rosacea symptoms
- Rosacea causes
- Rosacea diagnosis
- Further help
- How Dairy Products Affect Rosacea
- How does Dairy Affect Rosacea
- Eating Right for Rosacea: Answers From Dr. Chutkan
- Dr. Robynne Chutkan: Questions and Answers on Eating Right With Rosacea
- Rosacea Diet: What’s the Evidence?
- Rosacea Dietary Triggers
- Rosacea Diet and Probiotics
- Rosacea Diet or Stress?
- Alkaline Diet & Rosacea
What to Eat and What to Avoid to Reduce Rosacea Flares
Food is a known rosacea trigger. Keeping track of your diet can help you identify which foods to cut back on (and which to eat more of) to keep symptoms under control.
Spicy foods, alcohol, and certain fruits, including strawberries, can worsen rosacea symptoms in some people. Helaine Weide/Getty Images; iStock; Getty Images
Rosacea is a chronic inflammatory skin condition that affects the central part of the face. Symptoms vary, with some people experiencing facial redness or flushing (blushing). Others have visibly larger blood vessels, red acne-like bumps on their face, or thickening of the skin around the nose. (1)
Once you’re diagnosed with this skin condition, your dermatologist will recommend medical treatment to reduce symptoms. But even though various treatments can control symptoms of rosacea, this chronic condition is ultimately best managed by avoiding certain triggers, says Erum Ilyas, MD, a board-certified dermatologist based in the Philadelphia metropolitan area.
Rosacea triggers vary from person to person, but may include heat, cold air, extreme exercise, sun exposure, emotions and stress, and medication — basically anything that increases blood flow to the surface of the skin. (1) In some people, certain foods can aggravate rosacea. (3)
To be clear, food doesn’t “cause” rosacea. The exact cause of this condition is unknown. But some foods and ingredients are known triggers. (1)
What Foods Should You Avoid When You Have Rosacea?
Whether you’re adding hot peppers to your dishes or ordering food with an extra kick, spicy or hot foods may be one of many underlying causes of your rosacea flares. (4)
Cayenne pepper, red pepper, black pepper, curry, paprika, and other spicy ingredients can cause tiny blood vessels underneath your skin to dilate, resulting in flushing. (5)
Cut back on these spices when cooking and substitute other ingredients — oregano, sage, and basil, for example. These ingredients may provide the right amount of flavor, without contributing to skin redness.
Avoiding alcohol might also control rosacea symptoms. According to the National Rosacea Society, there’s a greater risk of flares with red wine, although symptoms can also occur with bourbon, gin, vodka, champagne, and beer. (6,7)
Alcohol causes widening of the blood vessels in the face, increasing blood flow to this region. (7)
Some people can’t start their day without a cup of coffee. And on a cold day, hot tea or hot chocolate can quickly warm the body.
But if you deal with frequent rosacea flares, eliminating hot beverages (which also increase blood flow to the face and flushing) may improve the appearance of your skin. (8)
This doesn’t mean giving up coffee or tea, but iced coffee or iced tea might be a better option.
Fruits aren’t only full of nutrients and antioxidants; some fruits are also high in histamine. This is an organic compound that triggers an immune system response. Histamine causes vasodilation, or a relaxation of blood vessels, essentially exacerbating or making rosacea flare, explains Dr. Ilyas. When blood vessels in the face dilate, redness follows. (7)
Fruits that may trigger this type of reaction include tomatoes, pineapple, strawberries, papaya, and red plums. (3)
Keep in mind that fruit isn’t the only type of food that can release histamine. Other triggers include eggplant, spinach, mushrooms, shellfish, legumes, alcohol, and fermented foods (aged-cheese). (3)
Dairy foods like yogurt, sour cream, and cheese are also a trigger for some people. (3)
Dairy is a good source of vitamin D and calcium, but it’s also an inflammatory food. (9) As a result of inflammation, you may notice increased facial redness and swelling.
Removing dairy from your diet may reduce redness and other symptoms of rosacea. Easier said than done, of course, but if you can’t eliminate dairy completely, try cutting back. Swap cow’s milk for rice milk, almond milk, or soy milk. Look for dairy-free substitutes for ice cream, yogurt, and cheese.
The thought of giving up chocolate may send you into a state of panic. But chocolate worsens rosacea in some people because it contains cinnamaldehyde, a compound that gives cinnamon its flavor. It can cause dilation of blood vessels, leading to skin flushing. (10,11)
Strategies to Identify Your Rosacea Triggers
Identifying foods that trigger rosacea can be tricky. Ilyas recommends using a “month-at-a-glance” calendar and tracking what you eat, as well as your worst days for rosacea flares.
“Many of my patients note early-in-the-week flares, sometimes triggered by red wine with a weekend dinner,” says Ilyas.
“If your rosacea flares early in the week but settles down throughout the week, focus on your weekend habits. But if the week starts out great and your skin spirals out of control during the week, take a good look at your routine weekday habits.”
As you review your food diary, you may discover that several foods lead to flares, or you might conclude that food doesn’t affect your condition.
Which Foods Can Help When You Have Rosacea?
The same way certain foods can trigger an inflammatory response and fuel rosacea, other foods can help your body fight inflammation and reduce rosacea symptoms.
“A day doesn’t go by where I’m not asked what role inflammatory foods play in various skin conditions,” says Ilyas. “Some studies have linked a higher prevalence of gastrointestinal disorders and bacterial overgrowth in our gut to flaring rosacea. Along these lines, a diet high in fiber may actually help reduce flares and reduce inflammation.”
According to Ilyas, prebiotic fibers include onions, raw garlic, bananas, endive, asparagus, and whole grains. (10)
Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids may also lower inflammatory proteins in the body and improve rosacea eye symptoms. (12)
In a 2016 study published in Current Eye Research, 130 people with ocular rosacea were given dietary omega-3 fatty acids for a period of six months. Symptoms included a gritty sensation, itching, burning, and eye redness. At the end of six months, the participants reported a significant improvement in their eye symptoms. (13)
Final Words on a Rosacea Diet Plan
Identifying rosacea triggers takes time, but writing down everything you eat and drink, and then making a note of your symptoms can help you pinpoint problem foods.
If you believe food is the culprit, an elimination diet can confirm this. Stop eating a certain food for a period of time to see if symptoms improve, and then reintroduce this food to your diet to see if your symptoms return.
Top seven foods to avoid if you have Rosacea.Lisa is a qualified Nutritional Therapist. She has been practicing nutrition for 12 years across a broad spectrum of health conditions. She has a special interest in Rosacea, and her research, together with experience, led to the writing of her thesis entitled “The Nutritional Management of Rosacea”.
This week I want to give you some specifics on foods to avoid. It is also important that you know how to replace those foods with.
I am going to start with the top seven foods to avoid if you have Rosacea, and give my suggested replacements. They are as follows:
1. Avoid: Processed Sugar and Artificial Sweeteners (any packaged food that has either sugar, high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), glucose-fructose-syrup, sucrose, maltose, fructose or fruit concentrate as an ingredient). Sweeteners come under many names such as Aspartame, Splenda, Canderel, NutraSweet, Neotame, Acesulfame potassium, Sweet’N Low, Equal, & Saccharin. These commonly appear in ‘diet’ foods and drinks as well as ‘low fat’ ‘low sugar’ and ‘low calorie’ foods and drinks.
Replace With: coconut water (juices), Manuka honey, Lo Han Guo (other spelling is Luo Han Kuo but it may be difficult to find) or Stevia (natural sweetener but do not choose Truvia). Pure glucose (dextrose) is another sugar substitute for those not wanting to lose weight, but I do not advise it for the Rosacea sufferer.
2. Avoid: GMO foods (genetically modified organisms) especially soy, corn, rapeseed, wheat and their derivatives like canola oil, corn syrup, and non-organic soy.
Replace With: Natural non-GMO foods (check labels)
3. Avoid: Conventional Dairy products from Cow’s.
Replace With: Almond Milk, Coconut Milk, Rice Milk or with Raw milk products from Goat’s or
Sheep if you are not intolerant to dairy.
4. Avoid: Hydrogenated Oils (especially vegetable and seed oils in clear plastic bottles!)
Replace With: Coconut Oil, Butter or Ghee for cooking, Olive Oil for dressings.
5. Avoid: Non-organic fruits especially apples, peaches, nectarines, pears, grapes, strawberries, raspberries and cherries. Also avoid some non-organic vegetables such as potatoes, spinach, lettuce, and bell peppers.
Replace With: Other fruits and vegetables or if listed above, insist on organic only.
6. Avoid: Gluten (wheat, rye, barley and most oats unless the label states gluten-free)
Replace With: Almond Flour, Coconut Flour and rice flour products. Bread made from flax, pea, quinoa, buckwheat and rice are good alternatives if you insist on eating bread.
7. Avoid: Commercial Meats and Poultry / Processed Meats such as luncheon meats.
Replace With: Grass-fed, Free Range meats / poultry. Organic where possible.
There are other foods/drinks you should avoid, but the above are the main contributors to ill-health and chronic inflammation. Begin by replacing one or two of the above and work your way down the list over time. It may seem daunting and even impossible at a first glance, but it is achievable if you take it step by step. Your family will also benefit from following the same rules, so you will not have to have separate shopping lists.
To avoid the pitfalls of eating the above foods ‘by accident’, or because you have to eat what is available, I highly recommend you plan your weekly meals ahead. This one factor appears to play a significant role in success.
It is commonly discovered upon Laboratory Testing that those with Rosacea have food intolerance.
Some foods that are considered healthy may be in this category. I highly recommend you have your Health Profiles assessed to determine if there is any possibility that you have an intolerance to everyday foods and to arrange testing if necessary. You can contact me by email, and I will create a client login on my website for you and guide you as to how to access and complete two questionnaires. I can then perform an analysis of your responses and advise according to your personal case.
I suggest you eat both cooked and raw vegetables on a daily basis, with high quality protein such as meat, poultry or fish (especially oily fish like sardines and salmon. Salmon should be organic or wild caught only – avoid all farmed fish).
Poached, soft-boiled or lightly scrambled organic eggs make a wholesome and healthy breakfast. For the Rosacea sufferer, it is important to pay close attention to your digestive system (covered in previous weekly newsletters). For this reason, it is also vital for you to know that digestion begins in the mouth. Please make every effort to form the habit of chewing your food thoroughly and in a relaxed manner to promote healthy digestion. Avoid eating when stressed as the digestive processes are shut down to varying degrees when stress is present.
If you have any digestive issues, I urge you to contact me by email in order that I guide you through a personal analysis procedure to determine if your digestive system is in need of clinical attention.
This Week’s Quote:
“Food is your body’s fuel. Without fuel, your body wants to shut down.” – Ken Hill
Top foods to eat & avoid if you have Rosacea
If you have rosacea, or someone close to you, this article will help lots. Rosacea is a very common skin complaint (especially during this time of the year). More prevalent in women but more severe in men (who knew!). Check out how these foods can help you reduce flares and improve skin quality and texture.
Rosacea is redness in the skin caused by small broken capillaries, it is a chronic inflammatory condition that is sometimes accompanied by mild edema and ‘facial flushing”. If you notice that your skin generates reddish patches when you come into a heated room or walk outside in the cold air you might have a certain degree of rosacea. Also if last time you ate at an Indian restaurant you left looking like a cat scratched your face it my be that you have a ‘bit’ of rosacea.
Preventing drastic changes in temperature for your skin is a great place to start. Avoid showers that are excessively hot and keep an eye on your house heater as well. Watching what you eat and preventing foods that commonly cause flares is the best way to improve this skin condition. Keep a clean diet high on organic produce and cleanse or detox at least once a month. Below are some foods that help to reduce rosacea and improve skin texture:
Blueberries & Blackberries – they contain anthocyanins which help strengthen capillary walls making them less prone to bursting
Celery – contains silicon and vitamin K essential for skin structure and coagulations
Cucumber – cooling effect which reduces skin heat and good mineral balance
Flax seeds – omega-oils to reduce skin inflammation
Any food sensitivity that you may have (i.e. gluten, dairy) will exacerbate Rosacea as part of you body’s immune response. Also make sure you reduce or eliminate these 5 common suspects as they all increase “flushing”.
Coffee and caffeinated drinks
Chocolate (specially hot chocolate)
For an extra helping hand, the recipe below is for a great Rosacea busting Blueberry and Cucumber juice!
Should You Go on a Rosacea Diet?
Passing on foods that trigger flushing and choosing ones that may help fight inflammation could be the recipe for a good rosacea diet. Figuring out the foods that are your personal triggers for rosacea can help you better manage the skin disease and avoid red face flares. Consider keeping a food diary to see if you can identify what foods affect your rosacea.
“Certain foods can cause increased facial flushing by dilating facial blood vessels,” says Jill Waibel, MD, a dermatologist in private practice in Miami. and on volunteer faculty at the University of Miami School of Dermatology. Dr. Waibel says food triggers for rosacea vary from person to person, but notes that alcohol, especially red wine, is a classic trigger that can worsen facial flushing.
While red wine was named the top alcohol trigger, other alcohol products (including beer, bourbon, gin, vodka, and champagne) have also been identified as rosacea triggers, according to data collected by the National Rosacea Society.
Rosacea Diet: Food and Beverage Triggers
Besides alcohol, there’s a long list of food triggers that are generally troublesome for rosacea. The top culprits include:
- Spicy foods. Examples are hot sauces, vinegar, hot spices, and meat marinades.
- Hot drinks. Hot cider, hot chocolate, coffee, and tea are suspects. “It’s the temperature of the coffee or tea rather than the caffeine that cause the blushing in patients,” says Waibel. She explains that warmer temperatures cause the blood vessels to dilate and release heat, which then causes the face to turn red.
- Dairy foods. Yogurt, sour cream, and cheese (except cottage cheese) may need to be removed or curtailed from your diet for rosacea if they tend to be triggers for you.
- Foods that are high in the chemical histamine. This includes foods pickled with vinegar, citrus fruits (including tomatoes), chocolate and cocoa, nuts, beans, and legumes.
According to the International Rosacea Foundation, high calorie carbohydrate foods, like sugar, pasta, and bread, can be triggers for rosacea as well.
Waibel says dermatologists recommend that people avoid obvious triggers in their rosacea diet, but it’s not necessary to completely deprive yourself. “We have very effective treatments for rosacea so patients may enjoy a healthful glass of wine or cheese in their daily lives.” She adds that laser and light therapy are very effective treatments for rosacea, and topical and oral treatments are available as well.
Foods to Add to Your Diet for Rosacea
“Any foods that decrease inflammation may improve rosacea,” Waibel says. She notes that foods with omega-3 fatty acids such as enriched eggs, flaxseed oil, and cod liver oil supplements have anti-inflammatory effects.
Here are more food suggestions from the American Dietetic Association that may help fight inflammation:
- Whole grains, such as oatmeal and brown rice
- Nuts, including walnuts, almonds, and pistachios
- Fatty fish, like salmon, tuna, and mackerel
“Blueberries and other berries are excellent sources of natural antioxidants and contribute to the overall health of skin and all organs,” says Waibel. They also help fight sun damage. “Generally fruits and vegetables benefit the skin by providing optimal health and keeping medical issues controlled. Vitamin A (found in carrots) helps clear acne and keeps skin healthy,” she adds.
Hydrochloric acid and vitamin B complex have been reported to improve rosacea symptoms in people with low stomach acid, but talk to your doctor before trying this. Some people also tout the benefits of probiotics for rosacea. “There are no studies at this time indicating that hydrochloric acid supplements or probiotics help rosacea — stay tuned, we are learning more every day,” Waibel says.
How To Treat Rosacea Naturally [Updated in 2019]
An interview with Registered Nutritional Consulting Practitioner and Professional Chef Kimberly Banting of Flourish Nutrition.
Battling Rosacea can be a frustrating and embarrassing experience. It is easy to feel overwhelmed, especially if you are facing a flare up for the first time. Take a deep breath and rest assured you are not alone. According to the National Rosacea Society1 an estimated 16 million Americans live with this emotionally frustrating skin condition.
It is no secret that stress, diet and lifestyle choices can wreak havoc on our skin so we decided to seek professional help to find out how small lifestyle and diet changes may help you reduce your Rosacea symptoms and regain a radiant healthy complexion.
Our expert today is Kimberly Banting of Flourish Nutrition in Canada. Kim is a Registered Nutritional Consulting Practitioner, Holistic Health Practitioner and Professional Chef. In this interview we discuss the possible causes of rosacea and small changes you can make today that may help reduce your symptoms and give your skin renewed vitality.
Exactly what is Rosacea? And why do you have it? According to Kim, Rosacea is the “Chronic inflammation of the skin where redness appears on the nose and cheeks and skin may also be covered in pimples. Rosacea is vascular in nature, which means it is related to your blood vessels and not oily skin.”
According to the National Rosacea Society, Rosacea often goes undiagnosed because the most common initial symptoms – flushing and persistent redness – are often overlooked or mistaken for something else, such as sunburn
While anyone can suffer from Rosacea “fair skinned women between the ages of 25 and 70 years” are the most frequent sufferers.
In fact, a survey conducted by the National Rosacea Society2, showed 7 out of 10 first developed rosacea when they were in their 30s or older. Only 1 in 10 were under 20.
Rosacea is more frequently diagnosed in women. It is also believed that rosacea may run in families, and may be especially prevalent in people of northern or eastern European descent.
In state-by-state estimates, Maine, Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Connecticut are shown to have the greatest prevalence of rosacea, each with over 10 percent of their adult populations. Meanwhile, Hawaii scored the lowest incidence at 2.7 percent3
What is the main cause of Rosacea?
Unfortunately the causes of Rosacea are not clearly understood. Why do you have Rosacea but your best friend doesn’t? Kim suggests several factors may play a role. These include:
- Helicobacter pylori (H. Pylori) – a type of bacteria
- Low stomach acid
- Food allergies or sensitivities
- B vitamin deficiencies
- Poor digestive health
- Hot flashes
- Skin infections
Take a look at this list – if any of these apply to your situation they may be contributing to or aggravating your Rosacea. All of these things are sign your body is out of balance. By correcting these imbalances you may be able to better control your symptoms. Not sure how to proceed? It may be worth discussing your symptoms with a professional who can help you identify imbalances in your system and give you a proper roadmap for regaining your health.
Understanding your triggers
Sometimes there is no apparent reason for a flare-up. Oftentimes, however, certain types of food or even the weather can trigger a reaction. According to Kim, the most common triggers for a flare up include:
- Emotional stress
- Hot drinks
- Spicy foods
- Extremely hot or cold temperatures
What can I do today to treat my Rosacea naturally?
While there is no known cure for Rosacea, Kim explains there are several steps you can take to help prevent or minimize your Rosacea symptoms naturally:
1. Reduce your exposure to your triggers
While this is sometimes easier said then done – keep in mind that constant exposure to your triggers will keep your skin irritated. By eliminating or greatly reducing your exposure to extremes in temperature, long-term direct sunlight, hot liquids like coffee, tea, soups, alcohol and spicy foods you can greatly reduce or minimize some of your symptoms.
2. Eliminate inflammatory foods from your diet
Inflammatory foods can be incredibly detrimental to your skin and overall complexion and are believed to contribute to your Rosacea. Kim suggests we be particularly mindful of the usual culprits like:
- Sugary foods
- Refined and processed foods like breads, cakes, pastries and most things in a package.
- Food containing trans fats or harmful fats such as margarine, shortening, vegetable oil and fried foods should be avoided for their inflammatory properties.
3. Take a break from dairy products
Kim also recommends eliminating or severely reducing the amount of dairy products you consume, at least temporarily. Kim explains “Dairy is very difficult for most people to digest and is often found to be the culprit when inflammatory skin disorders appear.”
Nourish and heal your skin
It’s no secret that a proper diet is needed for a healthy body. But what can it do for your skin and your fight against Rosacea? Kim says, “Along with eliminating the harmful foods that may be contributing to your rosacea, a healthy diet must be consumed in order to cleanse the body of toxins and nourish and heal the skin.” A healthy diet will provide you with all of the essential nutrients your body needs to fight inflammation caused by Rosacea and help maintain healthy skin.
To kick-start your fight against inflammation – Kim has provided one of her delicious recipes to nourish and heal your skin. The following recipe contains plenty of B vitamins that are often deficient in people with rosacea, vitamin C that helps to fight inflammation as well as zinc, which is also important to maintain healthy skin. Find the recipe at the bottom of this post.
It is also important to use extra care when selecting skincare products. It can be challenging to find a skincare routine that won’t aggravate your skin. There is no single ‘skin type’. Rosacea sufferers can have dry, flaky skin, normal, oily skin, or even combination skin. You also likely have very sensitive skin.
Daily sun protection is also very important, especially if you have rosacea. Sun exposure is one of the top triggers for a rosacea flare up.
Read next: a simple skincare routine for rosacea
This simple routine helps take the guesswork out of caring for your sensitive skin.
Most importantly – be kind to yourself. Lets face it – life has a habit of getting in the way of us making the lifestyle or diet changes we know will help us. It is easy to feel overwhelmed. Remember even small changes can help improve your skin and overall complexion.
1 National Rosacea Society (rosacea.org)
2 Survey Defines Progression of Rosacea, National Rosacea Society
3 Where Is Rosacea Worst? Map Points to Northeast, National Rosacea Society
Cauliflower and Broccoli Salad
½ head cauliflower, cut into bite sized florets
½ head broccoli, cut into bite sized florets
1 medium carrot, peeled and shredded
1 cup apples, diced
1 tbsp chia seeds
½ cup goji berries
2/3 cup raw pumpkin seeds
2 tbsp orange juice
4 tbsp organic apple cider vinegar with “Mother”
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
sea salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp each fresh tarragon, parsley and cilantro, finely chopped
- Combine the chopped cauliflower, broccoli, carrot and apples in a large bowl. Toss until evenly distributed.
- Toss in the chia seeds, goji berries and pumpkin seeds.
- In a small dish or measuring cup, whisk together the orange juice, cider vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper and herbs. Pour over the salad and gently toss to evenly coat.
Will keep in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
Kim Banting is a Holistic Nutritionist from Ontario, Canada. She is the owner Flourish Nutrition and specializes in women’s health issues, particularly hormone balance and gut health. She is the creator of Simply Balanced Hormones, a 28 day online program to help stressed out women learn how to eat so that they sleep soundly, increase their energy and feel amazing!
This article is for informational purposes only. This article is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice. If you are under the care of another healthcare provider, it is important that you contact your other healthcare providers and alert them to your use of nutritional supplements. Holistic nutritional consulting may be a beneficial adjunct to more traditional care, and it may also alter your need for medication, so it is important you always keep your physician informed of changes in your nutritional program.
Rosacea, pronounced roh-zay-sha, is a skin condition which causes redness, flushing and spots (amongst other symptoms) on certain areas of the face including the forehead, chin and nose. The condition, which is thought to be caused by a variety of factors including blood vessel abnormalities, genetics and bacteria found in the digestive system, is often mistaken for acne and is sometimes referred to as acne rosacea despite the two having no links in terms of cause, effect or treatment.
It is thought that up to one in ten individuals suffer from rosacea, though for some it is so mild that the sufferer remains unaware. Rosacea can occur at any age, though onset is most common between the ages of 30 and 55 and it affects a higher percentage of females than it does males.
Generally rosacea is not painful or itchy but it can cause a slight burning sensation in the affected areas. The severity of the symptoms will vary from person to person and may include one or more of the following:
Eye symptoms – Eye symptoms actually occur in about half of rosacea cases though are often very mild and do not cause much discomfort. Those who are affected may experience sensitivity to light, dryness, burning, stinging, itching, inflammation of the eyelid or the sensation of having something inside the eye. If your vision becomes significantly impaired then you should visit your GP as soon as possible.
Facial flushing – This is one of the most common of all the rosacea symptoms and for some sufferers is the only one they develop.
Redness – Red face and/or red cheeks with a similar appearance to that of sunburn are very common.
Spots – In some of the more severe cases sufferers may develop small spots known as papules and small cysts known as pustules on the face. It is these spots which often result in rosacea and acne being referred to as one of the same due to similarities in the appearance of both. However, both require different treatment.
Telangiectasia – These are very small blood vessels under the skin which are quite noticeable and prominent when they occur on the face.
Thickening of the skin – Rhinophyma, otherwise known as thickening of the skin, most commonly occurs around the nose area and results in the bulbous appearance of the affected area.
Whilst many people don’t experience too much discomfort with rosacea, it’s appearance can cause distress and embarrassment for suffers.
Experts have been unable to pinpoint the exact cause of rosacea but believe that it may be caused by a combination of factors including the following:
Blood vessel abnormalities – Abnormalities in the blood vessels are thought to be a contributing factor which could explain flushing, redness and viable blood vessels.
Demodex Follicularum – This is a tiny mite which usually lives harmlessly on human skin. Experts have found that higher numbers of the mites are found on people with rosacea though it is not known whether this is a cause or effect of the condition.
Genetics – Rosacea does often run in families though it is not know what genes are involved.
Helicobacter pylori bacteria – This bacteria can be found in the digestive system and it is thought that it could stimulate the production of a protein known as bradykinin, which can trigger the expansion of blood vessels.
Though experts are yet to find a way of identifying and eliminating the cause or causes of rosacea, sufferers may notice that certain triggers make their symptoms worse, and identifying and limiting exposure to these triggers may help to keep symptoms to a minimum. Different people will have different triggers but some of the most commonly reported include the following:
- acute medical conditions such as a fever or cold
- chronic medical conditions such as high blood pressure
- cold weather
- dairy products
- exposure to wind
- hot baths
- hot weather
- overuse of steroid cream
- spicy foods
- strenuous exercise
- sun damage/ exposure.
Usually a rosacea diagnosis will be based solely on your symptoms and the appearance of your face. In some rare cases your GP may require a blood test so that they can rule out any other issues which may cause redness of the skin.
Experts are yet to discover a way to cure rosacea but there are a series of treatments which can be used to keep symptoms under control and to a minimum. There are a various options available to sufferers and the treatment chosen will really be dependent on what the key symptoms the individual is experiencing. Some people may find that they have to alter their treatment plan from time to time as a result of worsening symptoms, or because they are no longer responding to the treatment. Some of the most common remedies can be found below:
Though rosacea is not a form of acne in some cases GPs may prescribe acne treatments such as Tretinoin or Adapalene. In cases of severe rosacea which has shown a resistance to other treatments, doctors may prescribe a very strong medication known as Isotretinoin (Accutane), which is usually used to treat a severe but common form of acne called acne vulgaris. It is taken in the form of daily capsules for four to sixth months and close monitoring and blood testing may be necessary for some patients. For women, birth control is a must when taking this medication as it has been linked to a higher risk of miscarriage and congenital malformations such as facial and nervous system defects.
In addition to topical creams, cleansers which can be bought from chemists and supermarkets can provide a great deal of symptom control for some individuals. Experts warn against any harsh products and instead recommend simple and pure, gentle cleansers which will not cause irritation. Some dermatologists also recommend sulfa-based washes and benzoyl peroxide based washes.
Glycolic acid peels may help to improve and control symptoms in some individuals. The peels should be applied professionally for between two and five minutes every two to four weeks.
Laser and light therapies tend to be used to treat the facial redness and visible blood vessels associated with rosacea as opposed to the pimples and bumps which are also a common symptom. Though there is very little evidence which proves the efficacy of these types of therapy, many sufferers have found that the treatment has had extremely positive and side effect free results.
This option is usually prescribed to patients who are suffering from moderate rosacea. Most forms are to be taken once a day and are aimed at reducing inflammation and pimples.
This therapy is commonly used to treat pre-cancers and acne vulgaris but is now often used to treat rosacea. Treatment involves the use of a photosensitizing agent (often a gel which is spread on the skin) and a particular type of light. When the photosensitizing agent is exposed to a specific wavelength of light, they produce a form of oxygen which kills nearby cells.
Sun exposure is one of the most common triggers of rosacea so it is really important that sufferers make every effort to protect their skin. Rosacea occurs more commonly among fair skinned adults so use of an overall daily sunscreen which contains Zinc and is no lower than SPF 30 is recommended.
Topical cream or gel will usually be recommended as the first treatment option for those suffering from mild rosacea. They can help to unblock pores and reduce inflammation but some of the stronger forms can cause skin irritation.
Though the treatments detailed above can be extremely beneficial for rosacea sufferers, most of them are aimed at reducing the severity of the symptoms and not at preventing or limiting them in the first place. As the actual cause is unknown it is difficult to prevent rosacea, though many individuals do choose to make changes to their diet so that food triggers can be limited.
Though there is little scientific research to support the idea that certain foods can cause rosacea symptoms to worsen or flare-up, many sufferers have found that eliminating certain foods from their diet or changing their nutritional intake helps to keep their rosacea under control.
Whilst there are many dietary triggers for sufferers and they will vary from person to person, alcohol and spicy foods are among the two most commonly reported, and individuals who have cut these out of their diet often find that flare ups are significantly reduced. Other common food triggers include the following:
- citrus fruits, including tomatoes, bananas, red plums, raisins, or figs
- dairy such as yogurt and cheese
- aubergines, avocados, spinach
- some beans and pods, including lima, navy or peas
- soy sauce
- yeast extract.
Individuals who do decide to make changes to their diet and lifestyle often find that they struggle to maintain a good nutritional balance. Removing certain food groups such as dairy or citrus fruits may result in withdrawal symptoms and in some cases could lead to nutritional deficiencies if the changes are not executed correctly.
Those who do not feel confident about implementing changes independently may benefit from the expertise of a qualified nutritionist, who will ensure that whilst some foods are removed they will be substituted with another. As well as providing you with a personalised nutrition program, a nutritionist will also be there to monitor your progress and provide motivation and support.
- British Skin Foundation
- British Association of Dermatologists
How Dairy Products Affect Rosacea
Rosacea triggers vary and sometimes, flare-ups could be experienced without any particular reason. Still, researchers believe that certain foods and behaviors could make the condition worse. Dairy products rank among these foods.
Rosacea flare-up triggers are classified in several different categories. Numerous kinds of foods, weather, high temperatures, alcoholic beverages, pharmaceutical products and the use of the wrong skincare products can all contribute to making rosacea worse.
What makes these triggers powerful and how are dairy products responsible for causing rosacea? Here is everything that you need to know about the connection between food and rosacea, as well as about managing the problem and keeping your skin clear.
How does Dairy Affect Rosacea
All rosacea sufferers should keep a food diary to pinpoint the products making the condition worse. If the frequent consumption of dairy products is causing flare ups, these foods should be avoided.
Most dairy products impact rosacea sufferers in a negative way. These products include yogurt, smoked cheeses, sour cream and yellow cheese. The only product that rosacea sufferers can consume safely is cottage cheese.
Non-dairy cheese and other substitute products are also safe and their consumption should be encouraged. Understand the fact that there’s no universal solution for all rosacea sufferers. This is why a food diary is so important. The sensitivity towards particular products is unique and some rosacea sufferers may experience whatsoever no reaction after the consumption of dairy products.
In other instances, the chronic condition will be aggravated. Researchers are still incapable of pinpointing the exact cause of rosacea. This skin condition is incredibly difficult to diagnose and manage, unless the patient is actively involved in identifying the triggers.
Facts and Figures
Certain triggers happen to be more powerful for rosacea patients than others. The National Rosacea Society conducted a survey and talked to more than 1,000 rosacea patients. The researchers tried to identify the most common triggers.
Nearly 10 percent of the rosacea sufferers questioned said that the consumption of dairy products made the flare-ups worse.
In comparison, 81 percent of the rosacea sufferers said that their condition was aggravated by exposure to sunlight, 79 percent had their rosacea aggravated by stress and 57 percent said that rosacea became worse because of strong wind.
The most common nutritional trigger was spicy food – 45 percent of the rosacea sufferers said that hot and spicy meals made their condition worse. There’s a simple explanation for these findings. Rosacea is made worse by activities and factors that cause the body to become heated and affect the circulation. This is why spicy foods happen to be such a common trigger while dairy products are ranked lower down the line.
Some researchers have a different theory – they believe that an alkaline diet can have cleansing effects, thus reducing rosacea symptoms. Milk and other dairy products are foods that have acidic nature. Acidic foods cause vascular dilation (which means that they make blood vessels larger). Eliminating them from the diet will reduce flushing, thus enabling rosacea sufferers to control the flare-ups.
How to Improve Your Diet and Manage Rosacea
Eating right will make rosacea management an easier task. Apart from avoiding dairy, you’ll also have to think about the other products that could be making your condition worse.
Rosacea is rarely associated to just one trigger. Numerous other foods could also be causing flare-ups.
A rosacea study was carried out in 2008 in Italy’s Genoa. The study involved 60 rosacea sufferers. All of these individuals had bacterial overgrowth in their gastrointestinal tract, which led researchers to believe that food consumption and the skin condition were directly related.
Eradicating the bacterial overgrowth through proper diet and the use of medications resulted in rosacea clearing up in 70 percent of the cases. Almost 20 percent of the other rosacea sufferers experienced significant improvements in their skin condition.
Certain kinds of foods should be avoided at all costs. These include dairy products, starches, alcoholic beverages, artificial sweeteners, soy products, caffeine, smoked and spicy foods should all be avoided.
Individuals suffering from rosacea can replace milk with rice or almond drinks. These are delicious and plant-based, which makes them perfectly safe.
Other foods can be used to improve the condition of the skin. Their consumption is encouraged. These foods include green leafy vegetables and other sources of dietary fiber (fruits, vegetables and wholegrains). These foods improve the functioning of the gastrointestinal tract, which also decreases the severity of the rosacea episodes.
Other Health Benefits of Going Dairy-Free
Going on a dairy-free diet will enable you to enjoy a vast range of additional health benefits. Dairy has long been recognized as the trigger for numerous medical conditions. Individuals that limit the consumption of dairy or stop it altogether enjoy cleaner skin, better digestion, improved skin patterns and higher energy levels. There’s some evidence that going on a dairy-free diet can also improve cholesterol levels.
A dairy-free diet will also reduce bloating, help you get rid of chronic sinus congestion, enable you to maintain healthy weight and even reduce the risk of certain types of cancer.
According to researchers, milk consumption affects hormone levels and it increases the risk of ovarian and breast cancer in women.
Controlling rosacea in an all-natural way is possible. It’s once again important to keep in mind that each rosacea case is individual.
Some sufferers of the condition will experience problems associated to dairy consumption while others will not. Still, opting for a healthy diet that eliminates certain products will make the skin cleaner and facilitate the management of the stubborn and embarrassing dermatological problem.
Eating Right for Rosacea: Answers From Dr. Chutkan
A number of lifestyle and environmental factors can trigger a rosacea flare-up, including your diet. Although rosacea affects your skin, what you eat can play a big role in managing your symptoms, according to Robynne Chutkan, MD, a gastroenterologist and assistant professor in the division of gastroenterology at Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, D.C., and author of the book Gutbliss.
“The relationship between the gut and the skin is fascinating, and rosacea is a prime example of how they interact,” explained Dr. Chutkan. “As a rosacea sufferer myself, I’m particularly interested in this.”
Dr. Robynne Chutkan: Questions and Answers on Eating Right With Rosacea
Although factors that cause rosacea to flare up vary from person to person, in the following question-and-answer session, Chutkan shed some light on the link between diet and rosacea. She also provided rosacea diet tips that may help keep your symptoms in check.
Q: What’s the thinking behind eating right with rosacea?
“The gut is a hollow tube that runs the length of the body, from the mouth to the anus, so think of the digestive tract as the inside of the skin,” Chutkan said. “It’s helpful to think that way. Really, the two are very connected. I’m not the first, and I’m sure I won’t be the last, to comment on that observation.”
A bacterial imbalance in the gut can show up on the skin and worsen conditions like rosacea, she added. “For those with bloating and GI upset who also have rosacea, there is a clear correlation between bacterial overgrowth and this skin condition,” she explained. Certain foods, frequent antibiotics, steroids, and antacids are among the factors that can upset the delicate balance of bacteria in the gut and lead to an overgrowth of bad bacteria and a shortage of the good bacteria. Chutkan explained that identifying the cause of a bacterial imbalance is key to improving rosacea symptoms.
Q: Does recent research suggest a link between the gut and rosacea?
“A 2008 controlled study conducted by researchers in Genoa, Italy, looked at 120 patients from a dermatology clinic with rosacea and 60 people that didn’t have it,” Chutkan said. “They found that a significant percentage of the rosacea patients had small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, or SIBO. There was a higher prevalence of this bacterial overgrowth among the rosacea patients than in the control group as well as the general population.”
The researchers treated the patients with the bacterial imbalance with antibiotics. They found that by eradicating the overgrowth of bad bacteria, about 70 percent of the rosacea patients’ skin cleared up entirely, and over 20 percent experienced a dramatic improvement in their symptoms. Moreover, the rosacea patients who were given a placebo pill and saw no improvement in their rosacea symptoms were later given the antibiotic, and, after taking the drug, they also experienced a dramatic improvement in their symptoms. The study, published in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, also revealed that after nine months of follow-up, 96 percent of the rosacea patients remained in remission.
Q: What are some common food triggers that can cause rosacea to flare-up?
“Alcohol seems to be a universal trigger for people with rosacea,” Chutkan said. “Some people find dairy worsens their symptoms. Others say soy or artificial sweeteners trigger a flare-up. Caffeine also affects some people.”
Chutkan’s advice is two-fold. “It’s a good idea to avoid things that kill off good bacteria like antacids , if you block stomach acids, you get overgrowth of bacteria in the digestive tract. You should also avoid the starchy and sugary foods that encourage the overgrowth of bad bacteria species.”
Q: What foods should I eat to help control my rosacea?
Leafy greens and other high-fiber foods, such as lentils, asparagus, and kale, can help create an environment in the gut that allows good bacteria to grow, Chutkan pointed out. “We are talking about cutting out cake and ice cream and making changes that will have other health benefits,” she said. “There are also some probiotics that are useful, but it’s more about diet and eating the kind of food that will encourage the growth of good bacteria and discourage the growth of bad bacteria.”
Q: Is there a specific rosacea diet?
Although there’s no specific rosacea diet, Chutkan noted that two diets limit starches and other foods that may lead to the overgrowth of harmful bacteria in the gut. “I looked at what was written in medical literature about the anti-inflammatory diet for skin,” she said. “This diet excludes refined sugar, complex carbohydrates, and high levels of saturated fat. It encourages nutrient-dense foods, such as deeply pigmented fruits and vegetables. It also encourages eating good sources of omega-3 fatty acids, such as wild salmon and chia flax seeds.”
Another diet that may promote a healthy balance of bacteria in the gut is the Paleolithic or Paleo diet, added Chutkan. “It’s an early low-carb diet, in which people eat as cavemen or women did before the advent of fire,” she said. “You cut out sugar and processed grain and eat unlimited amounts of animal protein, fruits and vegetables, nuts, and seeds. You avoid peanuts and other legumes as well as dairy of any kind.” Chutkan noted the Paleo diet is popular among endurance athletes. “If you look at a lot of chatter in those communities, it’s all about how this diet improves acne, rosacea, and joint pain. My patients do very well on it from a digestive point of view, and very frequently their skin clears up.”
Q: Why do hot liquids seem to make symptoms worse?
The facial blood vessels of people with rosacea may dilate too easily. This increased blood flow near the skin surface can make the skin look red and flushed. “Extreme temperatures do not cause rosacea, but this can make the condition worse by dilating the blood vessels and increasing blood flow even more, so the skin appears even more red,” Chutkan explained.
Q: Why do citrus fruits and spicy foods seem to make rosacea symptoms worse?
“Citrus fruits release histamine, which can aggravate rosacea; spicy foods aggravate rosacea by causing dilation of the tiny blood vessels under the skin,” Chutkan said. “It’s important to remember, however, that rosacea triggers are different for everyone, and if spicy foods or citrus fruits don’t cause worsening of your condition, there is no need to avoid or eliminate them.”
Q: After making dietary changes, how soon can I expect to see an improvement in my rosacea symptoms?
“What I tell my patients is that they didn’t develop this condition overnight — they developed it over their lifetime,” Chutkan said. “There must be a shift in the bacteria in the gut towards more beneficial species and less of the not-so-good species. You can’t cure rosacea overnight, but over a period of several weeks, you can really see improvements.”
Her suggestion: “Start a 10-day or two-week plan for rosacea where you eliminate possible triggers from your diet and see if things get better. In some cases, improvements can be seen in as little as 10 days, but that might not be typical. At the end of six weeks with no difference, maybe diet doesn’t play a big role for you. But things can continue to improve for up to six months.”
Q: What about craving foods that have been eliminated from the diet?
“If things do clear up after making healthy dietary changes, and you find that you are really missing something, you can reintroduce it and see how you react,” Chutkan said. “It’s important to do this with one food at a time in order to evaluate your body’s response.”
Photo Credit: JulesClifford.com
Rosacea Diet: What’s the Evidence?
The perfect “rosacea diet” is one that makes you feel great, is easy to follow and includes foods that you love.
That may seem generic, but it is important to find out what works for you. This often involves some trial and error. If you are looking for a strict rosacea diet including a full of lists of foods you can’t eat – look elsewhere. There is no one-size-fits-all rosacea diet here. Instead, this article offers a basic guide to isolating your individual triggers for rosacea. The rosacea treatment that works for you may not work for someone else.
If you are suffering from Rosacea make sure to give Dr. Rivers’ 15 day free sample kit a try. Developed specifically for his patients to reduce redness, flushing and irritation, the free sample kit will last long enough to make sure Riversol works for you.
Rosacea Dietary Triggers
There is little evidence to support the restriction of certain food groups to minimize rosacea flare-ups. However, if you suspect certain foods are causing a flare-ups for you, the best thing to do is to keep a food journal. List (exactly) what you’ve eaten and when, and note any exacerbation of symptoms you notice throughout the week. If a trend emerges, you can try cutting out the suspected food to see if there is improvement.
We highly recommend seeing a registered dietitian if you are cutting out multiple foods or an entire food group. The National Rosacea Society has a diary booklet you can use here.1 According to a survey of 1,066 rosacea patients, completed by the National Rosacea Society, the most common food and beverage triggers are: 2
- Spicy foods
- Heated beverages
- Marinated meats
- Some fruits and vegetables (only in 9-13% of those surveyed), especially citrus items and tomatoes.3 This is very individual – use a rosacea diet food journal if you suspect a fruit or vegetable is a trigger for you.
Other foods and beverages you might want to pay attention to are listed here.4 However, listening to your body is critical: few (if any) of these foods may be affecting your rosacea. There is limited evidence that dietary strategies help reduce rosacea flare-ups.5 Suspected trigger foods are commonly scrutinized when a flare up occurs, but evidence is still lacking to prove that there is any effect.6
While oral herbal remedies, including feverfew, licorice and lavender (among others), are often recommended for reducing rosacea symptoms. There is no evidence – at this time – that they actually help reduce symptoms.5 Herbal supplements can also be very expensive and interact with certain medications. If you plan to start taking a herbal supplement, as always, talk to your doctor first.
Rosacea Diet and Probiotics
Lets talk bacteria! We love probiotics: kefir, yogurt, kimchi, sauerkraut, tempeh, etc. – we love them all. And, it just so happens, that there is preliminary evidence to suggest that probiotics may play a role in reducing rosacea symptoms.7 While more research needs to be done in this area before we can truly determine if probiotics are helpful, we recommend trying to consume food sources of probiotics each day. Probiotic foods are part of a healthy rosacea diet. Give them a try!
Rosacea Diet or Stress?
If you are committed to improving the health of your skin, make a commitment to reduce your stress levels. While stress is not directly rosacea diet related, it can affect digestion and may worsen rosacea symptoms. Take time for yourself and do some reading, stretching, physical activity or yoga on a regular basis. Stress management comes in a variety of forms, and can improve your overall health. Find what works for you.
In general, you should avoid rosacea diets that cut out entire food groups or restrict large lists of foods. See a registered dietitian if you are planning on cutting out multiple foods to ensure your rosacea diet still meets your nutrient requirements.
Most importantly, make sure you are enjoying your food! Good food is one of life’s greatest pleasures and a balanced diet should never be an additional source of stress.
Vancouver dermatologist Dr. Jason Rivers has created a range of skincare products to help the patients in his Vancouver clinic manage facial redness. He is offering a free, 15-day supply of his Redness Control line for a limited time.
Please check out some of our other resources here:
- The complete guide to rosacea treatment
- What causes rosacea
- What is rosacea? fast facts
Author: Melissa Baker, MHSc(c), RD
Alkaline Diet & Rosacea
Can an Alkaline Diet Help Rosacea?
by Dr. Scott Olson,
Naturopathic Doctor (ND)
If you are one of the unlucky people who have rosacea, you have probably searched for a solution to your problem and maybe you have tried a few approaches including various creams, light therapy (phototherapy), or even some alternative treatments. While some of these approaches may have worked for a while, eventually, the rosacea returned.
Not all is lost, though, and you have probably learned a lot during your search. You may have discovered that harsh chemical creams or lotions can actually make rosacea much worse, despite what the package claimed. You may have also learned that phototherapy worked, at least for a while. And you probably learned that many treatments simply don’t work at all, despite whatever the hype was about the product.
All of these approaches are doomed because they fail to understand and address the underlying cause of the disease. What you need to do is forget trying to treat rosacea as a skin problem and think of it as a whole-body problem; or, more specifically, a gut problem.
The old saying that “beauty is more than skin deep” has never been truer than when you are dealing with a skin disease such as rosacea. Skin diseases are reflections of overall health. It is well-known, for example, that people who eat a non-Western diet have fewer skin diseases: including rosacea, acne, eczema and others. This is because non-Western diets focus on more fruits and vegetables and fewer sugars, grains, and processed foods. People eating a non-Western diet are healthier than the average American and their skin shows it.
Brady Barrows and author of a book on diet and rosacea, called Rosacea Diet: A simple method to control rosacea, commented on the relationship between processed foods and rosacea:
As the processed food industry of the developed world makes inroads into the underdeveloped world the result is a diet producing obesity. Rosacea during this same period has increased dramatically worldwide. The current number of Americans with rosacea is over 14 million.
There is a healthy path to clearer skin and, while it may take more effort on your part than simply buying a cream or lotion, the results will be dramatic and long-lasting.
Rosacea is a chronic skin disease that produces a red rash across the cheeks, nose, chin, and forehead. The rash goes through periods of remission followed by periods where the rash is much worse (flare-ups). What exactly causes a flare-up is a bit of a mystery, but most people, over time, uncover their own triggers that seem to make the rash much worse. For some people, their trigger is coffee or other hot drinks, for others it is stress or anxiety, and for others it may be some food they ate.
What you need to recognize about triggers is that they point to you in the right direction: Triggers tell you that rosacea is a whole-body disease and not just a skin disease.
While rosacea can be severe and produce permanent swelling of the nose called rhinophyma, or even severe eye symptoms, for most people rosacea remains an unsightly, embarrassing blotch on their face.
The Gut and the Skin
While it can sound strange, there is actually a very close relationship between the health of your digestive tract and the health of your skin. Some researchers have gone as far as to say that inflammation or the rash on the face means that there is also inflammation throughout the gut.
Although the precise etiology of rosacea is not known, numerous associations with inflammatory gastrointestinal tract disorders have been reported. Furthermore, substance P-immunoreactive neurones occur in considerably greater numbers in tissue surrounding affected blood vessels suggesting involvement of neurogenic inflammation and moreover plasma kallikrein-kinin activation is consistently found in patients.
While there is a lot of technical jargon in the quote above, it is basically saying that there is a close relationship between inflammatory conditions of the gut (such as ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease or even Celiac disease) including body-wide inflammation and a disease like rosacea.
Slow transit time, better known as constipation, has also been known to be associated with rosacea. In a recent study, researchers treated a rosacea patient with slow transit time and saw a complete removal of his symptoms. This study, while incredibly small, shows the relationship between gut health and rosacea.
Other studies on diet and rosacea have also been preformed. A vegetarian alkaline diet was shown to dramatically reduce the symptoms of rosacea over two months. Not only did the symptoms of rosacea reduce or disappear in almost every participant, but eating an alkaline diet also reduced body-wide inflammation in the participants.
Acid Base Balance is the Key
A whole-body approach to rosacea recognizes that what you put into your mouth matters and what you eat can affect your health and the look of your skin. A whole-body approach is also an understanding that the body needs balance in order to thrive, and that most of what we typically eat puts us way out of balance.
The basic balance in your body is called the acid/base or acid/alkaline balance. You might have heard of pH balance, but not known what it is exactly. Every food that we eat has a certain pH: it is either a low pH (1 —7) and considered an acid, or it is a high pH (7-14) and considered a base. Water is right in the middle; it is not either an acid or a base. Your body likes to mimic water and keep its own pH close to neutral as possible; the blood, for instance, is slightly basic (pH of 7.3—7.4).
It is this at this neutral or slightly alkaline pH that your body functions its best.
When your body is in an acidic state, instead of the natural alkaline state, it doesn’t function well. This means that the body’s basic mechanisms such as detoxification, elimination, and repair all don’t function as they should. When these mechanisms fail, the result is disease, in your case, this means that rosacea once again flairs up.
This acid problem is made worse by many of the activities we engage in: eating poorly, not sleeping well, not exercising, and feeling stressed… all of these push us to an acidic state.
How to Discover Your Own Balance
It is very easy to discover what you own personal acid base balance is by testing either your saliva or urine every morning. You can use pH strips, which are multicolored strips that can let you know if you are too acid or alkaline (although it is hard to be too alkaline).
In order to test your pH simply put a pH strip in your mouth or touch the paper to your urine stream. You want to do this first thing in the morning. As you eat an alkaline diet, you can watch how your pH readings will change from acidic to more basic (from unhealthy to healthy). You can also notice how different foods will change your morning pH and how you feel when you are more acidic.
When Acid Pushes You, Push Back
Since many of the activities you engage in push you towards a more acidic state, you have to develop an action plan to push back. The easiest way to do this is to eat a diet that is more alkaline. While you do not have to eat a purely vegetarian diet, you do want to include a large number of fruits and vegetables in your diet.
Much like giving a car the right fuel, our bodies thrive when we give it what it needs. Interestingly, eating an alkaline diet not only means that your body is more in the proper balance, but it is also getting more of the nutrients your body needs.
Diet—far from being just a source of potential triggers for Rosacea—is actually the key to a permanent solution to the disease. Eating an alkaline diet means that in as little as a few weeks, your skin should start looking better and you will feel much better.
Rosacea Rescue Diet
The best diet for someone with rosacea is an alkaline diet.
Here are the basics to an alkaline diet:
- Eat more fruits and vegetables, in fact they should outnumber and outweigh all the other food that you eat.
- Avoid acid-forming foods such as grains, sugar and many meats. Of the three (grains, sugar and meat), meat is the most allowable because it can be easily balanced by a large amount of vegetables or fruit.
- Drink plenty of fresh clean water.
- Make sure you are getting enough of the essential nutrients your body needs; supplement if you have to, you body may need the additional nutrients.
- Avoid cooked fats, trans fats, and fried foods.
- Avoid dairy foods.
While not a complete list, here are the most common acid and alkaline foods:
Alkaline-forming foods: fresh fruit, vegetable, salad green, sprouts, raw cider vinegar, lima beans, potatoes, citrus fruits, millet, quinoa
When following this diet, you don’t want to completely avoid all acid-forming foods, but you want to balance them with as many alkaline-forming foods as possible. A good rule of thumb is to have a meal of 80 percent alkaline-forming foods and 20 percent acid-forming foods.
Other Helpful Tools
Don’t just stop at changing your diet, there are other ways to keep your body in an alkaline state. Try the rest of these for an added punch to your anti-rosacea diet:
- Manage stress
- Detoxify your body
- Drink enough water
- Add fiber to your diet
- Avoid coffee, tea, trans fats, alcohol, cigarettes, fried foods
- Avoid artificial sweeteners, some have been blamed on causing rosacea
- Eat lots of berries
- Eat cool foods
- Maximize nutrition with a multivitamin
- Take digestive enzymes
- Make sure you get enough EFAs
Despite what you may think, you don’t have to live with rosacea; as your body becomes healthier, so too, will your skin. The side effects of a choosing an alkaline diet is not only that you have healthier skin, but your whole body will feel better.
Rosacea Diet (1800 Calories per Day)
Read on for the answers you seek, then give us a call if you would like additional guidance.