Researchers estimate that the skin condition rosacea is a common and global problem, affecting around 415 million people worldwide. And yet only about 18% of Americans with this condition are being treated for it.
This may be due to how rosacea works: It’s a condition that flares up and goes away and is often mistaken for other skin conditions. The actual cause of rosacea is still unknown, but many things can trigger a flare-up, including what you eat.
At Skinworks Dermatology, with three New York City locations, Dr. Javier Zelaya and our team treat a variety of medical and cosmetic skin conditions, including rosacea.
What does rosacea do?
Rosacea is a condition that causes redness, usually around the nose and cheeks, and visible blood vessels on the face. It can also lead to pus-filled bumps, eye problems, and rhinophyma, a thickening of the skin around the nose that causes it to appear bulbous.
What foods can trigger rosacea?
Many things can trigger a rosacea outbreak, including weather extremes, cosmetic products, and even blood pressure medications. But what you consume is a major culprit. Here are five types of food and drink that can cause rosacea flare-ups:
- Alcohol — red wine, champagne, bourbon, gin, vodka
- Hot drinks — coffee, tea, hot cocoa, hot cider
- Spicy foods — chili peppers, jalapeños, hot sauce
- Cinnamaldehyde — gives cinnamon its flavor; found in tomatoes and chocolate
- Fruits and vegetables — citrus fruits, tomatoes, bananas
Marinated meats can also trigger a rosacea outbreak because of the presence of sulfites.
Food, of course, doesn’t affect all rosacea sufferers the same way. We can help you identify which foods might be causing your flare-ups, so you can reduce the distressing episodes of inflammation and dilated blood vessels.
How is rosacea treated?
Reducing or eliminating the foods that trigger rosacea from your diet can help, so making a few dietary changes might be the first step.
Other forms of treatment include some combination of skin care and medications. Topical creams like oxymetazoline (Rhofade®) and brimonidine (Mirvaso®) are used regularly to reduce redness by constricting blood vessels.
Oral antibiotics may be used to help with the bumps and pimples associated with bad cases of rosacea. Isotretinoin (Claravis®) is an oral medication used for acne in severe cases, but it isn’t advisable for women during pregnancy.
If you’re dealing with rosacea, we can help you manage it. Call one of our convenient locations in Maspeth, Park Slope, and New York, New York, or use our online tool to book your appointment.