The rosacea diet

In the past week, I have been inundated with questions about rosacea as it seems to flare up at this time of year. Therefore I have put together this little Q & A to help us understand what rosacea is and how we can manage it! 

What is rosacea?

Do you get next-level flushed when you overheat, eat spicy food or drink alcohol?  Then you might have rosacea. It affects 1 in 20 people in the UK and around 415 million people all over the world!!

Rosacea is a skin condition that causes redness on our cheeks, nose, chin and forehead.   We may feel like we our constantly blushing.  Some people have pimple-like bumps and dryness.  The exact cause of rosacea is unknown but tends to be more prevalent in fair skin types. We do know that stress, weather conditions, physical activities and diet can make it worse. 

When we flush, the blood rushes to our face causing it to become hot and red leading to inflamed skin. So the trick is to focus on keeping our skin as calm and cool as possible. 

Is there a connection between our gut and rosacea?

Scientists have been investigating the role of our gut microbiome and rosacea.  So we know that microorganisms live in our gut and they have an impact on our health.  Latest info in the British Journal of Dermatology showed that many people with rosacea were also found to suffer from gastrointestinal issues such as irritable bowel syndrome. 

Can changing our diet make a difference when we suffer from rosacea?

Everyone has different triggers but there is some benefit now in eliminating foods and ingredients that tend to exacerbate the symptoms.

Interestingly, there is scientific proof that probiotics can reduce rosacea.   Probiotics are live bacteria which we can get from yoghurt or food supplements and are thought of as ‘good’ or ‘friendly’ bacteria.   They are believed to help restore the natural balance of bacteria in our gut and there is now some evidence that probiotics help irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

How to identify Rosacea triggers

Research has shown there is a link between rosacea and certain trigger foods and drinks e.g. spicy foods and alcohol.   Therefore, I would suggest that we should keep a food diary to help ourselves identify what foods or drinks act as triggers for our rosacea.  

Rosacea is an inflammatory skin condition and it would be a great idea if we could look at anti-inflammatory foods along with a diet rich in antioxidants.   Antioxidant supplements will help us too. 

What foods can trigger rosacea?

  •  Spicy foods and hot spices like paprika, cayenne or black pepper
  •  Dairy – yoghurt, cheese and sour cream
  •  Sugar
  •  Alcohol and particularly red wine, champagne and beer
  •  Hot drinks, including tea, coffee and hot chocolate

The Rosacea Diet

  •  Nuts and berries
  •  Leafy greens and whole grains
  •  Lentils, asparagus and kale
  •  Highly pigmented fruits and vegetables such as sweet potato and broccoli
  •  Fatty fish such as wild salmon and mackerel
  •  Chia and flax seeds