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Diet for Rosacea

Diet for Rosacea

What we put into our bodies is reflected in our skin and nowhere is this more true, than for the rosacea sufferer.

Some foods trigger flushes and you need to recognise which ones produce flushes in you, as we aren’t all the same. Some rosaceans might only have a reaction to one or two foods while others react to a whole range of foods and drinks. However there are some common ones –the trick is to keep a food diary –particularly if you have a fairly bad case of rosacea.

Have a read through the following and see if any of this resonates with you. The following food list was compiled from patient histories of rosacea sufferers by Dr. Jonathan Wilkin and produced by the National Rosacea Society in America. It is a list of the most common food triggers which bring on an episode of flushing.

Food list of common Rosacea triggers:

  • Sugary foods
  • Starchy carbs
  • Spicy food
  • Greasy or fried foods/Junk food
  • Thermally hot foods (including hot chocolate, coffee or tea- drink them with added milk or water to cool them down slightly)
  • Liver
  • Yogurt (except Greek)
  • Sour cream
  • Cheese (except cottage cheese)
  • Chocolate
  • Vanilla
  • Soy sauce
  • Yeast extract (bread in itself is not listed -so v small amounts are ok)
  • Vinegar
  • Avocados
  • Spinach
  • Broad-leaf beans and pods, including butter, haricot or kidney
  • Citrus fruits, tomatoes, bananas, red plums, raisins or figs
  • Foods high in histamine, especially red wine. Foods high in niacin. (Taking an antihistamine about two hours before a meal may counter the effects of histamine, while aspirin may reduce the effects of niacin-containing foods in sufferers affected by these substances
  • White wine does not seem to produce the same reaction in some rosacea sufferers so it may be an alternative or maybe a spritzer concoction of white wine with soda or sparkling water served over ice can dilute your drink while also keeping things cool. Go with a 1:1 ratio. Alcohol can lead to dehydration, which may aggravate your skin. Have a glass of ice water in between each alcoholic drink – the water will keep you hydrated and the ice will keep you cool.

Heres an interesting article from the UK DAILY MAIL newspaper which highlights the beauty benefits of reducing alcohol intake.

Look what giving up drink for a month can do to your face: Mother who enjoyed five glasses of wine a week is transformed after going cold turkey

‘’We all worry about the effect an extra glass of wine has on our waistline — but what about on our skin?

To find out if ditching alcohol can improve your complexion, we challenged Laura Hogarth, a 40-year-old mother-of-two from Falkirk, to spend a month without consuming a drop of booze.

Before this, Laura drank about 15 units of alcohol a week — which equates to around five large glasses of wine and is just one unit a week above the United States recommended national guidelines for women (find out more)

Giving up alcohol has a dramatic effect on Rosacea.

Many modern women enjoy a drink with an evening meal or have a glass of wine at home to unwind after a busy day, with large numbers of women exceeding the Government’s daily drinking guidelines of two to three units a day.

But would many cut down if they knew that, as well as affecting their health, alcohol could also damage their looks, making them look years older than their age?


Theres's just no nice way to say it.. Being overweight increases the incidence of rosacea. In 2014, a University of Oslo found the following:

Overeating increases the bodies immune response. This increased immune response causes the body to generate excessive inflammation, which may lead to a number of chronic diseases (including rosacea) We can reduce the inflammatory reaction by losing weight.

When we eat more than we can burn through work, sports etc. this storage of energy causes an inflammatory reaction. There are many posts on US rosacea forums, where people say that their rosacea was a lot worse when they were overweight. It can be a catch 22, you want to be a healthy weight but exercising results in breakouts and flushes. If this applies to you and it's getting you down, keep reading for a rosacea-friendly diet and exercise regime.


High intensity workouts can often be a big no-no for rosacea sufferers. Although it can be tough, you can’t avoid exercise without risking other elements of your health. With rosacea, you need to keep your weight under control to keep your skin at its best. Here’s a few tips to maximize your workout and minimize your flare-ups:

  • Ditch the high intensity, heavy exertion workouts. These workouts can cause your body to overheat and produce lots of sweat, causing more flaring and flushing. Opt instead for lower intensity routines eg. walking or swimming, which can often be just as effective.
  • Exercise smarter. Try exercising for shorter periods more frequently. For example, rather than hitting the gym for an hour, try working out for 15 minutes, 4 times a day eg. 15 mins before work, 15 mins walk at lunchtime, ditch the bus and walk for 15 mins and then 15 mins in the evening.
  • When it’s hot outside, avoid exercise during the day. If you like working out outside, try to go early in the morning or later in the evening. Don’t forget a hat and a high SPF no matter what time. A hat with a broad brim is the best thing you can have on when outside plus your SPF.
  • Keep as cool as you can. Try putting a damp towel around your neck, sucking on an ice cube & drink lots of water. Occasionally splash some cold water on your face too to keep cool.


    There are a couple of diets that are especially good for rosacea? These are the Alkaline Diet or the Paleo Diet.

    Alkaline Diet

    This diet aims to find the ideal balance between acidifying and alkalizing foods. It greatly reduces the acid load which helps reduce the strain on the body’s acid detox systems eg. the kidneys. The alkaline diet would be typical of meditareanean diet where there is also less incidence of rosacea.

    Examples of alkaline foods:

    • almonds,
    • apples,
    • bananas,
    • beets,
    • berries,
    • brocolli,
    • cantaloupe,
    • cauliflower,
    • celery,
    • chestnuts,
    • cinnamon,
    • cucumber,
    • curry,
    • kale,
    • lettuce,
    • onions,
    • peas,
    • peppers,
    • spinach,
    • grapes,
    • melon,
    • lemon,
    • orange,
    • peach,
    • pear,
    • watermelon,
    • tofu,
    • sea salt.

    To see how to make an alkalising juice drink you can make from standard ingredients in your fridge. Click here to find out how.

    Paleo Diet

    This is probably the healthiest way you can possibly eat, but it’s a hard diet to follow. It is called the ‘paleo’ diet because it’s how paleolithic humans ate before there were lots of processed foods, refined sugars etc. It consists mainly of fruit, veggies, nuts, roots, meats and organ meat. It steers clear of dairy, grains, sugar, legumes, salt, coffee, alcohol and processed oils.

    For more info on this diet, have a look at

    One of the most severe cases of type 2 rosacea I have ever seen on any rosacea forums (UK rosacea forum) was a young woman from New Zealand who undertook the paleo diet and completely cleared her face of rosacea. Her face before the paleo was very inflamed, loads of pustules (acne like spots) and very bumpy. It completely transformed on the paleo diet.

    Chinese Cooling Foods

    In ancient times Traditional Chinese Medicine used specific foods to balance the body’s ‘yin’ (cold) and ‘yang’ (hot). Cooling foods are known for healing the body of excess heat and toxins. These foods are suitable for a range of conditions such as excess perspiration, constipation, red eyes, red face, headaches, heartburn etc. There is a long list of cooling foods which can be found here .

    They include celery, cucumber, apple, lemon , watermelon etc.