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Here Are 5 Foods That May Be Triggering Your Rosacea

Coming down with rosacea can be physically uncomfortable and negatively impact your self-esteem. Although having this common form of adult acne is no picnic, rosacea is, fortunately, a manageable condition if you are willing to make lifestyle changes and seek treatment from a dermatologist.

Our specialized team of board-certified dermatologists led by Michael Del Torto, MD and Donald R. Stranahan, Jr., MD, recommend people with rosacea change the way they eat to limit their risk of outbreaks. Try eliminating or limiting these five foods from your diet to calm a flare-up and  clear your skin.

Understanding rosacea

Rosacea is a skin disease that causes inflammation and red patches on your cheeks and nose, and in some cases, your chin and forehead. Some forms of rosacea also cause you to develop bumps that resemble acne and experience skin sensitivity or tenderness.

Most cases of rosacea are mild, and you can minimize the redness and discomfort by making lifestyle changes such as avoiding the sun and other forms of heat. It’s also important to know which foods trigger symptoms and to avoid or limit those foods.To determine any of these triggers, we recommend you eliminate the food or beverage from your diet one at a time to see if your rosacea improves. Keeping a food journal will help you see patterns and understand what foods may or may not trigger a flare up.

Five common foods that trigger rosacea

Rosacea triggers can vary from person to person however these 5 are the most common. 

Hot beverages

Heat in any form is a common trigger of rosacea outbreaks, try to eliminate or drastically curb the number of heated up beverages you consume such as  coffee, tea, hot cider, and hot chocolate. The trigger in these drinks is the temperature rather than the ingredients of the beverages themselves. If you find eliminating them altogether isn’t possible for you, try drinking them in cold form such as iced coffee, iced teas especially green or herbals, and frozen hot chocolate. 

Spicy foods

Foods that are spicy also heat up the skin and increase risk of  a rosacea flare- up. Swap out hot spices, hot sauces, hot peppers, and vinegar for milder salsas and other substitutes. It’s the perfect time to get creative with fresh, organic herbs and spices.


Alcohol causes dilation of the blood vessels, drinking it makes you more likely to experience rosacea’s characteristic facial redness. Though any alcohol can cause flare-ups, red wine and hard liquor are the main culprits..


Some people with rosacea experience outbreaks after consuming dairy. Try not ingesting or limiting your quantities of yogurt, milk, and cheese. If you suspect dairy is a trigger for you, try testing each dairy item individually rather than all at once. 

Foods with histamine in them

Histamine can make your red blood vessels dilate, causing rosacea outbreaks to occur. Food to look out for that contain histamines of which to be careful include tomatoes, citrus fruit, legumes, chocolate, and nuts.

How to identify rosacea diet triggers

You’ll learn your biggest food triggers through trial and error. Start out by eliminating one from each category. Wait two weeks to see if your rosacea has improved. If it has, that food item is a rosacea trigger and should be limited or eliminated completely from your diet. 

If you’ve been making lifestyle changes and are still struggling with rosacea outbreaks, our team at Easton Dermatology Associates can help you with additional solutions. These include laser therapies, topical creams, gels, washes, and antibiotics.

Easton Dermatology Associates has two convenient locations in Easton and Salisbury, Maryland. To make an appointment to discuss your skincare needs, call us today.

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