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Rosacea is a skin disease characterized by redness on the cheeks, nose, forehead, and chin. It might also be accompanied by bumps or pustules and dry, flaky skin. The exact causes of rosacea are not well known, but there are environmental and dietary triggers that can cause outbreaks. The best rosacea diet varies from person to person, and patients often need to find their triggers by trial and error.
Environmental factors are the most common cause of rosacea outbreaks. Direct sun exposure almost always causes an outbreak, so patients should always use 30 SPF sunscreen and wear protective clothing. Other factors that cause flushing and vascular dilation such as strenuous exercise in a hot environment, stress, anger, and embarrassment can also lead to outbreaks. Doctors advise rosacea sufferers to make lifestyle changes to avoid environmental triggers as much as possible, because even the best rosacea diet cannot slow the progression of the disease if other triggers are present.
Foods that cause the skin to get hot or become flushed should be avoided by rosacea sufferers. Foods and drinks that might cause reddening even in the faces of people who don't have rosacea need to be avoided entirely or reduced in any rosacea diet. Hot soups, tea, and coffee may be consumed after they have been allowed to cool. Alcohol, especially beer and red wine, can cause an outbreak, as well as spicy foods containing chili or curry. Most rosacea patients find the best rosacea diet for them does not contain these foods and drinks.
There are foods that can cause outbreaks in some patients but not others, so rosacea sufferers are often advised to keep a food diary to find the triggers specific to them. For many people, chocolate is a trigger while others are affected by artificial sweeteners. Citrus fruits and juices often affect the condition, as well as tomatoes, red meat, cheese, and shellfish. Raisins, red plums, vinegar, and soy sauce are other common triggers. On the other hand, some fruits like cherries and blueberries act as vascular constrictors, and might improve some people's skin condition.
Some research suggests that the best rosacea diet increases alkaline foods and reduces acidic foods. Foods that are highly alkaline include mineral water, lentils, sweet potatoes, and watermelon. Some highly acidic foods that should be avoided are white vinegar, beef, and walnuts. Each rosacea sufferer might need to experiment with these foods to see their effect on the individual case.
Even if you use the best diet possible for rosacea I really think the most important thing is to use sunblock every single day. Use a moisturizer which incorporates it, maybe, or just put it on straight. Nothing has helped my breakouts more than that.
You do have to be careful to use a cleanser before bed to remove it though.
Rosacea is often found with the Irish who have easily burned skin anyway, so it's a really good practice.
The other thing I've read is that they think rosacea can be related to some of the flora in the gut. One suggestion is to eat a lot of leafy greens as they can balance those bacteria in a good way and that can help clear your skin. I'm not sure if this works.
Keep an eye on the latest research though, it seems to change all the time.
@KoiwiGal - To be honest, I would go and see a dermatologist as well. I never thought I'd be able to clear up my skin, but I mentioned it offhand to a doctor and she give me a referral to a skin specialist.
I had no idea how much there was I could do to get rid of the redness of my skin. Granted, the results aren't perfect and they aren't going to work for everyone. Rosacea is difficult to control.
But I feel so much more comfortable going out now. I don't feel like I need to cover my face with my hands, to try and block people's view of the horrible spots and redness.
I just wish I had gone earlier before I got the scarring I have.
I've always just thought of my rosacea as something I had to live with and that there was no way of changing it. I'd done enough research to see that there was no real cure, and that in fact they don't even fully understand how rosacea works.
I have a really mild case of it on my nose, so it's not really a big deal. Most of the time it just looks like a sunburn.
But, this article has inspired me to see if there is anything about my diet that I can change in order to make the rosacea go away.
Some of the suggestions here of things that cause it are things I should probably give up anyway
or at least eat very rarely like red meat or chocolate.
At any rate I might start keeping a food diary and see if I can track what causes an outbreak. My understanding is that rosacea can get worse as you get older, so I'm better off being prepared.
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