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Foods That Trigger Rosacea

Foods That Trigger Rosacea Foods That Trigger Rosacea Foods That Trigger Rosacea

Rosacea is a progressive skin disease that usually begins with a superficial redness in the cheeks and nose. The discoloration may eventually spread to the forehead, chin, ears and torso. As the condition progresses, tiny facial capillaries become visible and pustules or papules may form. Sun exposure, caffeine, alcohol and warm beverages aggravate rosacea in many people who have the condition. Certain foods may also trigger episodes of facial flushing and irritation. However, these dietary triggers may vary from one person to another.

Spicy Foods

Any food that causes dilation of the facial blood vessels may trigger a rosacea flare-up, according to RosaceaNet. Many people with rosacea report reactions to foods seasoned with red or black pepper, chili powder, curry or salsa. The American Academy of Dermatology, or AAD, recommends you keep a journal of your food reactions to identify foods that aggravate your symptoms.

Fermented Dairy Products

The vasodilation that occurs in rosacea may be a response to histamine, substances that stimulate allergic reactions, says the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology, or AOCD. Some foods contain histamine, while others trigger the release of histamine from your cells. Fermented dairy foods such as yogurt and aged cheese are high in histamine and may trigger rosacea flare-ups.

Citrus Fruits

Oranges, grapefruits and other citrus fruits may aggravate rosacea, according to the AOCD. If citrus fruits trigger your symptoms, replace them with other fruits or vegetables to make sure you are meeting your requirements for fiber, vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium and other important nutrients.

Tomatoes, Eggplant and Spinach

A variety of vegetables may prompt rosacea symptoms, because they either contain histamine or compounds that trigger the release of histamine, according to Food triggers are inconsistent among people with rosacea, says the AOCD. Eat a wide variety of vegetables to avoid nutritional deficits.

Broad-Leaf Beans

Navy beans, lima beans and peas may contain vasoactive compounds that worsen your rosacea, says the AOCD. However, these nutritious foods also offer protein, fiber and essential vitamins and minerals. If you react to certain beans, try a wider selection of legumes to find varieties that don't trigger flare-ups.


Sausage contains histamine and is often highly spiced, according to the AOCD. Sweet, mild sausages may be less likely to trigger rosacea.


The AOCD reports that the caffeine in chocolate may prompt an flare-up of rosacea. Hot cocoa holds a double trigger: chocolate combined with warmth. If you can't resist the taste of chocolate, eat small portions or try carob, a food whose taste and texture resemble chocolate.

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