Foods that trigger rosacea

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Hot, hot, hot!! Spicy foods seem to be the most common trigger for people with rosacea, and avoiding them can certainly help prevent flare-ups of this skin problem. Other foods that also top the list include: hot sausage, red pepper, black pepper, vinegar, paprika, white pepper, and garlic — all listed in order of the highest percentage of one survey’s participants who were negatively affected by these foods and condiments.

What is rosacea?

Rosacea is a common, chronic skin disorder that affects roughly 14 million people in the United States, usually people between the ages of 30 and 50, with a predominance of women suffering from the condition. Its symptoms include: pimples (different from those associated with acne), redness in the cheeks, forehead, nose and chin, red lines caused by swollen blood vessels, increased pore size, and a stinging or burning sensation similar to sunburn. Approximately half of the people who suffer from rosacea experience these symptoms around the eye area.

What to do about it?

Treatments include topical ointments, oral medications, and laser therapy. All of these must be administered by a dermatologist, and people who suffer from rosacea are strongly encouraged to see a physician at the first sign of the condition. While some of the treatments, particularly those used on minor cases, will take effect almost immediately, others may take as long as two months for improvement to be noticeable. Of course, minimizing rosacea flare-ups is the first line of defense. This can be accomplished by making some minor lifestyle modifications.

Do’s and Don’ts

Do take the following precautions:

  • Use sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher
  • Exercise in cool or air-conditioned places
  • Protect your skin from extreme cold
  • Gently apply moisturizers and other facial and body products.

Don’t make the following mistakes:

  • Scrub or massage the affected areas too aggressively
  • Eat spicy foods or drink alcohol
  • Become overheated
  • Use cosmetics with ingredients that may irritate the skin
  • Get hair spray on your face.

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