Rosacea is a chronic skin condition that causes the skin to be bumpy and rough looking. Often characterized by redness and pus-filled pimples, rosacea affects people of all ages and gender, although it’s more common to women than men.
It’s a condition that has been linked to diet because it seems to be aggravated by certain foods and is brought under control by others. No cure for rosacea is known, but it can be controlled.
Simply avoiding foods that cause a flare-up of rosacea,eating well or getting a prescription of antibiotics effectively manages the condition.
1# The relationship between what you eat and rosacea
Certain types of food cause an overgrowth of the bad bacteria in the gut. Sugary foods and some starchy foods particularly.
When more of these bad bacteria overpopulate the digestive tract, effects manifest themselves through the skin.
That’s how your rosacea condition starts or becomes severe. Medications such as antibiotics and antacids also aggravate the condition when they kill friendly bacteria in the gut. This causes an imbalance in the number of good and bad bacteria.
The effect is poor food digestion and consequent uneven facial skin that has blood vessels showing through.
Steroids, too, have been known to cause this imbalance of good and bad bacteria population, according to research.
2# What research show about rosacea and what you eat
In a 2008 study involving 120 rosacea patients at a clinic in Genoa Italy, participants who had rosacea recorded a significant overgrowth of small intestine bacteria.
These patients were then put on a course of antibiotics to check the overgrowth. The result was a remarkable improvement and clearing of the skin almost immediately.
Patients who had received a placebo showed no change in the condition at all.
But when later they were put on antibiotics, their condition improved tremendously. 70% of the patients treated had their skin clear up completely while some 20% had their rosacea become less severe over time.
96% of the participating patients who were followed up for 9 months showed no recurrence of the condition, meaning they were cured. The study, published in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, showed a clear correlation between gut bacteria and rosacea.
3# What are the foods that cause and aggravate rosacea?
Alcohol remains the number one culprit. Research show that drinking makes a mild condition of rosacea to flare up, worsening the symptoms.
Some people also report that dairy products trigger the onset of rosacea. Still, others say that caffeine and artificial sweeteners cause symptoms to appear.
All these relate to the foods and drinks causing a dwindling of friendly bacteria in the digestive tract. And it becomes worse if you’re not eating foods that help to multiply them like probiotics.
To avoid the flare-up of acne rosacea, it’s advisable to remove these food items from your meals.
Avoid snacks too which contain sugar, especially, artificial sweeteners. Identifying the particular food that causes your rosacea to worsen or even to show up is the key towards getting relief from suffering the condition.
4# What should you eat to control rosacea?
Vegetables are what you should always eat and in plenty. They promote the growth of friendly bacteria, and the fiber they contain helps with digestion for a healthy gut. Green leafy ones especially, like kale, and asparagus.
Eat probiotics that will help to restore the right balance of bacteria that help to digest food. They include fruits and vegetables, usually in their fresh and raw state.
Yogurt too is a well-known probiotic that helps restore good bacteria in the gut.
It contains live species of such bacteria, and you should eat plenty of it since billions of them are needed to provide the right balance and get rid of rosacea symptoms.
5# What is the right diet for rosacea?
Although there’s no specific diet to adhere to, it essentially involves ensuring your meals contain generous amounts of foods that encourage good bacteria growth, while avoiding sugars and starchy foods that work to the contrary.
Avoiding saturated fats in your food also helps. Omega 3 fatty acid foods like salmon and some seeds like chia will also do wonders to prevent or even manage rosacea.
You can also consider Paleolithic diet which advocates for low carb meals. It has been shown to greatly help with conditions like acne, rosacea and joint pains. And this is as a result of it cleaning the digestive tract of bad bacteria.
6# Do hot liquids worsen rosacea?
The answer is yes. And it happens because hot liquids cause blood vessels to dilate.
If you have rosacea, your facial blood vessels are already enlarged and increase in temperature from the hot liquid further dilates them and causes an increase in blood flow in them. The result is your skin turning more red and flushed.
7# Do citrus fruits and spicy foods make rosacea worse?
Again, the answer is yes. It happens because of dilation and increased blood flow to these facial blood vessels. The symptom of rosacea that’s redness of the skin then becomes more visible.
If it happens to you, it’s advisable to avoid them, but only if the symptoms are severe, otherwise you can continue to enjoy your fruits and spices.
8# After how long will your rosacea improve after adjusting your diets?
It won’t happen overnight really, so you should give it time. The good bacteria need time to build up in your gut, which might take several weeks.
But it depends on the person. Some will see improvements after the first week of dietary changes, while others might have to wait for longer, sometimes even months.
Wait until the sixth week to see if your rosacea is improving. If after this period there’s no change, maybe you could consider other factors besides diet as the cause for the condition.
9# What if you crave for things that you eliminated from your diet.
Try to bring them back to your meals and see if they cause a flare-up of rosacea. One food at a time so you can easily point out the particular food that might cause symptoms to start showing.
By making dietary changes, you can easily manage rosacea and prevent symptoms from worsening. It’s just a matter of identifying what foods to avoid and eating plenty of foods that aid in the growth of good bacteria.