Finding your rosacea triggers is tough. They can be related to food or beverage. The weather can trigger a flushed, red face. Stress you feel can trigger a red face. Even the products you use to clean your skin may trigger a flare up. The first step to coping with rosacea is to find the triggers that lead to your flare ups. For me, the wind, sun, cold, excessive heat, caffeine, sugar, red wine, MSG, stress, and many facial care products are all triggers.
To find food triggers, it will take weeks. The following list of common food triggers should be your starting point. Eliminate each of them from your diet for a week. If you notice the redness in your skin subsides, that’s likely one of your food triggers.
- Alcoholic beverages
- Caffeine (such as chocolate, coffee, energy drinks, sodas, and tea)
- Dairy products
- Fruits and vegetables high in citric acid (such as berries, chili peppers, lemons, limes, oranges, pineapple, plums, tamarind, and tomatoes)
- Processed meats
- Soy sauce
- Spicy dishes (such as chili, curry, spicy Asian and Mexican dishes)
- Vinegar and vinegary foods like pickles and sauerkraut
The weather and atmospheric conditions also impact the redness associated with rosacea. Many people with rosacea find that wind will cause the face to redden, especially cold winds that occur in wintry northern areas. Heat and humidity will cause others to flush. The same is true of bitter cold temperatures and dry air.
One of the biggest factors to watch is the sun. If you have a red face from rosacea, the sun can be brutal. If you have to be outside, make sure you apply a broad spectrum sunscreen for sensitive skin about 10 minutes before you go outside. A wide brimmed hat can keep your face shaded and help alleviate the redness.
Stress is a really tricky factor. It can trigger the red face you get with rosacea, but it's also very hard to avoid stress. It's not just emotional or mental stress either. The stress on the body from exercise can cause the face to really flush if you have rosacea. Many recommend a fitness routine that helps alleviate stress and tension, such as Tai Chi or Yoga.