Food sensitivities are one of the leading causes of rosacea flare-ups. Finding the foods that trigger the flushing, itching, and redness takes time, but it's an important part of rosacea care. Plus, foods may be fine one month and suddenly trigger your rosacea the next. You will spend a lot of time finding your food triggers and learning how to avoid them.
To help you out, I'm going to talk about some of the common food triggers. Sugar is one of my biggest. It's also often hidden in things you don't expect like prepackaged stocks. Spicy foods like chilies, mustard, and curry are problems for many people.
The Most Common Food Triggers
The National Rosacea Society worked with a doctor to go through patient records and see what the most common food triggers are. In alphabetical order, the most common rosacea food triggers are:
- Chili peppers and powder
- Citrus fruits
- Dried fruits like figs and raisins
- Soy sauce
- Vanilla beans and extract
It was also found that people are more likely to have a rosacea flare-up when drinking a hot beverage over a cold one. Alcohol, especially red wine, was another issue.
You'll Find Sugar in Most Items
Sugar is hidden in many items. It may be listed in the ingredients as sugar, but it can also say fructose, honey, maple syrup, dextrose, etc. All of those are sugars that may trigger rosacea if sugar is one of your problems. Look for them in bread, sauces, soups, spice mixes, dressings, and beverages.
Knorr Homestyle Stock is a popular brand of stock. It's one that many people rely on for soups, rice pilafs, and gravy. It's also not a stock you should buy if your rosacea is triggered by items like mustard, yeast, sugar, or palm oil.
If I don't have time to make my own stocks with a chicken carcass, water, vegetables, and herbs, I will buy Imagine Organics. They're readily available online and at my area grocery store.
Jarred pasta sauce is usually packed with food triggers. Garlic affects some. Red wine has sulfates and affects many rosacea sufferers. Tomatoes are acidic and also impact flare-ups for many. Finally, you need to carefully read the label for sugar and corn syrup. While corn syrup is starting to fall out of fashion, many brands still add sugar to their pasta sauces. Sugar is found in Prego, Ragu, and Barilla.
I make my own pasta sauces when possible. My late father-in-law's recipe used carrots and nutmeg to add sweetness. I find that's the best possible sauce for my rosacea. If I am buying jarred sauce, Rao's Homemade Marinara Sauce is my go-to product.
Tips for Finding Your Rosacea Triggers
You'll spend a lot of time keeping notes. When you try something new, jot down the date, time, and item. If your rosacea flares up in the next day, it could be that new item. Stop using it and see if the flare-up goes away.
Take time to talk to a doctor about a rosacea treatment plan. The three most important things I was told to do are use rosacea skin care products that avoid sulfates and parabens, avoid scrubbing my skin, and learning what my triggers of rosacea are. Do the same. It will help a lot with flare-ups and irritation.