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Aliments pro-rosacée.

What foods should be avoided in case of rosacea?

The appearance of our skin is intimately linked to our diet. Indeed, it is well-known that the consumption of certain foods can either improve or worsen a skin condition. Discover which ones to avoid in order to prevent new rosacea flare-ups and to stop symptoms from worsening.

Summary
Published March 29, 2024, by Pauline, Head of Scientific Communication — 5 min read

Which foods are not recommended in case of rosacea?

While there are certain internal causes of rosacea, external factors can also trigger flare-ups. Diet, in particular, plays a role in the onset of rosacea-specific symptoms, such as redness and hot flashes. If you suffer from this skin disorder, here are the foods it is advisable to avoid.

Spicy foods.

The capsaicin, found notably in chili peppers, bell peppers, and black pepper, is capable of stimulating the activity of the TRVP1 receptor, which is involved in pain mechanisms. The stimulation of this receptor releases neuropeptides, such as PACAP and CGRP. These act on blood vessels, causing vasodilation that leads to the flushing and persistent erythema found in rosacea. The consumption of these foods could thus contribute to the development of inflammation observed in cases of rosacea. It could also exacerbate the irritations and hot flashes associated with the disease.

Alcoholic beverages.

The consumption of alcohol leads to an increase in the diameter of blood capillaries, which then become more visible. This phenomenon is sometimes accompanied by hot flashes. The ethanol present in alcoholic beverages is indeed a vasodilator. It facilitates the flow of body heat to the skin, thereby increasing its temperature.

A study involving approximately 80 individuals was conducted over a span of 14 years to highlight the existing link between alcohol consumption and rosacea. The researchers concluded that there is a correlation, albeit weak, between these two factors.

Hot beverages.

Whether it's tea, coffee, or hot chocolate, it's advised not to consume these very hot beverages when suffering from rosacea. It's important to note that it's not these drinks themselves that are the issue, but their temperature. Consumed very hot, they promote the dilation of blood vessels, which leads to redness and hot flashes.

Dairy products.

The consumption of dairy products by individuals with rosacea is highly controversial. Scientific studies contradict each other on this matter: some highlight that dairy products may promote rosacea flare-ups, while others suggest they might instead help to alleviate them. The mechanisms behind these properties remain unclear.

Fatty foods.

It has been demonstrated that a diet high in fats can cause a disruption in the synthesis of ceramides, which are involved in skin structure and skin health. Indeed, saturated fatty acids are responsible for reducing the level of serine-C-palmitoyltransferase (SPT) in the skin, an enzyme involved in the secretion of ceramides.

Ceramides are lipids that belong to the skin barrier and protect the epidermis. A diet high in fats weakens this barrier and makes the skin more prone to the development of blemishes or skin conditions. Some studies have indeed shown thatexcessive consumption of fatty foods can exacerbate rosacea flare-ups, as well as itching and burning sensations.

Foods high in histamine, such as strawberries, citrus fruits, and tomatoes.

The histamine molecule acts as a mediator in many allergic pathologies. It notably promotes certain inflammatory mechanisms, as well as a vasodilation of blood vessels and an increase in capillary permeability. Thus, histamine encourages the appearance of symptoms such as hot flashes or redness, found in individuals suffering from rosacea.

Foods rich in cinnamaldehyde, such as cinnamon.

Foods with a high content of cinnamaldehyde can also exacerbate rosacea flare-ups. According to some studies, this molecule interacts with the TRPA1 receptor, causing the dilation of blood vessels and the onset of redness. However, the amount of cinnamaldehyde needed to trigger a rosacea outbreak has not been specified.

Individuals with rosacea do not always react the same way to different foods. The best way to determine what is good or not for you is to keep a detailed food diary, noting the frequency and intensity of rosacea flare-ups.

Sources

  • STEINHOFF M. & al. Recent advances in understanding and managing rosacea. F1000 Research (2018).

  • ALI F. & al. Rosacea. British Journal of Hospital Medicine (2021).

  • AL-NIAIMI F. & al. Rosacea and diet: what is new in 2021? Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology (2021).

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