Rosacea Review - Newsletter of the National Rosacea SocietyRosacea Review - Newsletter of the National Rosacea Society

Hot Sauce, Wine and Tomatoes Cause Flare-ups, Survey Finds

If you wanted to create the meal most likely to cause a flare-up in someone with rosacea, there are a few things you'd want to be sure to include: hot sauce, tomatoes, wine and maybe some citrus. Then grill up some marinated meat, and include something with chocolate for dessert. These items were among the top rosacea triggers reported in a recent survey on foods and beverages by the National Rosacea Society.

In the survey of more than 400 rosacea patients, 78 percent said they had to alter their diet to avoid rosacea flare-ups. Three quarters of respondents said that they were affected by spices of some sort. Hot sauce affected 54 percent of those surveyed, while cayenne pepper affected 47 percent and red pepper affected 37 percent. In contrast, white pepper affected only 17 percent of the respondents. Interestingly, beyond hot spices, chocolate was reported as a rosacea trigger by 23 percent.

While overall, vegetables were not a major factor for most survey respondents, tomatoes stood out as an exception, affecting 30 percent. Likewise, few people found fruits to be a problem, with the exception of citrus, which affected 22 percent of the respondents.

Wine has long been known to trigger flare-ups of rosacea, and the survey confirmed the link, with 52 percent of respondents confirming its rosy reputation. Other irritating beverages included hard liquor (42 percent), hot coffee (33 percent), hot tea (30 percent) and beer (30 percent).

Few people found meat or dairy products to be a problem, but a significant number (23 percent) did report having flare-ups because of marinated meat, and cheese bothered 11 percent of respondents.

The good news is that, of those respondents who said they eliminated certain foods and beverages from their diet, 95 percent reported that this had helped reduce the occurrence of flare-ups.