Rosacea is a chronic skin condition characterized by redness and flushing of the face. However, patients can remain in a relatively symptom-free state if they avoid exposure to certain factors known to exacerbate symptoms and cause "flare-ups".
These triggers include lifestyle and environmental factors and may be unique to each individual. However, many are common to all rosacea patients and include, among others:
Dairy products, chocolate, spicy foods, soy sauce, vanilla, vinegar, yeast, liver, avocado, spinach, eggplant, broad leaf beans, tomatoes, bananas, citrus fruits, raisins, figs, red plums, histamine-rich foods and hot foods.
Certain drinks or beverages:
Red wine, gin, champagne, vodka, beer, bourbon, cider, hot chocolate, coffee or tea.
Extreme temperature and weather:
Extreme heat, saunas, hot baths, strong winds, excess humidity, cold weather, excess sun or sun lamps.
Topically applied steroid creams, vasodilators, blood pressure pills and cholesterol controlling drugs.
The menopause, a propensity to flush excessively, caffeine withdrawal syndrome and the chronic cough.
Stress, anger, embarrassment, or anxiety.
Cosmetics containing fragrances, alcohol, hydro-alcohol, acetone or witch hazel.
Trigger factors vary from patient to patient so each individual needs to identify which particular factors are likely to induce their own flare-up response.
Rosacea patients are therefore often asked to maintain a diary documenting any trigger factors they were exposed to before a flare-up of symptoms.
Since there is no known cure for rosacea, the identification and avoidance of triggers forms the most important approach to minimizing any negative impact of the condition.
Reviewed by Sally Robertson, BSc