10 Foods That Can Cause Rosacea Outbreaks & 10 That Help Prevent Them

10 Foods That Can Cause Rosacea Outbreaks & 10 That Help Prevent Them

Outside of proper skincare and sun protection, your diet plays a large role in fighting rosacea outbreaks—foods rich in healthy fats, antioxidants, or anti-inflammatory properties are often best to keep flare-ups at bay, but some things in your diet may trigger an outbreak without you realizing. Let’s dive into which foods hurt and help your skin. 

1. Spicy Foods

Spicy foods can make anyone red in the face, but they’re particularly troublesome for those with rosacea. Capsaicin, the compound responsible for heat in spicy food, upsets blood vessels and triggers redness, often aggravating rosacea symptoms.  

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2. Tomatoes

Aside from spicy foods, anything with histamine is also a common trigger for rosacea flares. Tomatoes not only contain histamine but are highly acidic, both of which irritate sensitive skin and can cause increased redness or discomfort. 

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3. Chocolate

We wish it weren’t true, but chocolate has triggered flare-ups for years, namely thanks to the caffeine, dairy, and high sugar content. Together they can cause general inflammation or exacerbated rosacea symptoms.

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4. Citrus Fruit

Rosacea sufferers ought to reconsider those morning orange slices because citrus fruits are common trigger foods. Foods with a lot of acidity worsen existing symptoms and can lead to flare-ups, so keep away from items like lemons, limes, and grapefruit.

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5. Alcohol

Red wine, beer, and hard liquor are more frequently associated with flare-ups, but alcohol in general is a bad idea. Drinking typically leads to flushing and inflammation in most people anyway, but anyone with rosacea will likely experience the symptoms tenfold. 

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6. Certain Cheese

Aged cheese—like cheddar, parmesan, or gruyere—and blue cheese are common suspects in rosacea flare-ups. The reason why is that they’re higher in histamines than other cheeses, so pay attention to which ones you spread on your crackers. 

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7. Vinegar

Vinegar is acidic and can cause sudden rosacea flare-ups in sensitive individuals. Red wine and balsamic vinegar are often touted as the most irksome, but any can irritate skin, so try to swap them out with a milder drizzle. 

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8. Avocado

Avocados are hailed as a superfood with all kinds of healthy fats, vitamins, and fiber—however, people with rosacea may find them to be more of a super trigger. For all the good they do, avocados are also high-fat and rich in histamines, meaning plenty of people experience inflammation after eating them.

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9. Sour Cream

A dollop of sour cream is essential for certain dishes, and though it seems unassuming, it’s actually a well-known trigger for flare-ups. Sour cream has higher levels of histamine, so it’s not unheard of for rosacea sufferers to experience skin irritation.

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10. Cured Meats

Put down that salami sandwich because cured meats are among the highest histamine foods. Swapping them out for leaner protein helps ward off flare-ups, but indulging puts you on the fast track for potential inflammation. 

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As daunting as it seems to avoid these foods, plenty defend your skin against incoming flare-ups. 


1. Leafy Greens

Leafy veggies like kale or spinach already do wonders for our skin, but they’re particularly effective against rosacea flares. Loaded with vitamins and antioxidants, leafy greens are a healthy addition to meals and have the nutrients you need to keep inflammation at bay.

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2. Cucumber

Cucumbers have all sorts of benefits that promote overall health and maintain skin health—from vitamin C and high water content to antioxidants and low calories, this veggie keeps you hydrated and reduces inflammation. You can also try slices directly on the skin to help with flare-ups.

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3. Berries

Berries are small but mighty, and you can turn to them for rosacea relief or defense against flare-ups. Strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries are packed with antioxidants and polyphenols that keep down inflammation. 

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4. Whole Grains

Rosacea sometimes stems from outside factors, like an imbalance in gut bacteria, so including whole grains can help settle flare-ups and maintain overall health. Look into quinoa, brown rice, or even high-fiber cereals to ensure you get enough during the day. 

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5. Sauerkraut

Sauerkraut can be a double-edged sword because while fermented foods are considered rosacea triggers, sauerkraut also has a good amount of probiotics, which are well-known to help with flare-ups. It’s best to consult with a physician before diving in!

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6. Oily Fish

Omega-3 fatty acids protect your skin from outbreaks and can be found in fish like salmon, mackerel, trout, and sardines. The reason why is that these healthy fats calm redness and inflammation, making them ideal candidates for your diet.

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7. Peanut Butter

Healthy fats are also commonly found in peanut butter, which is filled with additional benefits like protein and macronutrients. There’s no shame in having some with breakfast or spreading it atop celery sticks since it keeps both you and your skin happy.

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8. Kimchi

Kimchi has all kinds of probiotics, protein, and nutrients that support both overall health and comfortable skin. Though it doesn’t tackle rosacea per se, it does aid in balancing your gut’s health, which can also help ward off flare-ups.

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9. Eggs

Eggs are more than just a simple way to start the day—they’re loaded with protein and calcium, and are terrific breakfast options for anyone with rosacea. You can also munch on them throughout the day because they go well in sandwiches or can be eaten as a standalone snack.

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10. Broccoli

Broccoli is a well-known defender against inflammation, so work more into your diet for healthy skin. These little guys are also rich in iron, vitamins, and antioxidants, all of which promote overall health as well. 

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