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Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Rosacea -- Diet Tips To Help Control

Rosacea – Dietary Modifications to Help Prevent and Control

Although there are many medical treatments to help improve the symptoms of rosacea, it is believed that diet is also an important aspect of treatment. Diet-related modifications include:

1. Attain and Maintain your Ideal Body Weight and optimal fitness level by:
a. eating a nutritionally-balanced, calorie-controlled diet, ideally split
into 3 small meals with breakfast being substantial,and small snacks
throughout day
b. daily adequate exercise
2. Keep Blood Pressure normal – avoid consuming more than 4-5 grams Sodium daily
(depends on body size)
3. Keep your intake of saturated fats less than 10% of total daily calories and include recommended daily adequate intake of essential fats
4. Avoid foods and activities that overly increase circulation (‘vasodilators’) to the face and neck which results in the characteristic redness on the cheeks, forehead, nose, chin, and neck.
5. Develop dietary habits and include foods that aid in vascular constriction (‘vasoconstrictors’).


Hot foods and drinks – allow foods and drinks to cool slightly before consuming.

Alcoholic beverages

Spicy foods --including hot spices, seasonings, and sauces, abrupt withdrawal from caffeine (not caffeine itself), peppers and black pepper, meat marinades, tomatoes, citrus fruits and juices, bananas, red plums, raisins, figs, cheese, chocolates, liver, yogurt and sour cream, vanilla, soy sauce, yeast extract, eggplant, avocados, spinach, broad beans and pods – navy, lima, and peas, shellfish, artificial sweeteners –Aspartame and NutraSweet, preservatives, food colorings, MSG, strong vinegars

Fried, salty, and sugary foods

Sunlight, stress, anger or embarrassment, strenuous exercise, hot baths, saunas, corticosteroids, drugs that dilate blood vessels, temperature extremes, wind, dry skin, certain skin products.

Note: some people will tolerate any of the above without experiencing any symptoms. Alternatively, there may be foods and activities that are not on the above list that DO cause symptoms in some people. This list has been collected from frequently named foods and activities from a large number of rosacea sufferers.


Remember – splitting daily dietary intake amongst 3 small meals and 2 or 3 snacks is best. Try to make breakfast a substantial meal.

Whole grains such as brown pasta, rice, millet, buckwheat, oats, amaranth, quinoa, and spelt

Seeds, nuts, plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables

Cherries, blackberries, blueberries, chicken and fish, tofu, seaweed

Avoid eating too many raw foods

Drink water liberally, at least 6, better 8 glasses per day.

Chew food well.

Keep intake of salt and sodium less than 6 grams daily.

Keep a food diary, noting when symptoms appear or worsen and note which food or beverage reaction associated with.

A supplement containing B-vitamins is often helpful

A supplement of omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids if often advised

The book ‘Rosacea 101’ by Brady Barrows may be helpful and is available on-line.

For more in depth dietary/nutritional counseling to help you with weight control, blood pressure and sodium regulation, fat prescription, and more detailed analysis of rosacea-causing/inhibiting diet, contact:

“we mean to be the people we meant to be” - Miller Williams
Registered Dietitian / Nutritionist

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