There a number of widely known ways to modify your diet to reduce the effects of rosacea – drink more water, avoid spicy food, drink green tea, avoid eggs, avoid meat, avoid milk. But one that doesn’t have as much of an emphasis is the avoidance of caffeine.
In terms of diet, the best approach is the removal of rosacea triggers one at a time, then a gradual re-introduction to see which of them are a trigger to you. There are some people who can drink a moderate amount of caffeine without any negative effects, while others have a flare up from ingesting a single cup of coffee or can of cola!
The tricky thing with testing the effect that caffeine has on your rosacea is that it is in all kinds of products that you might not have thought of. You will find caffeine not only in cola and coffee, but in black tea! Even green tea has a small amount of caffeine, but it is considered to be so small that it’s unlikely it would cause a rosacea flareup. One source of caffeine that many may not be familiar with is chocolate. Virtually every chocolate bar has caffeine in it, so if you are being rigorous as you test the effect of caffeine on your rosacea, you will need to also avoid chocolate. Yes, very harsh I know!
Another strange one is the presence of caffeine in all kinds of commercial drinks, including flavored teas and sports drinks. Read those labels carefully!
You should get off caffeine (or substantially reduce it) for at least a month to see what effect it has on your skin. If your skin is better it is safe to assume that caffeine does have an effect and you need to monitor your intake of the chemical very carefully.
Studies actually suggest that the temperature of beverages also plays a role. So rosacea sufferers who has stopped drinking coffee and have seen their skin improve sometimes are seeing an improvement because they aren’t drinking scalding hot beverages 5 times a day! So consider the temperature of your beverages as well.
But why is caffeine of particular concern? It turns out that the chemical is a vascular constrictor, which means it constricts blood vessels. That sounds like it might be useful in the reduction of rosacea, given that the flushing from rosacea is the dilation of blood vessels in the face. Well it is – briefly. After the caffeine restricts the blood vessels, they dilate even further, exacerbating the skin condition for most people.
Scientists have also said that if you really drink a lot of caffeine it can increased the production of sebum, which makes your face more oily!
Keep in mind that because rosacea is a complex skin condition, with no known cure and many variables that caffeine may or may not be one of your key problems. To ascertain if it is, approach your diet and lifestyle scientifically. Use a journal, write down what you ate and drank each day and take notes on the condition of your skin – or better yet take a photo at the same times every day. Perhaps one in the morning and one in the evening. Then try removing caffeine for 4 weeks and check the results. Keep in mind if you are reducing caffeine but ingesting too much of another rosacea trigger like chillies, the chillies could be obscuring the result of skipping the caffeine!
By a careful and analytical approach to possible rosacea triggers you find out what works best for you. Don’t forget the forums are available to discuss rosacea food triggers with others going through the same journey!