Rosacea Review - Newsletter of the National Rosacea Society

Tips: Keep the Flavor Without the Flare-Up

When rosacea patients think of triggers from foods or spices, they likely think of hot peppers as common rosacea irritants. However, there are other possibilities. A 2008 medical journal report, for example, noted the anecdotal case of a patient with subtype 2 rosacea who experienced a sudden spread of her symptoms after using 500-mg cinnamon supplements to help control blood sugar levels.

While it’s unlikely that you’d ingest such a large amount of cinnamon from a recipe, various spices may cause rosacea flare-ups in those who are sensitive to them. Here are some tips to avoid a food flare-up:

  • Track what food and drinks you consume in a Rosacea Diary and note when you experience a flare-up, paying careful attention when you eat or drink something with unfamiliar ingredients, including spices.

  • When dining at a restaurant or a friend’s house, don’t be afraid to ask what’s in unfamiliar dishes. If they contain an ingredient you know causes you to flare up, see if it can be left out, or order something else.

  • Lattes often come topped with a blend of ground cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. Tell your barista to hold the spices if they affect your rosacea.

  • With hot foods and beverages, it’s not just the spice but the heat itself that can be a rosacea trigger. Be sure to let that hot apple cider or freshly baked pumpkin pie cool off before you enjoy.

  • If cinnamon bothers you, you can replace it with nutmeg — the two can be substituted in recipes and should be replaced in a 1 to ¼ ratio. So if a recipe calls for 1 tsp of cinnamon, add ¼ tsp of nutmeg in its place, or just skip it altogether.

Reference:
Campbell TM, Neems R, Moore J. Severe exacerbation of rosacea induced by cinnamon supplements. Journal of Drugs in Dermatology. 2008;7:586-587.

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The National Rosacea Society is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to improve the lives of people with rosacea by raising awareness, providing public health information and supporting medical research on this widespread but little-known disorder. The information the Society provides should not be considered medical advice, nor is it intended to replace

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