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Rosacea: Triggers In the Kitchen


If you are one of the millions of Americans who have rosacea, you and your doctor have probably spent a lot of time trying to identify things that trigger a flare-up. Some of these triggers are difficult to avoid, though, especially when it is a room in your own home—the kitchen. But, don't throw in the apron just yet! There are steps that you can take to reduce your chance of having a flare-up.

Learning About Your Kitchen Triggers

Unfortunately, the kitchen, which is usually the most popular place in the house, presents a lot of challenges for people with rosacea. When trying to pinpoint potential triggers in the kitchen, think of the environment, as well food and drinks. The National Rosacea Society offers these examples:

  • Being in a hot kitchen. This includes having the oven on for a long time or cooking over a hot stove.
  • Eating hot foods or drinking hot beverages.
  • Eating or drinking caffeinated products.
  • Eating spicy foods.
  • Drinking alcohol.

Other specific foods have found to be triggers. These include:

  • Liver and meats
  • Diary products, such as yogurt or sour cream
  • Fruit, such as red plums, raisins, or citrus fruits
  • Vegetables, such as lima or navy beans, or pea pods

If you feel unsure about what can lead to a flare-up, you may want to keep a rosacea diary. This involves keeping a daily log of the food and beverages that you consumed, as well as the activities that you did. This information can help you and your doctor pinpoint triggers. The National Rosacea Society's website provides a diary form that you can use.

Making Changes in the Kitchen

Do you have a new recipe that you have been waiting to try? Don't let rosacea stop you! Get back into the kitchen with these tips:

  • Keep the environment cool by:
    • Putting on the air conditioner or using a fan
    • Spritzing your face with cool water
    • Stepping out of the kitchen to escape the heat
    • Staying hydrated by drinking ice water
    • Choosing meals that do not need to be cooked in the oven—For example, an indoor electric grill cooks food quickly without heating up the kitchen.
  • Let food and drinks cool before consuming them.
  • Try to avoid food and drink triggers—Carefully read ingredients and choose recipes cautiously. Keep in mind that certain spices, like chili powder, may lead to a flare-up.
  • Ask for help in the kitchen—For example, if you are cooking something over the stove, ask a family member to assist you. This will give you a chance to take a break from the heat.

The more you learn about your triggers, the more confident you will feel about returning to the kitchen. Rosacea doesn't mean you have to end your days of being a creative cook.

RESOURCES:

International Rosacea Foundation
http://www.internationalrosaceafoundation.org

National Rosacea Society
http://www.rosacea.org

CANADIAN RESOURCES:

Canadian Dermatology Association
http://www.dermatology.ca

Health Canada
http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca

References:

Coping with rosacea. National Rosacea Society, Rosacea.org website. Available at: http://www.rosacea.org/patients/materials/coping/intro.php. Accessed May 8, 2014.

Factors that may trigger rosacea flare-ups. National Rosacea Society, Rosacea.org website. Available at: http://www.rosacea.org/patients/materials/triggers.php. Accessed May 8, 2014.

New survey finds rosacea worsens with exposure to heat sources. National Rosacea Society, Rosacea.org website. Available at: http://www.rosacea.org/press/archive/20100525.php. Published May 25, 2010. Accessed May 8, 2014.

Rosacea. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated April 22, 2014. Accessed May 8, 2014.

Rosacea lifestyles. International Rosacea Foundation website. Available at: http://www.internationalrosaceafoundation.org/lifestyle_recommendations.php. Accessed May 8, 2014.

Survey show to beat kitchen heat. National Rosacea Society, Rosacea.org website. Available at: http://www.rosacea.org/rr/2001/fall/article_4.php. Published 2011. Accessed May 8, 2014.



Last reviewed May 2014 by Michael Woods, MD

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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