Eating wisely and exercising regularly are keys to good health for everyone. But when you have rosacea, there’s a catch: Certain foods and activities that are harmless or even healthy for most people can make rosacea flare up. With planning, however, you can control your symptoms while still reaping the benefits of a healthy diet and regular exercise.
Choose Your Foods
A zesty bowl of chili, a hot cup of tea, or a chilled glass of wine might seem appetizing. Yet spicy foods, hot drinks, and alcohol are all common rosacea triggers—and can spark flare-ups in susceptible individuals. Some rosacea sufferers are also affected by foods such as liver, cheese, chocolate, vanilla, eggplant, and avocado.
Don’t let rosacea ruin your appetite. Here’s how to enjoy a delicious, nutritious diet and still keep rosacea under control.
Limit alcohol. In a survey of 1,066 rosacea patients, 52 percent said alcohol made their symptoms worse. Wine and beer are top offenders. If you drink, try a shot of gin, vodka, or whiskey mixed with 6 ounces of ice water. If that doesn’t solve the problem, stick with nonalcoholic beverages.
Watch hot spices. Common troublemakers include chili powder; cayenne; black, white, and red pepper; and curry powder. Turn down the heat by substituting “cooler” spices. In place of chili powder, cayenne, or pepper, try cumin or oregano. In place of curry powder, try coriander, turmeric, or cinnamon.
Chill hot beverages. Hot coffee, tea, cocoa, and cider are frequent triggers. If you’re affected, let drinks cool longer or opt for iced versions.
Keep a journal. Dietary triggers vary from person to person. To pinpoint yours, write down what you eat and drink, and note how your rosacea reacts. When you identify a suspect food, reduce or avoid it, and see if your rosacea improves.
Work Out an Exercise Routine
Regular physical activity is crucial for overall health. It helps control your weight, boost your mood, and strengthen your muscles and bones. It also reduces your risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer. On the downside, your body temperature rises when you exercise, and that can spark a rosacea flare-up. In the survey of rosacea patients previously mentioned, 56 percent said heavy exercise was a trigger for them.
Don’t let rosacea sideline your exercise plans. Here’s how to stay active and still keep a handle on symptoms.
Reduce the intensity. Aim for moderate effort. At that level, you’re able to talk during a workout, but too winded to sing a song. For health benefits, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity every week, spread out over most days.
Shorten the workout. Break up your daily exercise session into shorter, more frequent chunks. Just make sure each is at least 10 minutes long.
Stay cool. Sip water, chew ice chips, or mist your face. When exercising outdoors in warm weather, limit activity to early morning or evening hours. When exercising indoors, turn on a fan or air conditioner.
It's important to manage your rosacea. But it’s also vital to safeguard your general health. With these tips, you can have it both ways.