Is Diet Linked To Rosacea Flares?

Experiencing Rosacea flares? It’s worth considering your daily diet.

Research indicates that particular nutrition changes may improve or exacerbate Rosacea symptoms. The catch? It varies from person to person.

Here’s our helpful guide to understanding what Rosacea *actually* is, the most relevant areas of nutrition applicable to this challenging skin disorder, and the dietary factors to avoid that contribute to flare-ups.

What Actually Is Rosacea?

Rosacea (Ro-Say-Sha) is a chronic inflammatory disorder of the facial skin. The most common symptom is redness across the centre of the face – nose, cheeks, chin, and forehead. This redness is always present and intensifies from time to time. Acne-like spots, rough skin, and visible blood vessels (called ‘telangiectasia’) can also make an appearance over time, as can dry, irritated eyes.

Living with Rosacea is challenging, and although there isn’t a cure, managing symptoms is possible through consuming a plant-rich, anti-inflammatory diet (paired with a gentle skincare routine complemented by prescription-only rosacea treatment ingredients).

When it comes to nutrition, certain conditions such as coeliac disease, Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO), and Helicobacter pylori infections appear to be higher in individuals with Rosacea.

How does diet influence Rosacea symptoms?

Gut Health

Research suggests that dysbiosis (imbalance of gut microbiota) of both the skin and gut microbiota appears to play a role in Rosacea, leading to skin sensitivity and inflammation. This may be why gastrointestinal conditions that are linked to dysbiosis, such as IBS, are more common in those with Rosacea. Whilst more research is required, we know that individuals with Rosacea may benefit from a diet rich in prebiotic fibre and plant diversity.


Prebiotics are a type of fibre that acts as fuel for your gut bacteria, resulting in the production of Short Chain Fatty Acids (SCFA) such as butyrate, which has strong anti-inflammatory properties. Consuming a diet rich in prebiotics such as wholegrains, onion, garlic, and legumes have been linked to being beneficial for the management of Rosacea.

Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids (PUFAs)

PUFAs have proven anti-inflammatory benefits, indicating their potential link to being beneficial for individuals with Rosacea. PUFAs include Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA), which are derived from marine sources (think: salmon, mackerel and sardines) and Alpha-linolenic Acid (ALA), which are derived from plant sources, like chia seeds, flaxseeds, and walnuts.


Zinc is a micronutrient with anti-inflammatory benefits that play a role in the promotion of healthy skin cell turnover. Zinc is found in a variety of foods including dairy products such as milk and yoghurt, eggs, legumes, tofu/tempeh, and wholegrains. Some research indicates zinc supplementation may be beneficial in the management of Rosacea. There is other research that shows zinc supplementation has no benefit, so the jury is still out.  At this stage, it is not necessary to take a zinc supplement, but it is certainly beneficial to ensure your diet contains adequate amounts of zinc.

What are the most common dietary triggers for Rosacea?

There are many nutritional triggers for a rosacea flare-up, from consuming tomatoes, chocolate, citrus and cinnamon (Cinnamaldehyde related) to drinking alcohol or hot drinks to physically hot foods as well as spicy foods. Some of these triggers, like temperature-related, act directly to trigger rosacea via vasodilation, whilst others act via different mechanisms to increase skin inflammation.

Non-dietary triggers can include exposure to the sun, nerves/anxiety, physical exertion, hot, humid weather, or cold, dry weather (especially when it’s windy), hot baths, indoor heating, and skincare products. These triggers are different for everyone.


  1. Daou H, Paradiso M, Hennessy K, Seminario-Vidal L. Rosacea and the microbiome: a systematic review. Dermatology and Therapy. 2020 Nov 10:1-2. Avail
  2. Weiss E, Katta R. Diet and rosacea: the role of dietary change in the management of rosacea. Dermatology practical & conceptual. 2017 Oct;7(4):31. Avail