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How Coffee May Tone Down Rosacea's Pink Glow

By Sandy Schroeder

Rosacea is a skin condition that adds an annoying pink or red glow to the face. If you have it you already know how annoying it can be. President Clinton and Princess Diana both dealt with it. Tiny blood vessels under the skin trigger the glow which can show up on the forehead, nose, ears, cheeks, and chin. It may also blossom on the eyes or eyelids and create a thickening of the skin over the nose. 

Currently there is no cure for rosacea, according to Harvard Health. Scientists link it to the immune system, with possible connections to type 1 diabetes and multiple sclerosis. Sometimes anti-inflammatory salves and antibiotics can reduce the redness and inflammation. Avoiding some foods can help too.

More than 14 million Americans deal with rosacea. It is not dangerous, but it can be very cosmetically challenging as people strive to paper over it. So far, researchers believed caffeine, sunlight, spicy foods and hormones could trigger it, but now researchers believe caffeine plays a different role.

New Research Raises Questions about Coffee

Caffeine may be a benefit instead of a liability for the skin. A study of 83,000 women over a 10-year period  found this:

  • Four or more cups of coffee daily helped the women protect their skin from rosacea, in contrast to non-coffee drinkers
  • Drinking less than four cups helped to a lesser degree
  • Decaffeinated coffee did not reduce rosacea
  • Other caffeinated foods such as chocolate or tea had no effect on rosacea
  • More research will be needed to fully understand the connection of coffee and rosacea
  • Overall, coffee may help keep the skin healthy

As more research follows, these new insights into coffee will be important for people who thought coffee triggered rosacea. Now with their doctor's approval, they might enjoy coffee and possibly reduce their risk of rosacea. More research may provide new breakthroughs in other autoimmune diseases, too. Watch for future developments on the role of caffeine in rosacea, the immune system, and other areas and systems in the body.

Overview with Cautions

Coffee is right up there with tea as one of the most popular beverages in the world. Before changing your coffee consumption, it's important to talk with your doctor, since coffee has also been linked to heartburn, tremors and heart palpitations. At the same time it has been favorably linked to reducing liver cancer and type 2 diabetes. As always, talk with your doctor about how it may affect you and your health. If you have rosacea, this may be a whole new ballgame.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Huntington Beach, Calif,.

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