Rosacea Triggers

When it comes to rosacea triggers, everyone is an individual. What causes rosacea symptoms to flare up for one person may have no effect on another, so it’s probably worth your while to keep at least a mental record of when your breakouts occur and what you’ve either been doing or which foods or beverages you’ve been consuming, at the time.

Common Rosacea Triggers That Cause Flareups

I know that for me, red wine is the big one! After reading a lot about rosacea, it also seems to be the number one alcoholic drink that does it to a lot of others. So if you suffer from this condition, the important thing is, to be aware of what does it for you and avoid these triggers as much as possible.

One of the dangers in not knowing your rosacea triggers, is that by putting the wrong medication on your skin, you can actually exacerbate your rosacea instead of improving it. For example, when I thought my rosacea was acne, I went to a doctor who prescribed antibiotics and some acne solution – but the solution only served to make my face redder and inflame the sores. Once I realized that it was rosacea and started a different regimen, things began to improve dramatically.

This Survey Revealed the Main Rosacea Triggers

A survey of 1,066 rosacea patients found the following most common triggers for rosacea:


Percent Affected

Sun exposure 81%
Emotional stress 79%
Hot weather 75%
Wind 57%
Heavy exercise 56%
Alcohol consumption 52%
Hot baths 51%
Cold weather 46%
Spicy foods 45%
Humidity 44%
Indoor heat 41%
Certain skin-care products 41%
Heated beverages 36%
Certain cosmetics 27%
Medications 15%
Medical conditions 15%
Certain fruits 13%
Marinated meats 10%
Certain vegetables 9%
Dairy products 8%
Other factors 24%

Whatever your rosacea triggers are, will of course be an individual matter. Although the above table shows the most common ones, it’s different for everyone – and it will also depend on which category of symptoms that your rosacea falls into.

We could also classify the triggers into groups, such as foods, beverages, weather, drugs, medical conditions, skin care products, emotional influences and physical exertion. You know what you do, so this might be more helpful. Patient records have revealed the following rosacea triggers related to the above groups:

Rosacea Triggers by Category


  • Liver
  • Yogurt
  • Sour cream
  • Cheese (except cottage cheese)
  • Chocolate
  • Vanilla
  • Soy sauce
  • Yeast extract (bread is OK)
  • Vinegar
  • Eggplant
  • Avocados
  • Spinach
  • Broad-leaf beans and pods,
    including lima, navy or pea
  • Citrus fruits, tomatoes, bananas,
    red plums, raisins or figs
  • Spicy and thermally hot foods
  • Foods high in histamine


  • Alcohol, especially red wine,
    beer, bourbon, gin, vodka or champagne
  • Hot drinks, including hot cider,
    hot chocolate, coffee or tea

WEATHER: (Erythematotelangiectatic Rosacea suffers are more susceptible to these)

  • Sun
  • Strong winds
  • Cold
  • Humidity
  • Saunas
  • Hot baths
  • Simple overheating
  • Excessively warm environments


  • Vasodilators
  • Topical steroids


  • Frequent flushing
  • Menopause
  • Chronic cough
  • Caffeine withdrawal syndrome


  • Some cosmetics and hair
    sprays, especially those
    containing alcohol, witch hazel
    or fragrances
  • Hydro-alcoholic or acetone
  • Any substance that causes
    redness or stinging


  • Stress
  • Anxiety


  • Exercise
  • “Lift and load” jobs

Please be careful to not assume that ANY of the above items will affect you. Many may not. However, if you are aware of the most common potential rosacea triggers then you can keep a mental note of times when you use any of these and whether it causes a flare up.