If you’ve been diagnosed with rosacea, you probably have to spend time covering up the red splotches and acne-like bumps that tend to appear on your face. You are likely vigilant about following your doctor’s advice to avoid flare-ups, and that might include limiting your intake of caffeine and hot beverages. If you’re a coffee drinker, trying to eliminate your morning java jolt likely has not been too easy. But now, we’ve got good news for you: a new study suggests that coffee might actually help you in the fight against rosacea.
The study, which took place at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island found that regular coffee consumption is associated with a lower risk of developing rosacea, at least in women.1 Li, Suyun; et al. “Association of Caffeine Intake and Caffeinated Coffee Consumption With Risk of Incident Rosacea in Women.” JAMA Dermatology. 17 October 2018. Accessed 21 October 2018. http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamadermatology/fullarticle/2707780. These results were drawn from an evaluation that included 82,737 women who participated in the Nurses’ Health Study between 1991 and 2005.
All of the subjects completed extensive questionnaires about their food and beverage consumption every four years throughout the study period. These survey responses were then closely analyzed against the volunteers’ medical records specific to rosacea diagnoses. There were 4,945 cases of rosacea that developed in that time, and the data showed that daily coffee consumption is linked to a lower risk of rosacea.
Consumption of 100 milligrams (mg) of coffee daily—which is roughly the equivalent of one cup—was associated with a four percent reduction in rosacea risk. And in this case, more appeared to be even better, with approximately 300 mg (or three cups of coffee a day) linked to an even greater drop in risk.
Surprisingly, coffee was found to be the only food containing caffeine that had a beneficial effect for preventing rosacea. Other foods the researchers evaluated included tea, soda, and chocolate, and none were determined to provide any sort of protection from rosacea. Chocolate consumption was actually associated with a greater likelihood of developing rosacea. And yet it would appear that coffee’s benefit may very well be connected to its caffeine content, since decaffeinated coffee did not lower rosacea risk.
While the research was not designed to prove cause and effect, it did establish some level of proof that coffee may help prevent rosacea. That makes sense based on what we know of caffeine’s effects on the body. The redness rosacea is brought on by visible blood vessels close to the surface of the skin in the face, made more pronounced due to inflammation. The caffeine in coffee might prevent that by producing vascular contractions that keep the veins from swelling and the face from becoming reddened. After all, caffeine is known to be an effective treatment for some migraine sufferers because it constricts blood vessels in the brain that tend to enlarge as a migraine begins. Also, anything that serves to correct a low acid environment in your stomach—which coffee does by irritating the stomach causing it to release more stomach acid—is thus likely to help moderate an overactive immune response and any resultant skin conditions—at least to some degree and for some people.
Besides rosacea, coffee has been linked in studies to other health benefits such as living a longer life, keeping Alzheimer’s disease at bay, stroke protection, and promoting liver health. Yet we also need to keep in mind that coffee drinking has some pretty big potential pitfalls as well. Regular coffee consumption can contribute to nervousness, insomnia, increased heart rate, and stomach upset.
Therefore, if you are going to drink coffee, set some parameters so you do it wisely. Any caffeinated coffee you choose to consume should be enjoyed early in the day since it can severely disrupt your sleep when consumed past 2 pm. Try to avoid a daily jolt of java as it can create a range of withdrawal symptoms if your body becomes too used to it. And consider the source of your coffee to make sure you don’t overdo your caffeine intake. One cup of coffee typically ranges in caffeine content from 95 to 165 mg, but if you do your ordering at Starbucks, a 16-ounce “grande” cup (their equivalent of a medium) of Pikes Place Roast will provide you with a whopping 310 mg of caffeine that will likely leave you shaky and jittery instead of bright-eyed and bushy tailed.
Note: and when it comes to rosacea, you might want to attack it at its source, rather than just suppress the reddening of the blood vessels. Check out what Jon Barron has to say about how to deal with rosacea: https://jonbarron.org/anti-aging/natural-skin-health
|↑1||Li, Suyun; et al. “Association of Caffeine Intake and Caffeinated Coffee Consumption With Risk of Incident Rosacea in Women.” JAMA Dermatology. 17 October 2018. Accessed 21 October 2018. http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamadermatology/fullarticle/2707780.|