Nearly a quarter of us suffer from an ugly and disturbing skin condition as we get older. It’s called rosacea.
Sufferers have redness and unsightly, visible blood vessels on the face. And the chronic condition comes with a stigma. It has traditionally been associated with alcoholism.
But the truth is, many people who never touch a drop of alcohol get it. Now, a major new study shows drinking coffee may stop rosacea.
The meta-analysis was published in the journal JAMA Dermatology. Researchers looked at data on 82,737 women. The subjects had participated in a large health study from 1991 to 2005. During that time, 4,945 of the subjects were diagnosed with rosacea.1
Doctors say as many as 22% of fair-skinned people will get rosacea.2
One-fifth of the subjects drank four cups of coffee per day or more. Another fifth drank less than a cup per month. The coffee-loving group was 24% less likely to develop rosacea.
The study found this link only with regular, caffeinated coffee.
Dr. Dendy Engelman is a New York-based dermatologist. While the exact cause of rosacea is unknown, she explains that it is triggered by “sun exposure, extreme temperatures, stress, alcohol, spicy foods, and other” factors.
The triggers cause blood vessels near the surface of the skin to dilate. “Since caffeine constricts blood vessels, it can be a fix for those with rosacea,” Dr. Engelman said.
5 Rosacea-Fighting Solutions
Mainstream doctors often prescribe metronidazole for rosacea. It’s an antibiotic. Like many antibiotics, it destroys the good bacteria in your gut that is vital for many bodily processes. And metronidazole often doesn’t work against rosacea.
In addition to coffee, here are five other natural ways to keep your skin clear:
- Studies have found topically applied chamomile is effective. Look for a moisturizer that contains it. You can also make chamomile tea. Let it cool and then apply it with a cloth or a cotton ball soaked in tea.3
- Rosacea is sometimes linked to a deficiency in B vitamins. Take 50 mg of a B complex twice a day.4
- Aloe vera is commonly used in skin lotions, and it has shown success in relieving rosacea. Some people are sensitive to aloe vera. So if you’ve never used it before, first put a small amount on your skin to see how you react.5
- Some essential oils can relieve rosacea. But lavender has the best research backing it up. You can use it by mixing a few drops into a moisturizer.6
- Burdock is an herb often used to treat various skin conditions including rosacea. It is an anti-inflammatory and helps support liver function. It is available in supplement form. Experts recommend taking 300 mg daily.<7
If your doctor wants to put you on metronidazole for rosacea, tell him or her you want to try a natural solution first. Chances are it’ll clear your skin. And unlike an antibiotic, it won’t harm your overall health.