Rosacea is one of those skincare concerns that can have a real effect on the lifestyle of those who deal with it. In attempt to minimize flareups, people may try to avoid different types of products, foods and drinks. Hot beverages like coffee has long been considered one of those beverages to avoid. That is, until now.
A new study published by JAMA Dermatology showed that coffee may actually reduce the symptoms of rosacea. Researchers from Brown University’s Department of Dermatology looked at more than 80,000 participants in Nurses’ Health Study II and found 4,945 incident cases of rosacea.
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When looking at the link between the skin disorder and caffeine, researchers found that it actually had an inverse effect. Women who drank four or more cups of coffee had a 23 percent lower chance of getting rosacea. This link was not found in other caffeinated foods and beverages like chocolate, soda or tea.
Rutherford, NJ dermatologist Aanand Geria, MD explains that the reason for this association is likely that the “high amount of caffeine in coffee functions as a vasoconstrictor that limits blood to the facial skin thereby alleviating the symptoms of rosacea.” Typically, rosacea symptoms flare up when blood flow to the face increases. He says the reason the intake of other caffeinated items don’t have an effect is probably because they contain much lower amounts of caffeine.
He also says that the polyphenols in coffee are an antioxidants that can help minimize inflammation, another possible explanation.
“At this point, it’s a stretch to say that drinking coffee lowers rosacea symptoms because many studies have shown otherwise,” says Augusta, GA dermatologist Lauren Ploch, MD. “The study in question did not look at causation; it looked at association. It found that people that drink more caffeinated coffee are less likely to have rosacea. However, one could argue that people that have rosacea are less likely to drink caffeinated coffee, which is responsible for the association observed over time. This is not unlikely given that hot beverages (including coffee) are known to be a trigger for rosacea. While the study surveyed many people, the cohort with rosacea was not as large. I think that more studies are needed to look into the suspected link.”
Dr. Ploch is not alone in her opinion that more research needs to be done. Researchers concluded that more studies are required “to explain the mechanisms of action of these associations, to replicate our findings in other populations, and to explore the relationship of caffeine with different rosacea subtypes.” Stay tuned to NewBeauty.com for updates.