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Anecdotal Reports of Carbohydrate and Sugar Rosacea Trigger Avoidance

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There is a poll at RSC where only a few responded but the highest number of votes say that sugar is the biggest rosacea trigger:


The above poll should be proof enough that sugar is a rosacea trigger. But to convince some others it takes more proof. Since the NRS goes by surveys (anecdotal reports) to make a list of rosacea triggers this post is to show beyond any reasonable doubt that sugar and carbohydrate are rosacea triggers based upon the reports found at online rosacea groups.

The following are collected anecdotal reports in alphabetical order based upon user name confirming that carbohydrate and sugar are rosacea triggers:

2kits says, "I started a low carb diet starting April 18th. I noticed a change for the good almost right away." Post #42 18th June 2011 06:21 PM - 2 kits says, "I have been on a low carb/sugar diet since April 18th. My face is pretty good now...." Post #66 3rd August 2011 07:43 PM

alicatsings says, "Also, try cutting back on sugar, carbs and highly processed foods. The more natural I eat, the better my skin feels and looks." Posted Fri Jun 4, 2010 3:55 am

Ally says, "Just an update on how my skin is going with reduced histamine diet and low sugar. I am really pleased with the results, my skin has cleared up heaps,..." Posted on Fri Oct 12, 2007 2:59 am

Art Ayers says, "Sugar and starch definitely contribute to rosacea." posted on his blog, Cooling Information. fourth comment

Artist says, "It is generally well known among the support groups that a diet high in sugar and refined carbs (especially sugar) makes rosacea worse for many of us." Posted on Sun Jan 18, 2009 9:46 pm

auburn says, " 'WrinkledClue wrote: I control my appetite by eating high protein and high fat with my low carb diet.' I second that. Also, if you quit eating sugar, your cravings for sweets will magically go away." Posted on Tue Feb 02, 2010 5:21 pm

bealjanier says, "Sugar is just about my worst trigger, as far as food goes." Post #8 18th February 2011 10:16 PM

bgreep1 says, "After about 3 months of diet restriction (no yeast, gluten, dairy, refined sugar, etc.) and supplement use, my face has never felt better." Posted Fri Jul 15, 2011 6:15 am

blinky says, "I've found that by watching my sugar, packaged fatty food and wine intake, I can usually avoid a flare up." Posted on Sat Dec 11, 2010 5:10 pm

Bokkie says, "My face and especially around my mouth are gauranteed to be a mess after one of my chocolate binges" Post #5 11th February 2011 05:09 AM

BethTheStory says, "I figured out food triggers just by paying attention...Sugar, white & processed flours, foods." Posted Mon Dec 5, 2011 7:55 am

brettSD says, "I know a lot of people (including myself) have noticed a general improvement in symptoms after following a low-carb (or just very low sugar) diet, so there's definitely some connection there." Posted on Sat Aug 13, 2011 10:59 pm

Buzzle says, "Foods high in sugar such as pastries, chocolates and cakes are lip smacking but unfortunately are troublesome to rosacea patients." Diet for Rosacea

caretheskin.com says, "Sixty percent of rosacea patients claimed that sugar was the main cause for rosacea." This site doesn't explain their sources.

carolyne says, "My diet was full of sugar and/or Nutrasweet, lots of carbohydrates and little or no fresh vegetables/fruits.....I went cold turkey on the sugar and Nutrasweet, and I do mean cold turkey....and I never thought I could pull this diet. But it is pretty simple ....I feel great and my arms and face feel smooth like baby skin." Posted keratosispilaris.org October 2007

chicagoguy1982 says, "I have found some triggers, such as Sugar, take 48 hours to manifest themselves on my face." Posted on Mon Aug 20, 2012 12:47 am

christine123 says, "While I was on my no-carb diet, I truly went no carb. No fruit included. My skin cleared up remarkably." Post #4 15th April 2011 12:23 PM

crabbycathy says, "but when I eat much less sugar, yes. My skin does improve a bit." Posted on Sun Mar 15, 2009 5:18 pm

cserhus says, "I did narrow down that sugar really made my face worse." Posted on Mon Mar 05, 2012 6:22 pm

dgarbin2000 says, "I sometimes have a bad day if I'm not careful avoiding my triggers (sun, heat, stress, sugar)." Posted Fri Jun 24, 2011 2:39 am

dave75 says, "yes, big problems with sugar here...also any refined carbs....bread, pizza pasta,rice stuff like that....all problems." Post #4 11th February 2011 02:01 AM

David Pascoe wrote, "Here are some tips from a message from 2004 from Chuck Young. '....2. I started cutting out refined carbs, excessive sugar,...' " Posted on Tue Nov 25, 2008 2:58 am

DavidPaul syas, "I'm working on adjusting my diet, which I believe to be one of the main causes, mostly sugar." Posted on Thu Oct 08, 2009 3:01 pm

deegirl says, "Since I've cut out the sugar I've noticed my reaction to my typical food triggers has diminished significantly." Posted on Wed Apr 15, 2009 1:35 am

DHL says, "MOST SUCCESSFUL TREATMENTS: 1. low carb diet (absolutely no sugar) works great!" Post on Thu Aug 28, 2008 1:36 am

dmmmmm says, "I have noticed that too when I eat very sweet foods, sometimes I get 1 or 2 p&ps with it....." Post #2 11th February 2011 12:49 AM

dora says, "what i'm saying is that my personal skin is doing better on this current diet." Post #54 4th July 2011 06:50 PM

Dorothy06 says, " ' - I just wanted to recommend cutting sugar and refined carbs out of yr diet to help with the flushes.' - It really helps!" Posted on Tue May 26, 2009 7:26 am

Driven says, "I have to avoid fruit. Cantelope and honeydew are among my worst triggers." Note: most fruit is high in carbohydrate (fructose) Post #6 15th April 2011 05:46 PM

drnase.com says, "But as rosacea sufferers, the amount and type of sugar we ingest, as well as our body’s ability to regulate it, can have a direct impact on our rosacea symptoms. Whenever the glucose level in our blood is either too high or too low, it can cause inflammation and damage to blood vessel walls and surrounding tissues." August 2011 Newsletter

emgm42000 says, "carbs are definitely my enemy too........and not just with the rosacea. My stomache problems, weight, inflammation, and fibromyalgia all get better the more I reduce carbs/sugar." Posted Wed Oct 1, 2008 10:28 am

flemmo says, "As we know, sugar in any form is bad for rosacea." Post #1 23rd July 2011 02:18 PM

floridagirl says, "I decided to stop eating bread, sugar and dairy. I stopped it cold turkey and my skin has almost completely cleared up..." Post #1 14th August 2012 08:06 PM

flying_er says, "I've been on the low carb\sugar diet for 30+ days now. I've been very strict in sticking to this diet. I do think I've seen some improvement in my rosacea, a bit less P&P's, but it has not been dramatic." Post #47 3rd July 2011 03:51 PM

freeme3 says, "...have found that my skin looks better when I don't eat a lot of carbs and sugar." Posted on Thu Apr 26, 2012 6:39 am freeme3 adds, "My flushing stopped almost immediately after cutting out dairy, gluten, all carbs, and sugar. Post #14 22nd January 2012 02:53 AM

freetoprayinhim says, "...i have found that stress and sugar are #1 irritants for me...when decressing the sugar i have found the redness has gone down" Posted Sun Nov 30, 2008 4:27 pm

Ghost says, "I've given it all up -- sugar and grains and my skin is better for it." Post #15 22nd September 2011 01:23 PM

graceeh67 at Reddit posts, "For the past two days, I've eaten little no added sugar (i.e. not naturally occuring as in fruit) and can't believe how my skin is clearing up."

Hilary Butler says in reporting on Lucy's Miracle, "in October 2008 I started an anti-candida diet......The rosacea is retreating." January 5, 2009 beyoneconformity.co.nz

jacsculpt says, "Key triggers are sugar, vinegar,....." Posted on Tue Feb 02, 2010 2:51 pm

Jana423 says, "Yes! Sugar is key for me......as long as I stick with vitamin D and a very low sugar diet, I have no rosacea symptoms." Post #2 18th September 2011 08:19 PM

Jane423 says, "Since then, as long as I stick with vitamin D and a very low sugar diet, I have no rosacea symptoms." Post #70 18th September 2011 07:37 PM

jannappy66 says, "I notice that when I cut my carb intake , my face looks great!" Posted Sun Sep 28, 2008 10:40 am

Julia Beirut says, "Foods with high levels of sugar such as pastries, donuts, desserts and soda may spark an episode of rosacea. Blood sugar levels spike when high-sugar content items are eaten. This spike in blood sugar will often then cause rosacea to appear." Foods to Avoid with Rosacea, livestrong.com

karenwoller says, "yep - although I have sugar as I love it - it does cause my face to burn and flush (even organic).... however my skin is the best when I eliminate it completely - same with carbs" Posted Tue Apr 19, 2011 6:55 am

katansarasbe says, "I've definitely noticed I get more p & p's when I eat sugar, especially things with powdered sugar like icing and fudge." Posted Tue Jun 16, 2009 3:03 am

kmajor816 says, "I gave up sugar back in November 2011...and I've been really surprised to find that the benefits extend to my eyes and skin too."

Posted Mon Jun 11, 2012 1:06 pm - "I see changes happening in my skin on the rest of my body, too, from reducing the sugar, so I am sticking with it!" Posted Sat Dec 24, 2011 6:41 am

kmwall05 says, "I totally agree that sugar is HUGE in rosacea." Posted Wed Jun 13, 2012 1:42 am

lexflores says, "I've been cutting out sugar in my diet along with carbs (like Bread) and I've already noticed a big difference. I'm not feeling the burn/itch like I did before. It's only been 4 days and I can already tell the difference." Posted Mon Apr 18, 2011 11:33 am

lg57 says, "I am highly reactive to sugar and Msg." Posted Wed Aug 12, 2009 4:19 pm

lisamouries says, "My skin definitely feels better when I eat less sugar but my morale doesn't." Posted on Sun Mar 15, 2009 4:25 pm

MasK says, "Sugar and carbs are the main food trigger for me." Post #9 19th February 2011 08:01 AM

maude says, "I agree that sugar is a trigger at least for me. I try to avoid it as much as I can and that means carbs too." Post #3 18th September 2011 08:19 PM

Melissa W says, "...my derm insists sugar is not a rosacea trigger. However, in my heart (and my gut) I know this can't be true and do think sugar is not good for our rosacea." Post #2 21st May 2008 11:02 PM

Mike T says, "...i can report that cutting back my sugar intake close to eliminated my p&p's..." Posted on Mon Jun 06, 2011 1:20 pm

moomy says, "Sugar is my main trigger." Post #5 22nd May 2008 06:59 AM

mrsmoof says, "I have been eating way too much sugar the last couple of weeks and have noticed I am much more red and am burning a lot more too." Post #111th February 2011 12:31 AM

naturaldoctor says, "Avoiding dairy, refined carbohydrates and sugar is a must. Helped me a lot." Posted on on Tue Sep 18, 2012 3:21 pm

neilbatt says, "my Rosacea is always so much better when im on a low sugar/carb diet (which is pretty much all the time now). No spots or flushing at all, and the areas of premanent/persistent redness are less prominant (though unfortunately still there)." Posted on Sat Dec 22, 2007 1:42 pm

Nicole Quinn, Rosacea Tips and Support Group, Facebook, reports, "I’ve made a significant change and really making an effort to reduce/cut out sugar and wheat. I have noticed a huge difference.

oldredlady says, "Also no more dessert for a while, that should help lower sugar intake, as sugar is unfortunately a trigger (newly discovered) for me." Posted on Wed Jul 20, 2011 5:36 pm

pca_ says, "LIFESTYLE changes: no sugar,....." Post #11 29th January 2008 06:51 PM

Peacock says, "I have found some triggers, such as Sugar, take 48 hours to manifest themselves on my face." Posted on on Sun Aug 19, 2012 8:24 pm - Peacock says, "I have been clean for about 5-6 weeks (minimal sugar,etc). ....holy cow ! Clear clear clear !" Posted on on Thu Jun 14, 2012 2:19 am

Peter says, "I saw an article last year in a newspaper....'When it comes to foods then there has been success when patients have switched from a diet heavily reliant on high sugar carbohydrates (sweets, chocolates, cakes) to one richer in wholegrains, vegetables, fruits – classic healthy eating, in other words. As with many aspects of rosacea it is not sure why it works but if often does.' " Posted on Mon Sep 24, 2007 5:38 pm

philka29 says, "I am always red when I wake up and espeically notice if I'v eatern carbs or sugar." Posted on Fri Oct 26, 2007 11:40 am

purpletomorrow says, "Stay on a low carb diet-- sugar and carbs spike insulin, which seems to cause inflammation in many of us" Posted Fri Jul 30, 2010 8:25 am

queta says, "Diet: no sugar,...." Post #18 8th June 2008 06:47 PM questa also says, "Sugar is one of my worst triggers. If I eat sugar, it will show up on my face two days after." Post #2 26th September 2012 07:29 PM

Rashadooks says, "So my cure for my rosacea is to not eat any sugar- complex, fructose etc. It's hard but I feel soooooo much better for it and I finally have my face back." Posted on Thu Sep 23, 2010 6:03 am

realgone says, "I was shocked when she said dairy and sugar. Sugar! I never eat sugar. Turns out it is in everything. I gave up all sugar and dairy for three months and could then introduce them back into my diet on a rotation basis to see if I could tolerate them again. Anyways, My skin did not start clearing up right away, but after 1 month on the diet, it was almost immediately clear." Post #13 22nd January 2012 01:53 AM

RMR says, "I try to drink plenty of water, have cut down on my sugar consumption, and am amazed with the results." Posted on Thu Jul 05, 2012 10:16 pm

Rosered says, "I have been following The Rosacea Diet as outlined in Brady's Rosacea 101 book strictly for the last week and my skin is already looking better and I have lost 5 pounds." Post #45 26th June 2011 12:44 PM

Roshellek says, "...I really believe sugar is a big no no for me....I have noticed if I eat too much sugarwithin hours m face will be bumpy." Posted on Sat Nov 05, 2011 8:31 pm

Sally says, "My skin goes crazy if I reintroduce sugar!" Post #2 2nd February 2012 09:59 AM

ScarletDarla says, " I don’t eat any grains at all, no milk,and no sugar. I am currently not eating much starch either, so no potatoes. The idea behind any of these similar diets (paleo, SCD or GAPS) is that you remove the food source of the harmful bacteria types in your gut to starve them out of existence, and they apparently thrive on disaccharides. Many people are successful with this. Posted on Wed Sep 26, 2012 1:43 pm

sdwaus says, "I've tried the no sugar diet and I noticed a big improvement right away." Posted Mon Jul 26, 2010 5:15 am

seaboss says, "I decided that cutting out refined, added sugar was not enough and I decided to cut down on all sugar, both refined and natural. Now my Rosacea is almost gone..." Post #14 22nd September 2011 03:02 AM

shantelle says, "I have been on a low carb / low sugar / low yeast / high protien type diet since May 2010 and I too believe it has had good impact on my skin..." Post #49 3rd July 2011 10:36 PM

shellylee says, "I seem to flush alot after eating walnuts and foods high in sugar and fat like doughnuts." Posted on Fri Apr 15, 2011 12:42 am

shikasta says, "Sugar seems to be the most dramatic trigger for me. Losing the weight was an unexpected benefit. I didn't know what my body really looked like without my familiar little pot belly...! Kinda nice. But the point of the experiment is to reduce redness, itching, bumps and flushing...and so far so good fingers crossed." Post #10 on April 22, 2014

simpleguy says, "I had p&ps big time for a couple years and I switched to a no-carb diet and everything cleared up." Post #19 19th May 2011 01:17 AM

slenten says, "Sugar, for me, triggers pustule and nodule formation." Posted on Wed Jan 28, 2009 4:49 pm

sparrowleggs says, "...the couple of occasions where I was very disciplined and stuck to a low carb/zero sugar diet for a while, my skin improved." Posted on Sun Jun 19, 2011 12:11 am

spencer says, "After doing a strict no sugar/no grains diet for 5 weeks, I have noticed big improvements..." Posted on Thu Apr 26, 2012 5:10 pm - Spencer says, "After doing a strict no sugar/no grains diet for 5 weeks, I have noticed big improvements..." Posted on Thu Apr 26, 2012 5:10 pm

starbuck says, "I recently gave up soda (huge coke / coke zero drinker) and sugar. The road has not been fun, but my skin looks a little better." Posted on Wed Mar 17, 2010 4:24 pm

Stacy Wiegman says, "Here is a quick list of inflammatory foods to avoid as you develop your rosacea diet: Sugar • High fructose corn syrup" posted on her site

Supramom2000 says, "I think one of the major components for me is dairy and sugar. I have eliminated cow dairy and all sweets and sugars. The minute I eat something junky or containing dairy, my eyes start itching and burning and the next day, my skin gets redder and a papule appears." Posted on Wed Oct 13, 2010 1:40 am

TheQueenCity says, "...because sugar is my #1 trigger and I'm trying to narrow down my triggers..." Posted on Tue Jul 19, 2011 12:22 pm

tracyl1019 says, "So I have been eating low carb and much lower sugar....And i must say my face is less red and I have had less flushing problems." Posted Sat Oct 4, 2008 9:17 am

Twickle Purple says, "Avoid: ...sugar,...." Post #8 27th January 2008 08:47 PM

vinnyt says, "After omitting added sugar from my diet I noticed great improvement of my SD. Also after omitting really natural sugary fruit I noticed some improvement. Every now and then I think to myself "your not eating enough sugar, this is probably unhealthy". So then I go eat a fruit or something a long those lines and I notice some unwanted reactions, itchiness tingling, whatever. I never feel like im going to pass out from low sugar though so maybe Im okay avoiding these all together. Not sure if is okay to limit my sugar this much." Post #1 April 27, 2014

Also I am aware that the actual stress response after eating something like fruit e.g "Oh no I hope i don't have a bad reaction to this" may be the reason for the unwanted reactions. Also it may just be a noecebo effect (opposite of placebo effect).

yougottabekidin says, "I have cut out sugar and I no longer eat bread and every day my face is becoming more and more normal again." Posted keratosispilaris.org May 2010

Wendylynn says, "I am a firm believer in a lower carb diets. Besides being helpfull for skin issues they are great for general health and nutruient dense." Post #3 17th May 2011 11:11 PM

whizz-dude says, "sweets (all types of sugar for that matter make my face flush)" Posted on Fri Sep 12, 2008 11:04 am

wildnanny44 says, "The best way for me to control my rosasea is by diet. No sugar or junk food like Mcdonalds." Posted Sat Jun 5, 2010 1:29 am

Wildscenery says, "Im trying it out now, it seems to control IBS very effectively as well." Post #64 21st July 2011 09:50 PM

Wrinkledclue says, "...almost no sugar, no simple carbohydrates,..." Post #167th June 2008 11:32 PM - "I've found that sugar worsens my rosacea." Posted on Mon Sep 20, 2010 10:47 pm

zerodog says, "I found that cutting out sugar helped tremendously with the papules and pustules..." Posted on Tue Mar 31, 2009 11:10 pm

zzguy says, ".... and/or sugar out of my diet - got rid of nose redness for now" Post #3 on 26th January 2008 09:49 AM

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Other Links Reporting Sugar as a Rosacea Trigger

9 Top Rosacea Triggers and How to Tame Them

"According to the International Rosacea Foundation, high calorie carbohydrate foods, like sugar, pasta, and bread, can be triggers for rosacea as well." Should You Go on a Rosacea Diet?, Everyday Health

"Avoiding sugars may help prevent a rosacea flare-up. Sugar, including high-fructose corn syrup, can trigger high insulin release — especially in people who are carbohydrate sensitive." What’s Sugar Got To Do With Rosacea?, Joan Kent, PhD

"Too much sugar can also aggravate other skin conditions such as rosacea, eczema, and psoriasis said Dr. Debra Jaliman, board-certified NYC dermatologist, assistant professor of Dermatology Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai." Yes, eating a lot of sugar can affect your skin. Here's how., Sara Lindberg

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