Does Red Wine Make Rosacea Worse?

If you’ve always thought that red wine is good for you - and there are enough studies to suggest this is the case! – it might be worth checking how it can affect your rosacea.

Is red wine good for us? This question has been debated for a very long time, and research into its health benefits continues to this day. Many countries, like France and Portugal, certainly swear by one or two glasses of red wine a day as part of a healthy, balanced diet!

Red wine is widely seen as a valuable way to help lower the risk of heart disease, strokes, several kinds of cancer, dementia, and inflammation. This is largely due to the powerful antioxidants in grapes, offering greater potential health benefits than any other alcoholic beverages, including white wine.

Overall, from the studies conducted to date, it seems clear enough that enjoying the occasional glass of vin rouge with a meal is likely to do more good than harm to most people!

However, red wine is really bad news for people suffering from rosacea! Alcohol in general is definitely best avoided in order to effectively manage rosacea, but red wine in particular is a notorious trigger.

Respondents to a survey conducted by the National Rosacea Society overwhelmingly confirmed that drinking red wine always caused flare-ups - 72 percent stating that it takes from only a couple of sips to just a glass or two to bring on symptoms. The majority of those surveyed also said that when drinking red wine an outbreak would be triggered almost immediately, just 14 percent saying that it might take as long to occur as the following day.

Rosacea and its triggers

Rosacea is a condition that presents sufferers it with all manner of challenges, including the need to make radical lifestyle changes. One of those adjustments is avoiding alcohol if at all possible, because all available evidence points to alcohol being a significant trigger of rosacea flares …and red wine is the worst culprit of all.

It’s perhaps surprising that although rosacea has been around for an extremely long time – even having been described in Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales in the 14th century – its root causes are still unknown, and in keeping with its puzzling nature, there’s still no cure for rosacea.

A long-term chronic condition, it affects the central part of the face with pronounced redness, swelling and pimples, on the cheeks, forehead, nose, and chin. While rosacea is a complex and difficult skin condition that sufferers have to live with, by adhering to these simple guidelines it can at least be managed:

  • Take careful note of what triggers your flare-ups, make lifestyle or dietary changes accordingly, then avoid those triggers.
  • Keep your face protected in sunlight by applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen, with an SPF (Sun Protection Factor) of 15 or above.
  • Use gentle, non-irritant skin cleansers and moisturisers.

Should you stop drinking red wine altogether?

It certainly seems a sensible strategy, give how many rosacea sufferers are triggered by red wine! But it is your body, your rules. You may be one of those few rosacea sufferers who aren’t affected by red wine, or who are only mildly affected. You could choose to make the decision that a glass or two on special occasions is worth gambling on a flare-up. You could decide that red wine is a no-no, but white is worth the risk! Or you stick to the hard stuff, if you find that you’re unaffected by whisky or vodka!

The choice is ultimately yours, but it’s certainly good to be armed with the data to make an informed decision about drinking red wine!

For more information about managing rosacea, see our article How Do You Clear Up Rosacea?

Recommended products for rosacea

Balmonds have four different emollients that are particularly suitable for rosacea and which you can use in combination to keep your face well-nourished and well-hydrated, plus a non-irritant natural shampoo and body wash.

Balmonds Intensive Facial Oil
with rosehip, calendula, lavender & chamomile

Balmonds Daily Moisturising Cream
with shea butter and calendula

Balmonds Cooling Cream
with shea, menthol, aloe vera & lavender

Balmonds Skin Salvation
with hemp and beeswax

Balmonds Natural Shampoo & Body Wash
with calendula & chamomile


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