Tomatoes, shellfish, and other histamine-related foodsiStock/nipapornnan
About 16 million Americans have rosacea, a chronic, inflammatory skin disease (with no known cause) that is characterized by slow-developing facial redness, flushing, and/or acne-like papules or pustules. Some sufferers may be sensitive to foods high in histamine, such as citrus fruit and nuts, and/or histamine-releasing foods, such as tomatoes and shellfish, because “histamine causes your blood vessels to swell, or dilate… contributing to a wide range of problems,” according to MindBodyGreen.com. Taking an antihistamine prior to a meal of histamine-containing foods may lessen skin-reddening side effects.
One of the most commonly reported triggers, alcohol is linked with rosacea flare-ups, according to patients surveyed by the National Rosacea Society; red wine seems to produce the greatest reaction. “Alcohol causes vasodilatation—increased blood to flow through the skin—which can make skin appear to be redder,” explains John E. Wolf, Jr., MD, professor and chairman of the department of dermatology at Baylor College of Medicine.