If you have rosacea, you are not alone – an estimated 16 million Americans experience this skin condition. Since there is no known cure, the goal in treating rosacea is identifying triggers for flare-ups. Triggers vary from person to person. A gluten intolerance or celiac disease may produce symptoms in some people. Always consult a doctor when developing a treatment plan for a health condition such as rosacea.
Signs of rosacea include redness on your nose, cheeks, forehead or chin, and a tendency to flush easily. You also may have small and visible spider-like blood vessels on your face, watery or irritated eyes, a burning sensation on your face and bumps or pimples on your face, some of which may ooze or crust. Rosacea also may lead to a red, bulbous nose. While not considered medically dangerous, it can lead to permanent changes in your appearance, such as enlarged nose tissue. This, in turn, may lead to lowered self-esteem that affects daily life.
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Gluten Intolerance Symptoms
If you have a gluten sensitivity or the autoimmune condition called celiac disease, you may have extraintestinal symptoms, which means they appear outside of your gut. Rosacea, acne and other skin conditions like eczema are just a few of many possible extraintestinal symptoms. Others include fatigue, joint pain, headaches, depression and abnormal menstrual cycles, according to Sue Baic, lead author for "Living Gluten-Free for Dummies."
Both gluten intolerance and celiac disease as root problems for skin conditions are gaining attention in the scientific community. It would behoove dermatologists to familiarize themselves with the signs and symptoms of gluten intolerance because it is a potentially treatable cause of numerous skin conditions, note the authors of a 2006 study published in the "European Journal of Dermatology." Furthermore, skin diseases are among the more common extraintestinal symptoms associated with celiac disease, according to the authors of a 2009 study published in "Expert Review of Clinical Immunology." Both celiac disease and gluten intolerance are treated by avoiding gluten, the protein in wheat.
Avoiding gluten may not be the solution for your rosacea, because triggers vary from person to person. Keeping a symptom diary that includes information on symptoms and the foods you eat, your amount of sun exposure, your stress level and other possible influences is the best way to identify your triggers. Common triggers include exertion, hot or cold weather, sun exposure, wind, certain skin care products, spicy foods, alcohol and hot beverages.
- PubMed Health; Rosacea; November 11, 2009
- Rosacea.org: About
- “Expert Review of Clinical Immunology”; Celiac disease: from gluten to skin; L. Abenavoli, et al.; 2009
- “European Journal of Dermatology”; Gluten Intolerance and Skin Diseases; P. Humbert, et al.; 2006
- “Living Gluten-Free for Dummies”; Sue Baic et al.; 2007
- Rosacea.org: Rosacea Triggers
- MayoClinic.com; Food Allergy vs. Food Intolerance: What’s the Difference?; James T. Li
- MayoClinic.com; Gluten-Free Diet; January 29, 2010
- Dr. Ronald Hoffman; Skin Disorders; Leyla Muedin