Consuming caffeine from coffee but not from other foods is associated with a lower risk of rosacea, a common chronic inflammatory skin disease, according to a new study published in the journal JAMA Dermatology.
“Caffeine is known to decrease vasodilation and have immunosuppressant effects, which may potentially decrease the risk of rosacea. However, the heat from coffee may be a trigger for rosacea flares,” said Qingdao University researcher Dr. Suyun Li and colleagues.
“The relationship between the risk of rosacea and caffeine intake, including coffee consumption, is poorly understood.”
The study authors analyzed data on coffee, tea, soda and chocolate consumption from 82,737 women in the Nurses’ Health Study II (NHS II), a prospective cohort established in 1989, with follow-up conducted biennially between 1991 and 2005.
They identified 4,945 incident cases of rosacea, and found a significant inverse association between risk of rosacea and increased caffeine intake, particularly that from coffee.
“Compared with people who had less than one serving of caffeinated coffee per month, those who had four servings or more per day had the lowest risk for rosacea,” the scientists said.
“Decaffeinated coffee wasn’t associated with decreased rosacea risk.”
Further analyses found that increased caffeine intake from foods other than coffee (tea, soda, and chocolate) was not significantly associated with decreased risk of rosacea.
“Rosacea symptoms may be lessened because of caffeine’s vasoconstrictive and immunosuppressant effects but further studies are to needed to understand the reasons for the observed association,” the researchers noted.
“Further 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.”
Suyun Li et al. Association of Caffeine Intake and Caffeinated Coffee Consumption with Risk of Incident Rosacea in Women. JAMA Dermatol, published October 17, 2018; doi: 10.1001/jamadermatol.2018.3301