The Pericone Diet and Treating Rosacea

If you have rosacea, you may have noticed that some foods trigger or worsen the symptoms. Tailoring your diet to include foods that help treat rosacea and to avoid foods that cause it can help.

Read on to learn what foods to avoid and include in the Pericone diet for the skin, followed by a meal recommendation.

The Pericone Diet: Foods to Avoid

A survey of 1,066 rosacea patients found that the most common factors that triggered rosacea symptoms included sun exposure, emotional stress and heavy exercise. Other top triggers included certain foods and beverages.

Foods that cause an increase of circulation to the face can cause rosacea symptoms to worsen, including spicy foods and alcohol.

Other foods to avoid are those that cause blood vessels to dilate, such as:

  • Hot sauces
  • Vinegars
  • Peppers
  • Meat marinades

Other common rosacea trigger foods include:

  • Bananas
  • Pasta
  • Chocolates
  • Liver
  • Soy sauce
  • Artificial sweeteners

Although there are many triggers, there are just as many food options that help relieve symptoms.

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The Pericone Diet: Foods to Include

For treating rosacea, eat fruits and vegetables that are rich in antioxidants, such as broccoli and cantaloupe. Fruits that are vascular constrictors, such as cherries, blackberries, and blueberries, actually assist in reducing redness.

A study reported in the September 2008 issue of The British Journal of Nutrition found that other good foods to eat for rosacea are foods rich in omega-3 essential fatty acids, such as flaxseed oil and these cold-water fish:

  • Halibut
  • Salmon
  • Herring
  • Mackerel
  • Sardines

Dinner and Dessert toward a Less Rosy Face

Dinner: Caribbean Fish Burgers


  • 18 ounces raw boneless, skinless salmon, chopped fine
  • 1/2 cup minced red onion?
  • 1 egg white
  • 2 tablespoons minced, peeled fresh ginger?
  • 1½ teaspoons minced garlic?
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • Optional due to spiciness: ¾ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, without stems?
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon grated lime peel
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil


  • 1 ½ cups baby salad greens
  • 1 lime, cut into 8 wedges


  1. Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl.
  2. Form into three patties. (Burgers can be prepared ahead to this point.)
  3. Heat olive oil in a 1-quart sauté pan over medium heat.
  4. Add patties and cook, carefully turning once, until golden brown and cooked through, approximately 6 to 7 minutes.
  5. Arrange ½ cup of greens per plate. Place hot burgers on the greens, serve immediately garnished with lime wedges.

Drink a glass of spring water with meal.

Dessert: Rainbow Parfait


  • 2 cups 3/4-inch honeydew melon balls (from about a 3-pound piece, seeded)
  • 2 cups 3/4-inch cantaloupe balls (from about a 3-pound piece, seeded)
  • 1 cup wild organic blueberries
  • ¼ fresh lime juice
  • Fresh mint sprigs


  1. Gently layer melon and berries into tall parfait glasses.
  2. Drizzle equal amounts of the lime juice over each glass.
  3. Top with sprig of fresh mint.

Serves 4 to 6.

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30 Comments • Please comment below


  1. I have read Dr Perricone’s books and read his blog. I have followed his rosacea eating plan and have found vast improvements in my rosacea symptoms. He is spot on with his research and advice.

  2. I have never had any skin problems up until 4 months before my big 40 birthday. It was hard enough turning forty but then having a flaming case of Rosacea that was horrible. I have seen my dermatologist several times. I was given antibiotics, gels, creams etc. nothing worked. She recommended an IPL laser treatment, that made it worse. Last resort she recommended Acutane. I was not going to take that when there was no evidence that it would help. I have given up artificial sweetners, sodas, high fructose syrup etc. Nothing makes it better. It is very cyclic and has made me very self conscience. I just want to be normal. I need help

  3. I recently started using Made from Earth’s Rosehip Hibiscus Serum based on my dermatologist’s recommendation. The serum is great and hydrates my skin. I have rosacea and my skin tends to be extremely dry, but since using these products, I find my skin is very well hydrated and does not irritate my rosacea.

  4. I am driven a liltte crazy by some responses on here. If you have true rosacea (and not just sensitive, dry skin), there aren’t many home remedies that will provide much true relief. Rosacea has been studied by caused by an over-production by certain inflammatory proteins in the skin (determined by your genes). It’s not caused by a fungus (or even by a bacterium, although antibiotics do help some people, because they have anti-inflammatory effect). The over-the-counter product Prosacea does help some people; it contains some sulfur, which is a clinically-proven treatment for rosacea. It does also help to avoid the sun, avoid caffeine, and avoid alcohol if you have rosacea. These are all common triggers for flare-ups and tend to exacerbate the condition. It also helps to use very gentle, non-abrsasive facial cleansers. Again, this only applies to people who truly have clinically-diagnosed rosacea. Products like Eucerin Redness Relief can help mask the condition but do not treat it. Rosacea typically worsens with time if it is not treated with the appropriate medications. If your skin is oily, you can try the dandruff shampoo Sebulex it contains both salicylic acid and sulfur; it will treat rosacea (because of the sulfur), and the salicylic acid will help reduce oiliness. The best medical treatment is Finacea, 15% azelaic acid, which is only available through a physician.

  5. I would be thrilled to be a test creature! I am enjoying the products I purchased recently and am starting the diet tomorrow because it makes sense, A colleague of mine is likewise battling rosacea so it will be interesting to see how we do.

  6. I have blogged about your 28 day plan and your products. The claims are right on! I have Rosacea on my face and Psoriasis on my body. I have my face completely under control on your plan which includes ALL of the supplements! I have read so much about the triggers for both conditions and it’s all about inflammation. It’s about what we put in our body’s first and then about what we put on our skin. I use CP, CP SUB D, ACYL, ACYL EYE Etc. LOVE YOUR PRODUCTS! Anyone who reads
    “Perricone Prescription” will know what to do. So Read it!!!

  7. My rosacea has worsened with age. I have tried the gels and cremes without any improvement. I have given up many of the foods that trigger the redness..strawberries, pineapple..cause pimples.
    I also avoid the sun. Both my children have inherited this..after having rosacea for so many years I am starting to wonder if there will be any cure for their problem.

  8. I am 55 and did not develope this rosacea until I finished the meapause symtomps. What it left me was this horrible life changing life altering skin problem. I am Indian, Asian, Hispanic and to have to give up spicy foods that I grew up with was a challenge. Giving up the sun was another, also working out hard to stay fit made it worse. I have researched this skin problem and tried many products that swear it will work so far I have found nothing. Diet and Omega 3 seems to help.

  9. I get lots of comments on how I do not look my age…I am 41 and most people think I am 30. I live in a very dry climate here in Colorado and have noticed that my “rosy cheeks” are getting a bit more sensitive. I came across Dr. Perricone’s diet several years ago and it DOES make a huge difference for me…I LOVE sharing with others when I find great products and great, well-written information…I would LOVE to be a Perricone tester for Rosacea. Thanks so much :-)

  10. I was hoping this site might have some information that was not available anywhere else. Dr. Perricone’s diet and skin care practices are solid, so I wondered if he had a unique way of treating the condition. I have tried every medication and topical treatment, eat a clean diet and nothing is working…

  11. I Live in Arkansas and I am 38 years old. My skin is a mess!!!! I have tried several medications and nothing is helping. I really don’t want to continue taking medication. I exercise, eat fairly healthy and take care of my skin…I need help!!!!

  12. I am 66 yrs. old; I have rosacea.

  13. This post has been stored like a favorite :), I really like your blog!

  14. I am very eager to try the Pericone diet. As this point I’m willing to try anything. I would love to be a tester as I have tried everything else. I would feel such encouragement just to have something new to try.

  15. Please help

  16. I live in the UK and am getting married in Vegas next month and I am ordering a few products now via a UK store to try to get my skin in better shape for my wedding. All in all my skin isn’t too bad, but I’m pale, have Rosacea a little, and intend to do my best to get my skin in top condition. I truly believe in Dr P MD’s logic regarding food and am contantly researching good practice and natural ways to do things… I have every faith that they will be good. I cannot afford all of the items in one go as some are expensive – so I am trying a kit and a few items – these will tell me if to look further as I know my own stuff… and I will update you once received and used for say 7-10 days. But I am very impressed with his work and don’t belive its all just good marketing – so lets see :)

  17. I have rosacea and go through periods where my skin is dry and flaky. I’ve tried so many different products on the market (Prescription, Boutique, Drugstore), but nothing seems to work longterm. I always end up with dryness, redness, fine lines, and really annoying flakes. That said, I’m looking to become brand loyal. But I don’t want a skin regimen that helps with rosacea only; I want something that also combats the normal process of skin aging as well. Is the Perricone regimen the right thing?? I don’t know, but I would love to be a product tester.

  18. I have been fighting this condition and its frustrating that we I run it flares up…what can be done? I’m going to try the diet.

  19. I have always had sensitive skin and flush extremely easy. It has really made it hard to want to go out with my skin all flared up. I’ve been working at health food stores the past 4 years and finally realized, as it was getting worse(visible capillaries, constant red dots on my cheeks) that I have rosacea. I have been doing soo much research on what to do to get it under control. I’ve figured out dairy and wheat allergies cause it to flare up, but it never completely goes away! I’m getting ready to remove caffeine, alcohol, and chocolate :( from my diet and increase raw foods. Would really like to try a product that works, stick with it, and would recommend it to customers!!!

  20. I’m 62 and suffered with rosacea since in my mid 40′s. Certain foods make a big difference but I certainly do not by any means have my rosacea under control. Heat, stress and food all being the worst offenders. Not tryed fish oil, will do that. Also going to try your food suggestions.

  21. I am really happy I read this article!!! I had no idea I was actually making my rosacea worse by eating certain foods. My family doctor has given me meds to help but they never worked. My next step was to go see a dermatologist but I haven’t done that yet. My biggest problem is going to be trying to say away from peppers and hot sauce, I love that stuff! Although I can’t wait to try. I hate that I can’t go anywhere without foundation. It would be great to get this even somewhat controlled by changing my eating habits. I have to admit though I am not a fish eater at all. So not sure how that is going to go but I am willing to try! Thank’s again!

  22. Great tips. Anything to help keep the rosacea at bay. Thanks!

  23. Recently diagnosed with rosacea although I’ve had the symptoms for 10 years. It has gotten much worse so I am ready to try this.

  24. I was surprised to read that bananas flares rosacea. I was eating bananas everyday sometimes twice or 3 times a day. Huge difference since I’ve stopped eating them. I read that cherries and black berries reduces red flares… something to think abut

  25. Bill – fish oils help reduce inflammation, which rosacea feeds off. I’m guessing that has something to do with why it helps. Besides – what do you have to lose by trying it? Staying positive instead of coming onto sites like this that are meant to inform and being so negative can probably also go a long way.

  26. Complete B.S. Show me some research to support a ‘rosacea diet’. Anectodotal evidence doesn’t mean jack without research to back it up. Show me a few well controlled, clinical trials and I’ll jump on board ……didn’t thin so

  27. 3 comments? Hmmmmmm?
    I have done so much research on rosacea triggers that my eyes are getting buggy! No matter what I eat, if I follow it with a steady supply of GLA/borage oil, or/and Omega 3′s , fish, flax, and olive oil….and apply these to the skin directly, there is a huge turn around!!

  28. I have rosacea. I am starting the 28 day diet today. I am expecting my rosacea to improve. I would love to test products to improve my rosacea.

  29. Great info! I am lactose intolerant, and I have noticed that every time I have dairy (together with my lactose supplement pills) I have a bad skin episode where my rosacea blossoms. What you eat definitely controls much of your skins life!!

  30. Great info! I am lactose intolerant, and I have noticed that every time I have dairy (together with my lactose supplement pills) I have a bad skin episode where my rosacea blossoms. What you eat definitely controls much of your skins life!!