Medicine finds a myriad of things that can cause red skin, such as autoimmune disorders, allergies, acne, sun damage, and overexertion. And this skin condition can be a source of insecurity for many people. Fortunately, there is no shortage of over-the-counter or medical treatments available to those seeking relief.
There are also dietary changes that you should try to help restore the skin’s natural appearance. Fortunately, some of these tweaks lead to better overall health. In this article, we share advice from dietitians. These cover dietary changes and tell just how quickly you can expect to see results.
HOW EATING THE WRONG FOODS CAN CAUSE RED SKIN
Before detailing some of the foods that can resolve redness and help restore your skin’s natural, healthy glow, let’s take a moment to go over some of the foods that you should avoid:
Gluten plays a critical role in foods like rye, wheat, and barley, insomuch that it contributes to the elasticity of the dough. However, it can also wreak havoc on your gut health. The same applies to other gluten-containing foods, such as cereals, pasta, and salad dressings, for example. Along with affecting gut health, gluten has been linked to autoimmune disorders that can affect the skin.
While coffee is not a food per se, it contains caffeine, a stimulant that can irritate the skin if consumed in excess. Beyond that, coffee also contains a fair amount of tannins, a polyphenolic compound, which, when combined with caffeine, can cause the following skin problems:
- Blocked pores
- Acne breakouts
- Dry, irritated skin
- Red skin
Also, because caffeine is a stimulant, drinking excessive amounts of coffee can lead to dependence. And as with any other substance, you may experience withdrawals symptoms when you finally decide to part ways with your morning pick-me-up, some of which include headaches, migraines, and irritability. All in all, too much coffee is bad for your skin and overall wellbeing.
Overindulging in fried foods not only leads to high cholesterol but also heart disease. And the ill-effects do not end there as these foods can also affect skin health, according to several studies. Vegetable oil used to fry chicken, french fries, onion rings, and other food is extremely oxidative and reactive. In layman’s terms, this means that the oil can trigger the release of free radicals in the body, which can cause inflammation and the following skin problems:
- Age spots
- Clogged pores
It is important to note that many of these symptoms can also give way to irritation that can cause red skin. To improve both your skin and physical health, it would be a good idea to substitute vegetable oil with olive oil or coconut oil whenever possible.
Although it can be difficult to avoid sugar, especially since it is in so many of the foods that we eat, consuming less of it can lead to healthier skin. As far as the science behind it is concerned, sugar causes non-enzymatic glycosylation, a clinical term used to describe the molecular bonding of sugar to proteins or lipids. When this happens, new molecules called AGEs (advanced glycation end-products) is formed in the body. These molecules can damage many of the substances that contribute to healthy, radiant skin, namely elastin, collagen, and fibrin. AGEs can also affect your cardiovascular health as well.
Dairy products contain 1 of 2 hormones that can adversely affect the health of your skin, bovine somatotropin or bovine growth hormone. According to several studies, both of these hormones cause oily skin, which, in turn, can lead to acne, clogged pores, red skin, and many other skin-related problems.
CLEAR UP RED SKIN ONE BITE AT A TIME
We have all heard the adage “you are what you eat” at one time or another, but this age-old saying takes on a whole new meaning when it comes to skin health. After all, your skin can say a lot about your dietary habits and your overall health. That being said, let’s take a look at 10 foods that can resolve skin redness. And, as a bonus, they so improve your overall health in the process.
1. FATTY FISH
In addition to improved joint health, consuming foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids, such as herring, salmon, mackerel, and other fatty fish can go a long way toward improving your skin’s health and appearance. According to a study published in the National Institute of Health, the omega-3 fatty acids found in these types of fish can reduce inflammation, redness, and acne. Consuming foods that contain these fatty acids can also improve skin problems related to autoimmune disorders, particularly lupus and psoriasis.
Avocados contain two healthy fats that can improve skin, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. The monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats in avocados can help soothe irritated skin, protect against sun damage, and minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. One study, which focused on Haas avocado, also revealed that these healthy fats do a great job in boosting elastin. And that allows the skin to appear more youthful.
3. SWEET POTATOES
In addition to adding a pop of color to your dinner plate, sweet potatoes are also a great source of beta-carotene, which the body converts into provitamin A. According to several studies, provitamin A helps keep the skin hydrated, protects against sun damage, and restores the skin’s natural rosy complexion.
4. BELL PEPPERS
Along with adding flavor to your favorite meals, red and yellow bell peppers both contain vitamin A, which helps keep the skin firm by stimulating collagen production. More than that, these delicious peppers also contain vitamin C and beta-carotene that act as antioxidants for the skin.
The beta-carotene, lutein, and lycopene found in tomatoes can do wonders for your skin. All three of these carotenoids can improve skin health and fend off premature aging. They also do a great job in reducing inflammation and clearing up existing skin problems. These include blemishes, red skin, and signs of sun damage.
Consuming edamame and other foods rich in soy can go a long way toward improving the health and appearance of your skin. In addition to stimulating collagen production, which tightens and firms the skin, soy also protects the skin against harmful UV radiation and certain forms of skin cancer. And as an added bonus, it also aids in soothing irritated, red skin from the inside out.
While often praised as a delicious, heart-healthy snack, walnuts contain essential fatty acids and zinc that can reduce inflammation. More than that, they contain antioxidants, vitamin E, vitamin C, and selenium, all of which are essential for healthy, radiant skin.
8. SUNFLOWER SEEDS
Much like walnuts, sunflower seeds are chock-full of nutrition given their relatively small size. According to nutritiondata.self.com, an online resource for free and unbiased nutritional information, less than 1 cup of sunflower seeds provide 37 percent of the RDI (recommended daily intake) for vitamin E, not to mention 10 percent of zinc and 32 percent of selenium. What’s more, less than 1 cup of these delicious seeds delivers nearly 6 grams of protein. And all of these vitamins and nutrients contribute to healthier skin in one way or another.
Most will agree that you can’t go wrong with adding more green vegetables to your plate, especially in terms of more broccoli. Studies show that the edible green plant contains sulforaphane, a compound that contains properties that can ward off skin cancer. Beyond that, the compound offers protection against sun damage that can irritate the skin.
10. DARK CHOCOLATE
Consuming dark chocolate is definitely a treat to your taste buds. Additionally, the cocoa that makes up the delicious chocolate contains antioxidants that protect against UV radiation. Finally, these antioxidants also improve skin hydration, which keeps red skin and other forms of skin irritation at bay. However, there is a caveat in that the chocolate must contain a minimum of 70 percent to be able to reap these benefits.
THE CONNECTION BETWEEN BETTER NUTRITION AND RED SKIN
So, it doesn’t matter if your red skin stems from an autoimmune disorder, environmental factors, or allergens. Regardless, making changes to your nutrition can improve the health and appearance of your skin from the inside out. It is important to note that these changes will not happen overnight.
In most cases, it can take 10 to 12 weeks of consistently better nutrition before irritated, red skin begins to show signs of improvement. Nonetheless, good nutrition can eventually lead to healthy, clear skin, and better all-around health.