Coffee could be beneficial in preventing skin disease

Now there’s yet another reason to drink coffee. A new study has shown that it could be beneficial in preventing rosacea, a common but poorly understood inflammatory skin disease, in women. Rosacea can make life miserable for the suffer, as it causes irritation of the skin such as pimples as well as flushing, and usually occurs on the face. It tends to run in cycles, flaring up for a few weeks then fading for a while. It’s not currently understood what causes it, although some things are believed to trigger the condition such as spicy foods, alcohol and caffeinated drinks.

Now, a new study shows that, instead of contributing to the condition, coffee may actually help prevent it. Using data from the US Nurses’ Health Study, researchers from Harvard University and Brown University in the US working with colleagues from China found that women who were regular coffee drinkers were less likely to be diagnosed with rosacea compared with those who consumed little or no caffeine. Those who drank four or more cups a day decreased their risk by almost a quarter (23%). The only caffeinated drink that appeared to make a difference was coffee, while other drinks such as tea or caffeinated soda seemed to have no effect. Decaffeinated coffee also had no effect on results.

Study suggests health benefits of coffee for preventing skin disease

The researchers also took other factors into account, such as age, ethnicity, smoking and alcohol consumption. Over 80,000 women took part in the study, which started in 1989 and is still ongoing. During this period, 5.9 per cent were diagnosed with rosacea.  Those who drank four or more cups of coffee a day were 23 per cent less likely to develop the condition.

According to the NHS, while the study “doesn’t prove that coffee is protective against rosacea, the results are interesting. The study shows a clear dose-response – that is, the more coffee people drank, the lower the risk.” The caffeine in coffee may work by preventing blood vessels widening, which happens during a rosacea flush. Caffeine also contains antioxidants which can help to suppress inflammation, and it may also affect hormone levels which can be contributory factor for rosacea.

While there’s more research to be done before official guidelines are changed, it’s possible that rosacea sufferers don’t need to avoid coffee as has been previously thought.

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