Coffee may be able to help people with this common skin condition, study says

There are several benefits to drinking coffee, including protection against a common skin problem, according to a new report.

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Researchers from Brown University recently conducted a study, published in the JAMA Dermatology journal, to determine the link between dietary habits and rosacea risk. Rosacea is a skin condition that affects the blood vessels in the face, presenting as skin redness and sometimes acne-like bumps.

For their assessment, they examined nearly 83,000 women who were enrolled in a national nurses' study between 1991 and 2005. The scientists gathered information on the subjects’ coffee consumption every four years and documented almost 5,000 cases of clinician-diagnosed rosacea.

After analyzing the results, they found women who drank four or more cups a day had a 23 percent lower chance of getting the skin disorder, compared to those who drank less than a cup a month.

“We found that caffeine intake from coffee but not from other foods (tea, soda, and chocolate) was associated with a decreased risk of incident rosacea in a dose-dependent manner,” the authors wrote.

The analysts noted previous research showed the opposite effect. However, they stated their study is the first of its kind to evaluate the connection between caffeine intake, coffee consumption and risk of incident rosacea in a large cohort of women.

While the team is unclear why coffee is associated with a lower risk of rosacea, they hypothesize that caffeine can positively affect the blood vessels and immune system. They also said caffeine has been known to contain antioxidant agents and immunosuppressant effects, which can lead to decreased inflammation in rosacea, but more investigation is needed.

“Further studies,” the team concluded, “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.”

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