Week 8: Red Wine vs. Red Light Therapy – The Epic Battle

If you have rosacea, and if you drink red wine, then you know you’re asking for trouble by pouring yourself a glass.  It is, after all, the most common alcohol trigger for rosacea flare-ups.

That ticks me off.  Wouldn’t it be nice if the most common alcohol trigger was something gross? Something that maybe one in a hundred million people would even try? But no!  It’s red wine.  A classy, flavourful, meal-enhancing, traditional beverage that may even have health benefits. It’s like the green tea of booze!

Rosacea red wine light therapyYet while we, the lucky rosacea prone population of the world can drink all the green tea we want (in fact, drinking it can be very helpful to our condition), the slightest hint of red wine causes our symptoms to flare-up.  If your reaction to it is anything like mine, it takes only a small sip before you need to brace yourself for comments like, “hoo, slow down!” or glances that are clearly judging how drunk you are.  One sip!

But there’s something red wine didn’t realize.  I have red light therapy now!  So now it begs the question:

The invasion of rosacea symptoms from red wine

rosacea red winePlease allow me to set the scene.  I love red wine.  I’ve loved it since I was in my early twenties (I’m in my not-so-early not-so-twenties, now).  Since I started showing early signs of rosacea, I’d found myself slowly reducing the amount of red wine that I would allow myself to have.

It wasn’t too bad, at first. I got a bit pink-cheeked, but that wasn’t anything that I couldn’t handle.  However, as the years went on, my cheeks weren’t just turning pink anymore.  They were turning red.  Deep red. Then they turned beet red – like real beets.  Those things are nearly purple! And boy were they hot – my cheeks, not the beets.  I could probably have baked cookies on my face!  Then, it would take anywhere from one to several days for the rosacea symptoms to ease.

As the redness spread on my cheeks, it wasn’t just in the “apple” area anymore. This meant that by the time I’d taken one sip of wine, my entire cheek areas turned deep purple-red, right up to my temples.  Ugh!

Deploy the red light therapy & let the epic battle begin!

Now that I have red light therapy clearing up my symptoms and keeping them clear, I have to admit that I’m getting a bit daring about trying things that I know are triggers.  I can’t help it!  I want to see how they stand up against this natural rosacea treatment.

So here’s the scoop.  My father gave me a bottle of red wine a couple of weeks ago.  I decided that it was a sign that I should let these two fine reds – the wine and the light – duke it out and see what my face looks like after the fight.

When the time came to pour myself a glass, I enjoyed it very much.  It was the perfect evening for it, too.  I made sure that I had just one glass and that I was well hydrated, that day.  I also didn’t mess around with other rosacea triggers, either, even though it’s hard to keep exposure down to zero triggers, since my list of of them is very long.

Did my cheeks turn pink? Yes.  They turned pink right up to my temples.  But here’s the thing: they were only pink!  Not purple-red! Also, my face didn’t feel hot!  That burning feeling didn’t happen at all. Woo hoo!

I did my red light therapy, that night, and completed my rosacea skin care routine as usual.  By the time I woke up in the morning, all signs of the minor flare-up were gone.  No pink, no pimply bumps, no redness, no burning feeling.

So, being the stubborn person I am, I tried another glass the second night. Same thing!

The winner of Red Wine vs Red Light Therapy is…

Me!  Yes, I know, that’s a pretty cheap answer, but that’s how I feel and this is my blog.  So there.

I do still get a minor flare-up from drinking red wine.  The rosacea symptoms are very mild and they consist only of a bit of extra redness.

Clearly there’s some sort of preventative benefit to the red light therapy that I’m using every day, anyway.  By the next day, any symptoms that did occur in the rosacea flare-up are gone, so evidently there’s a healing benefit, too.

It’s a fine battle of reds, but when it all comes down to it, they seem to cancel each other out.  I wouldn’t risk drinking too many glasses in one evening, but to simply enjoy a glass or two, I feel confident that the red light therapy has me covered.  🙂

Does red wine cause your symptoms to flare up? Do they stick around for a long time? Have you tried red light therapy or any other rosacea treatments to control those symptoms so that you can continue to enjoy a glass or two?  Please share your comments in the box, below!

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