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Green Tea (Decaf) Causing Breakout - Go Figure!

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On my quest for good nutrition I added quality organic green tea (decaf) to my diet last week and next day got 1-2 inflammed whiteheads. Thought it was a fluke. Kept on drinking the decaf green tea (2 cups/day) thinking how healthy I was being and each day woke up to several more inflammed whiteheads...very surface things but still inflammed with a bit of pus (sorry). Today woke up to 4 and oily skin. I've been clear for months and months now...this was the only change. Then I remembered I cut out green tea years and years ago but couldn't recall why. Think I remember now!

Just thought I'd share in case anyone else may have this reaction --- which goes against almost all info on net about green tea. Looked back through this site for any similar experiences and came across old thread about this.

I am incredibly sensitive to caffeine and hormones so it could be that even this so-called decaf has eneough caffeine to be an issue. And supposedly there are some studies somewhere indicating that green tea can increase DHT. Too tired to track down right now but will eventually.

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Yes --- I like hibiscus tea, especially during the summer months when I make an iced tea from it. My usual daily tea is organic roasted dandelion root...tastes like rich coffee but of course no caffeine because it's herbal and it's good for liver function.

I cut out the green decaf tea yesterday and this morning had clear skin. This may have been a rosacea reaction. I have papular-pusticular (P&P) rosacea in addition to acne so it's sometimes hard to tell what is what, except the rosacea seems more superficial with small itchy bright red flat lesions. They usually clear up in a day or so whereas acne lingers and is often deeper. So like I say this may have been a rosacea reaction. There are many food triggers with rosacea which include caffeine.

My skin has basically been clear for so long (over a year) that this kind of reaction throws me for a loop. Until I remember that I have rosacea too and it's very fickle. When I read posts from people reacting to food I think what they may really be suffering with is P&P rosacea. They may not get the usual rosaea red facial flushing but only the P&P reaction...the flushing may be so mild as not to be noticed. This is what I have --- I am often aware of a tingling in my facial skin that seems like a "flush" without obvious redness. But then after this flushing...if it lasts long eneough...I get the rosacea lesions.

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Strange isn't it? Especially since it's supposed to be so good for you! Found out more info about green tea that may explain the breakouts. Green tea is high in histamines which can inflame both rosacea and acne! Oh well. Interesting to look at charts on high histamine foods...many of them cause me rosacea flare-ups, breakouts and/or gastric problems such as tomatoes, vinegar, alcohol, etc. Interesting...

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Thank you! I've heard good things about nettle tea and will try it. I love camomile tea and drink it often --- it's very calming to my system. Since stopping the green tea my skin has been totally clear again!

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Might be a good thing, that the green tea is helping your body in expelling the toxins. But then what the hell do I know? This is acne we're talking about.

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I'm not sure about the "expelling toxins" concept...although I know it's often mentioned when people have a flare-up or try something new. Perhaps it was that but I eat pretty "clean" and had been clear for a long time. Were toxins lurking under the surface? Maybe so --- can't be sure about anything when you have ultra-sensitive reactive skin like I have! The thing I do get on occasion is a minor rosacea flare, usually flat red bumps - 1 or 2 at a time...and that's almost impossible to avoid with rosacea and considered being under control for that condition. This was a bit different in that it was more like itchy small red pustules...a reaction in feeling and presentation...and maybe a stronger rosacea reaction. It's been so long since I've had really active rosacea (red skin, itchy small pustules, etc.) but it scares me if I get anything close to that. I'm pretty sure it wasn't acne since they were not large raised bumps...just small flat red dots with a white center. Different than acne...at least for me.

Since avoiding green tea my skin has been calm and back to my normal state. I've reviewed my rosacea diet list and realize once again that I can eat some things on it without a reaction but if I eat too many rosacea causing foods at the same time I get a flareup. I was also eating lots of spinach everyday...no reaction...but then added green tea which probably put me over my personal threshold for that kind of food...which is basically high histamine. I can eat foods with histamine but not too many at the same time.

Truly none of this is the end of the world...just interesting. Mainly my focus is eating an anti-inflammatory high nutrient diet. I blow it sometimes because so many of the inflammatory high histamine foods are mainstays of a "normal" diet and overabundant in our culture.

Edited by cvd
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Have you tried anti-histamine with any effect? And on that note, do you know any good sites with a list of histamine and anti-histamine foods?

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Have you tried anti-histamine with any effect? And on that note, do you know any good sites with a list of histamine and anti-histamine foods?


Garlic- one of the cheapest and is anti inflammatory



Fennel- boil in water to make a tea

Watercress- histamine release inhibitor

Ginger as potent an H2 receptor antagonist as Zantac/ranitidine.- also is anti infammalatory


Vitamin c - bell peppers yellow Irojnically citrus a source of vitamin c is a histamine releaser


bee pollen - expensive

Querecitin rich foods- apples , lovage leaves http://www.quercetin.com/overview/food-chart



A low histamine diet is recommened instead of avoiding all as it can lead to nutritional deficencies, berries have lots of antioxidants. Instead increase vitamin c with bell peppers and add all the anti histamines and stick to querecitin rich foods. Just eat as much fresh food as you can.

Low histamine diet

  • Alcohol
  • Citrus- look for high vitamin c foods without citus,e.g guavas and bell peppers
  • Bananas
  • Chocolate- cocoa though rich in antioxidants are histamine relearse
  • Green/black tea,mate tea
  • smoked meats
  • Eggs
  • Fish- should be fresh and eaten once cooked, freeze leftovers. Best Choices are salmon
  • Milk
  • Papayas
  • Pineapple
  • Shellfish-
  • Additives – benzoate, sulphites, nitrites, glutamate, food dyes
  • Strawberries- look for blackberries or goji berries
  • Tomatoes-
  • Nuts
  • Berries and grapes
  • Spinach -
  • Avoid additves and pickled, canned, processed foods- which are high in histamine

Low histamine level foods:

  • Fresh meat (cooled, frozen or fresh)
  • Freshly caught fish
  • Chicken (skinned and fresh)
  • Egg yolk
  • Fresh fruits – with the exception of strawberries, most fresh fruits are considered to have a low histamine level (also see histamine liberators below)
  • Fresh vegetables – with the exception of tomatoes
  • Grains – rice noodles, yeast free rye bread, rice crisp bread, oats, puffed rice crackers, millet flour, pasta (spelt and corn based)
  • Fresh pasteurised milk and milk products
  • Milk substitutes – coconut milk, rice milk
  • Cream cheese, butter (without the histamine generating rancidity)
  • Most cooking oils – check suitability before use
  • Most leafy herbs – check suitability before use
  • Most non-citric fruit juices
  • Herbal teas –e.g chammonile all with the exception of those listed above
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