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Red, irritated skin can be a mystery. Is it rosacea? Eczema? Are you simply a delicate flower? (Nothing wrong with that, unless you’ve ambushed your face with seven different exfoliating products.) To understand the difference between common redness-related skin conditions, we went to Elizabeth K. Hale, M.D., a leading expert in the field of dermatology who sees patients with red, irritated skin every day.

We’ve heard a lot about inflammation lately, but it seems like a broad and somewhat murky topic. Since it’s mentioned as a cause of everything from acne to Alzheimer’s, it’s clearly something we should know about. So what is it, exactly? And what do we need to know about it to keep our skin in the best shape possible? We spoke with the lovely and brilliant dermatologist Debra Jaliman, MD to find out.

Debra Jaliman, MD enlightened us already on the what, why, and how-to-fix-it basics of inflammation. Then we asked, “What about diet and other lifestyle factors – do those make a difference where inflammation is concerned?” Dr. Jaliman’s answer was an enthusiastic “Yes!” Read on to learn which foods and other lifestyle factors can exacerbate inflammation. If redness, sensitivity, or acne is getting under your skin, you’ll want this exclusive info. Spoiler alert: Red wine is on the list. Tragic, we know. You can still have a little.

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