Avoid These 9 Rosacea Flare Triggers

  • Rosacea is a condition that causes visible blood vessels and acne-like breakouts. 
  • Rosacea symptoms can flare up anytime, and when they do, it’s never convenient.  
  • There is no cure for rosacea.

According to the National Rosacea Society, an estimated 16 million Americans have rosacea. However, there’s still no cure for it.

Rosacea triggers vary per individual, says Susan Stuart, MD, founder and medical director of La Jolla Plastic Surgery & Dermatology in San Diego. So, it’s essential to know what can worsen the condition.

Here are some things you should when you have rosacea:

1. Eating spicy foods

Spicy foods, curry, cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes, and salsa, are common triggers for rosacea, says Dr. Stuart. Limit or avoid eating spicy foods to prevent your face from getting all red.

2. Getting too much sun exposure

Sun exposure is another common trigger rosacea, per a survey by the National Rosacea Society. Rosacea occurs when blood vessels near the skin surface dilate suddenly and increase blood flow, resulting in flushing and skin redness, says Stuart. Anything that can stimulate these blood vessels to dilate can trigger symptoms. Protect your skin, by limiting skin exposure, especially between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen, preferably a water-resistant sunblock with at least SPF 30, zinc oxide, or titanium dioxide, to help reduce the risk of irritation.

3. Unmanaged stress

Stress is among the things that worsen rosacea, according to the Cleveland Clinic. While you can’t entirely avoid stress, you can help minimize its effect. A few suggestions from Harvard Health Publishing include practicing mindfulness meditation, yoga, and tai chi. According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, meditation may improve how your brain absorbs information and even help delay or reverse cognitive aging. An article that appeared in the July–September 2015 issue of the AYU journal noted that meditation calms the nervous system and helps promote sleep, helping you manage stress.

4. Exercising

While exercise can benefit the body and the soul, it can also aggravate rosacea. In the National Rosacea Society survey, 56 percent of the respondents reported heavy exercise as a rosacea trigger. According to Stuart, exercising can increase your heart rate and blood flow to the skin, which can cause flushing. She advises exercising when the sun is low, and temperatures are cooler. For the record, this doesn’t mean you should forego exercise.

5. Drinking too much alcohol

According to a past review that appeared in Pharmacy & Therapeutics, red wine, beer, bourbon, gin, and vodka are some of the top triggers for rosacea flares.

6. Sipping hot drinks

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Thirty-six percent of the people who took the National Rosacea Society survey said that heated beverages like hot tea and hot coffee trigger their rosacea. If you need coffee to get you energized in the morning, cool it down a bit before sipping. The National Rosacea Society also recommends switching out hot tea and coffee for iced versions.

7. Using makeup

While cosmetics can help cover up redness and other imperfections, they can also trigger the condition, per the AAD. Stuart suggests using water-based makeup without fragrances and allergens. According to the National Rosacea Society, cosmetics that contain alcohol, menthol, witch hazel, and eucalyptus oil tend to be irritating for people with rosacea. Always test a new product on your neck before applying it to your face. Discontinue use if you get an allergic reaction.

8. Being in the heat

Heat can worsen rosacea, even in winter when we turn up our furnaces, notes Stuart. The American Osteopathic College of Dermatology recommends lowering the thermostat and opening some windows during winter to maintain proper humidity and temperature in your living spaces, using air conditioning in summer, and wearing clothes you can peel some off if you begin to feel hot. They also recommend avoiding saunas and hot tubs.

9. Exposing your skin to extreme cold

Cold wind and temperatures trigger rosacea. The National Rosacea Society suggests covering your face with a scarf, wearing sunscreen, and limiting hot beverages. Get your dermatologist’s recommendations on a skin barrier ointment that you can use to protect your skin from the cold weather elements.

Source: Everyday Health

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