What Triggers Rosacea Flare-Ups?
Rosacea is a chronic inflammatory skin condition affecting the face. The skin appears flushed and red, primarily on the nose, cheeks, chin and forehead.
While it is not clear why some people develop the condition, the disorder affects more women than men and there is evidence that Rosacea runs in families. For more information about the skin condition see our article The Face of Rosacea.
Regardless of the cause, we do know that there are a number of ways in which a Rosacea flare-up can be triggered. These triggers differ from one person to the next, but identifying them may help you control and manage your condition – perhaps prevent the next flare up. A recent article by WebMD, they identified 18 Common Triggers of Rosacea.
Once you have identified your triggers, it’s important to find ways to avoid them. That means paying close attention to your symptoms. Your triggers may be food or drink related, or you many experience flare-up on hot days, or after a stressful day. Managing your symptoms means paying close attention to your triggers. Here are some suggestions on how to do that:
Weather Related Triggers
Triggers related to weather or your environment can be controlled to a certain degree. Protect your skin from the sun with a broad spectrum sunscreen every day. Wear a wide-brimmed hat and minimize exposure to the sun during summer months.
Stay in a cool, air-conditioned environment on hot, humid days. Sip cool drinks and avoid over exerting yourself. If you have to be outside, spray your face with cool water at regular intervals to prevent overheating.
Avoid extreme cold and windy conditions by covering your face with a scarf. Use a thick moisturizer to protect against the drying effects of cold and wind and limit your time outdoors in cold weather as much as possible.
Emotional stress is one of the primary triggers for many Rosacea sufferers. Many of those affected by stress use stress management techniques to reduce their flare-ups. For example:
Try deep-breathing exercises when under stress.
Eat healthy, get the right amount of sleep and exercise moderately. Stretch out and relax your muscles starting at the toes and working to the head for an entire body stress reliever.
Use visualization techniques to remain calm. Sit in a quiet place and visualize a peaceful setting or activity to reduce stress. Hold the image for several minutes to calm your emotions.
Food is a common trigger – it could be a hot cup of coffee or bowl of soup, a spicy meal or a glass of wine.
Monitor how alcohol affects your condition. If alcohol aggravates your condition, reduce your intake or avoid it entirely.
Avoid spices like red pepper, paprika, pepper, chili, and other such spices to prevent a flare-up.
Reduce the heat in beverages. Decreasing the temperature of your food and drinks may be all that you need to do to keep enjoying drinks and meals.
Rosacea suffers have a wide variety of food and drink triggers. Identify, track, and avoid any foods that aggravate your individual condition.
Unfortunately, exercise can trigger a Rosacea flare-up. You still need to be physically active, but consider changing your routine from one long workout to a series of shorter workouts. Try low-intensity workouts instead of more challenging ones. Avoid exercising in hot weather, rather, choose an air conditioned environment. If you must exercise outside, choose early morning or evening hours when the weather is cooler. During your workout, drink plenty of water. Afterward, cool down with a cool spray or cold cloth over the face.
Physicians have found certain medical conditions, temporary illnesses, or health concerns can trigger a Rosacea flare-up.
Hot flashes associated with menopause can be a trigger the onset of Rosacea in some women.
Fevers, coughs and colds can provoke flushing that can cause a Rosacea flare-up.
Occasionally systemic diseases like high blood pressure can cause Rosacea flare-ups.
Some medically prescribed drugs can cause a flare-up such as those used to treat cardiovascular disease. These work to dilate the blood vessels which can lead to a condition called “Vasodilator Rosacea.”
Long-term use of topical steroids can induce or aggravate Rosacea. If you think a medicine may be a trigger, talk to your doctor. See if you can take a different drug.
Skincare Product Triggers
As much as we hate to admit it, certain skincare products can trigger a Rosacea flare-up. Avoid ingredients that sting, burn or cause facial redness – this is a process of trial and error on your part. Some ingredients to avoid include alcohol, witch hazel, menthol, peppermint, eucalyptus oil or clove oil.
Select fragrance-free products as much as possible.
- Rosacea and the Sun
- Types of Rosacea
- Seeing Red! Treating Dilated Facial Veins
- Coping with Rosacea
- Covering the Signs of Rosacea
- Living with Rosacea
- The Face of Rosacea
National Rosacea Society www.rosacea.org