Rosacea is a chronic skin condition, but that doesn’t mean you’ll perpetually have flare-ups. When you have rosacea, it’s common to go through periods without any noticeable symptoms and periods in which the redness and blemishes are pronounced. While you may not be able to avoid flare-ups altogether, you can take steps to lessen their frequency and intensity.
1. Prioritize stress relief
It might seem like a catch-22. Rosacea flare-ups can cause a lot of stress, but stress can trigger and worsen flare-ups. To stay ahead of this conundrum, make stress relief a part of your daily life. Take note of what tends to cause you stress, then avoid people or situations that do, whenever possible. If credit card debt tends to cause you angst, for example, avoid it by reducing spending or setting calendar alerts to ensure you pay your bills on time. When stress arises, practice deep breathing. For daily ease, start a meditation or yoga practice.
2. Protect your skin from the sun
Even a few minutes in the sun can cause rosacea to rear its head. To avoid this, apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or more daily. If you’ll be outdoors for lengthy amounts of time, reapply the sunscreen every couple of hours or wear sun-protective clothing, such as a wide-brimmed hat. If you can, stay out of the sun during midday hours, especially during hot summer months. And when you are outdoors, stay in the shade.
3. Prevent overheating
High levels of heat are another common rosacea trigger, and one that can often be prevented. Dress in layers, for example, so you can remove some clothing if you feel overly warm. Keep a distance from heat sources such as radiators and fireplaces. When you bathe or shower, use warm rather than hot water. If you do end up overheated, sip a cold drink, turn on a fan or air conditioning, or drape a wet, cool cloth around your neck.
4. Take caution with your food choices
For some people, spicy foods trigger rosacea symptoms. If you’ve found this to be the case for you, have milder versions of your spicy favorites instead. Go with mild salsa rather than hot, for example, and replace hot peppers with bell peppers. You can also season foods with less spicy seasonings, such as garlic, oregano, and rosemary.
5. Shift your beverage choices
Staying hydrated is important, but certain drinks can fuel rosacea. Hot beverages and alcohol-containing drinks trigger flare-ups for many people, so stick to iced coffees and teas and limit or avoid alcohol — especially red wine. You can also allow hot drinks to cool down to a lukewarm temperature before enjoying them. To reduce the amount of alcohol in a drink, fill half of your glass with lemonade or soda.
6. Protect your skin from cold and wind
Rosacea makes wind burn more likely. Wind and cold can also trigger rosacea flare-ups. To guard against these issues, try not to spend much time in the wind or cold air. When you’re outdoors in these conditions, protect your face with a scarf or ski mask. Just make sure they don’t contain rough fabrics like wool, which can also trigger flare-ups.
7. Stay mindful of your medications
Don’t make changes to your medications or dosages without your doctor’s approval. If you think a medication you take is worsening your rosacea symptoms, however, talk to your doctor. Medications used to treat anxiety, glaucoma, heart problems, hypertension, and migraines might do so. Vitamin B3 can also prompt flare-ups. Your doctor may be able to prescribe an alternate medication.
8. Take caution with makeup and skin care products
Having rosacea probably doesn’t mean you won’t be able to wear any makeup, but you’ll want to avoid certain products. Waterproof makeup, heavy foundation, and lotions containing fragrances are all possible rosacea triggers. Instead, go for regular mascara, a light, liquid-based foundation, and fragrance-free products.
If you’re seeking treatment for rosacea, call us at Holladay Dermatology Clinic, and we’ll schedule you for a consultation with Dr. Topham. Or, if you prefer, use our online booking tool to schedule your own appointment.