Taming Rosacea Triggers
- SunlightSun exposure was the most common trigger, cited by 81 percent of rosacea patients surveyed by the National Rosacea Society.
Tame this trigger: Limit midday sun exposure. Wear a broad-brimmed hat. Apply a gentle sunscreen—such as one made for children—with UVA and UVB protection and an SPF of 30 or more.
- WeatherHot, humid, cold, or windy weather may worsen rosacea in some people.
Tame this trigger: On hot, sweltering days, spend as much time as possible in air-conditioned places. Sip cool water or chew ice chips. On cold, blustery days, cover your face with a scarf or ski mask. Apply moisturizer to help combat dry skin.
- DietThe worst food-related rosacea offenders are alcoholic drinks, spicy foods, and hot beverages.
Tame this trigger: Keep a journal of what you consume and when you have flare-ups. Look for patterns that help you figure out which foods and drinks to limit or avoid.
- StressPsychological stress is another widely cited rosacea trigger.
Tame this trigger: When you’re feeling stressed, take some deep breaths to relax. Stretch to release muscle tension. Schedule at least a few minutes of “me-time” every day for doing things you enjoy. Once people learn to reduce stress, their rosacea flare-ups often decrease.
- ExerciseFor some people, rosacea is triggered by strenuous activity, which makes staying physically fit a challenge.
Tame this trigger: Think moderation. If high-intensity workouts cause problems, dial down the intensity a bit. If long workouts cause trouble, break down your daily exercise routine into 15-minute chunks spread across the day.
- Bathing HabitsHot water, harsh soaps, and rough scrubbing can make rosacea worse.
Tame these triggers: Gently wash your face with a nonabrasive cleanser, and rinse with lukewarm water. Blot dry with a soft cotton towel.
- Skin-Care ProductsSome skin-care products and cosmetics contain ingredients that can irritate the skin and worsen rosacea.
Tame these triggers: Avoid ingredients that burn, sting, or increase facial redness. Common troublemakers include alcohol, witch hazel, menthol, peppermint, eucalyptus oil, clove oil, and fragrances.
- Hormonal Changes, Colds and FeversMenopausal hot flashes may set off rosacea symptoms. Other people find that rosacea flare-ups are triggered by fevers, coughs, and colds.
Tame these triggers: For hot flashes, try turning down the thermostat, dressing in light layers, and wearing breathable fabrics. For other treatment options, ask your doctor.
- Reactions to MedicationCertain medications can increase facial flushing as a side effect. Examples include blood pressure drugs and topical steroids.
Tame these triggers: Don’t stop taking the medication on your own, but do talk with your doctor. If necessary, your doctor may be able to adjust the dose or switch you to a different medication.
Disarm Your Rosacea Triggers