Rosacea affects millions of Americans, causing flushed skin, swelling, and acne-like symptoms that usually show up around your cheeks, nose, and chest. Like the symptoms of many other chronic skin conditions, rosacea symptoms get worse during flare-ups, exacerbations usually associated with outside triggers.
At Pure Dermatology in Austin, Texas, Christopher Chu, MD, FAAD, and Chelsey Straight, MD, FAAD, help patients relieve rosacea and learn how to reduce their flare-ups with medical therapies and guidance based on each patient’s lifestyle factors and medical history.
Knowing what your triggers are can help you avoid flare-ups and manage your symptoms better. Here are five of our top tips to help you steer clear of the most common rosacea triggers.
A little warm sunshine sure feels good on your skin, but too much sun can definitely be bad for your rosacea. In fact, sun exposure is one of the most common rosacea triggers for people of all skin types.
Ideally, aim for indirect or shaded sunshine. Stay indoors during the sun’s peak hours — in the summer, that’s usually between 10am-4pm. Be sure to wear clothing to protect your skin, including a hat with a good brim to shade your face. And always wear sunscreen, even if it’s cloudy outside.
Heat is another common trigger for rosacea flare-ups, partly because your body responds to heat by dilating the blood vessels in your skin. Once dilated, more blood reaches the skin’s upper layers to be cooled before returning to the rest of your body.
This dilation response can be exaggerated in people with rosacea, and sweating can make your symptoms even worse. To combat this trigger, skip the long, hot showers and baths and use warm or cool water instead. Carry a bottle of cold water with you, and use cold compresses to cool down after exercise or other physical activity.
There are literally thousands of skin care products on the market, and when you have rosacea, you have to make an extra effort to make sure you select the gentlest products available. That goes for laundry detergents, too.
Avoid products with menthol, camphor, or alcohol, which dry and irritate your skin. After washing or bathing, pat your skin with a towel — don’t rub. Ask our team to recommend products and other tips to keep your skin healthy and avoid irritation.
There’s a lot to be said for adding spice to your diet, but when it comes to hot spices, don’t overdo it. Eating spicy food dilates your blood vessels and can wind up making rosacea symptoms worse. If you can’t bear to leave all the heat behind, at least try dialing down your spices to find a happy medium.
Caffeine and alcohol can also act as triggers for rosacea symptoms — particularly red wine. If you can, swap out white wine for red. Moderation is the key, and sipping alcoholic beverages or caffeinated drinks slowly may also help.
Most people seem to have plenty of worries in life, and chronic skin conditions can cause a lot of stress all on their own. Still, if you can take steps to keep your stress levels under control, your skin will thank you — and so will the rest of your body.
Yoga, tai chi, and meditation are just a few good options. Try to work some “me time” into your daily routine, and do something you enjoy, like reading or listening to music. Shut off your phone and stay off the internet during this time so you can really reap the benefits. Try some deep breathing exercises during your commute or during breaks at work.
Rosacea has no cure, but it’s definitely manageable. The key is seeking treatment early and sticking with your care routine. Over time, regular office visits enable our team to adjust your therapy as needed so you can enjoy clearer, healthier skin.
To learn more about rosacea treatment and how we can help, call 512-766-2610 or book an appointment online with the team at Pure Dermatology today.