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How to Reduce Aggravating Rosacea Triggers and Flare-ups

Woman with rosacea
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Rosacea is an inflammatory vascular skin disease that makes your forehead, cheeks, nose, and chin flush repeatedly with embarrassing redness and blemishes. While this ailment is incurable, medical therapies and lifestyle changes can restrain or reverse rosacea’s life-disrupting effects.

Understanding and Treating this Chronic Condition

Facial symptoms may include any combination of:
  • Easy blushing or flushing
  • Relentless redness
  • Pimples or bumps
  • Tight, itchy, or dry skin
  • Stinging or burning sensation
  • Thickening skin
  • Small blood vessels
  • Swollen eyelids or irritated, watery, or bloodshot eyes
Although anyone can get rosacea, fair-skinned people older than 30 with relatives who experienced similar symptoms have the highest risks. More women suffer from rosacea than men, but its severe symptoms arise in men most often. Metronidazole, an antibiotic that reduces swelling, redness, and lesion quantity, can bring relief.

Finding Your Unique Stimulators

Your rosacea might seem to flare up without warnings, but a wide assortment of influences can activate it. Anything that makes your face flush can instigate and exacerbate this affliction. Whenever you flush, a rush of blood makes your face red and heated. So avoiding circumstances that bring on flushing can decrease your symptoms. Every patients’ differ. Determine yours by keeping a journal of the following environmental and lifestyle factors to track your individual patterns. Identifying what worsens your condition can help you avoid your specific agitators. This will improve your chances of achieving ongoing remission. Also learn from experts how to handle and avoid annoying troublemakers and flare-ups.

Sun Exposure

Some 81 percent of 1,066 surveyed rosacea sufferers reported that sun exposure is their top aggravator. Avoid problems by wearing a hat and using a 15-SPF or higher broad-spectrum sunscreen. Dress lightly on hot days. Daily protection is vital ― even during cold months and when you’re in vehicles.

Cold Weather and Wind

Frigid temperatures and strong wind exposure can be especially vicious, so shield your vulnerable skin by dressing warmly and wearing a scarf and hat.

High Temperatures

A hot shower or bath and warming yourself in front of a roaring fire may be tempting, but extra-warm and humid environments may raise your blood flow, leading to facial flushing. In addition to those possible rosacea activators, also avoid hot tubs, saunas, and close proximities to ovens and heaters.

Physical Activities

Heavy exertion and intense exercise may cause overheating, which can trigger and intensify rosacea flares. But can be beneficial. Split a long workout into multiple shorter segments. Or lengthen low-intensity sessions to replace extra demanding ones. Stay cool. Delay outside exercise when the temperature’s too hot. Limit outdoor jogs to early morning and evening hours when the sun is weakest. Use air conditioning or a fan for indoor workouts. Drink ample water while exercising and during cool downs. Then apply a cool washcloth to your face.


These dietary choices may trigger rosacea:
  • Spicy foods
  • High-temperature dishes like hot soups
  • Liver
  • Lima and navy beans and pea pods
  • Dairy products including sour cream and yogurt
  • Avocados and tomatoes
  • Certain citrus fruits
  • Bananas, figs, raisins, and red plums
  • Chocolate and vanilla
  • Yeast extract but not bread
  • Histamine-rich foods like cheeses besides cottage cheese, spinach, eggplant, soy sauce, and vinegar


Don’t believe the myth that alcohol abuse causes rosacea. But alcoholic and hot drinks can provoke it. Up to one alcoholic beverage ― especially red wine, beer, champagne, bourbon, vodka, and gin ― can aggravate flares. Common hot drink culprits include hot chocolate, coffees, teas, and cider. So limit your alcohol intake and decrease hot beverage temperatures. Try iced coffee to replace steaming hot coffee.

Skin-Care Products

Woman washing face CanadianPharmacyMeds.comIf you’re prone to rosacea, your skin probably is sensitive. Use alcohol- and fragrance-free products to cleanse your face gently. After a lukewarm-water rinse, use a soft cotton towel to blot your face. Applying daily moisturizers and sunscreen is key, but the ingredients in some skin-care products, cosmetics, and hair sprays can be hard on your skin. Avoid these potentially irritators:
  • Scrubs, toners, and other strongly scented preparations
  • Waterproof and heavy foundations that require heavy scrubbing or makeup remover usage at night
  • Common rosacea-triggering ingredients including witch hazel, alcohol, acetone, eucalyptus oil, menthol, peppermint, fragrances, and hydroalcoholic substances
  • Acne treatment products that might be overly harsh
  • Anything that causes stinging or redness

Emotional Influences

Dealing with rosacea’s visible signs can produce anxiety and more flushing while raising your stress level. A survey discovered that severe symptoms affected 70 percent of respondents’ professional interactions negatively while 41 percent reported avoiding public interactions or cancelling plans because of their rosacea. If your symptoms are distressing, learn how to calm yourself so stress won’t trigger rosacea or worsen flare-ups. Try various stress management practices including deep-breathing exercises and yoga to help suppress tension-fueled flares. Eating and sleeping well also may help.

Medical Issues

Conditions like chronic coughing, hypertension, menopause, and caffeine withdrawal syndrome can bring on rosacea flare-ups. Consult your doctor about managing any co-existing maladies.

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