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The 9 Most Common Triggers for a Rosacea Flare



Living with rosacea can be stressful. You never know when a flare will pop up, and there’s never a convenient time for one. Despite an estimated 16 million Americans living with rosacea, per the National Rosacea Society, there’s no cure for the skin condition, which is characterized by visible blood vessels and acne-like breakouts…..CONTINUE READING

While triggers for rosacea are as individual as you are, Susan Stuart, MD, founder and medical director of La Jolla Plastic Surgery & Dermatology in San Diego, says it’s important to be aware of specific things that can make it worse.

So you can put your best face forward, here are some things to avoid when you have rosacea.

1. Eating Spicy Foods Can Leave Your Skin Looking Red-Hot When You Have Rosacea

If you enjoy eating spicy fare, you may be tempted to order Mexican or Indian food. Doing so will likely leave your tummy satisfied but your face red. That’s because spicy foods are one of the common things that trigger rosacea, says Dr. Stuart. Exercise caution around curry, cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes, and salsa. “We all love our spicy foods, but consume them in moderation or not at all if you need to look your best for that business meeting or special social engagement,” Stuart says.

2. Getting Too Much Exposure to the Sun Is a Common Trigger for Rosacea Flares

Days at the beach are fun, but if you have rosacea, your skin will pay a price. Sun exposure is the most common thing that triggers rosacea, according to a past survey by the National Rosacea Society. “Rosacea is essentially a vascular disorder characterized by blood vessels near the skin surface that dilate suddenly, increasing local blood flow and resulting in flushing and redness to the skin,” Stuart says. “A trigger simply stimulates these blood vessels to dilate.” To protect sensitive skin, limit skin exposure to the sun, especially between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., and always use a broad-spectrum sunscreen, which protects against UVA and UVB rays. The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) recommends using a water-resistant sunblock with at least SPF 30. Opting for a formula with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide may help reduce the risk for irritation, notes the National Rosacea Society.

3. Not Managing Stress Effectively May Worsen Rosacea Symptoms
4. Exercising, While Healthy, Is a Common Trigger for Rosacea Flares
5. Drinking Too Much Alcohol Can Aggravate Symptoms of Rosacea
6. Sipping Hot Drinks Can Cause a Rosacea Flare in Some Cases

Of the people who took the National Rosacea Society survey, 36 percent reported that heated beverages are a trigger. Hot chocolate, hot tea, and hot coffee are all culprits. Keep in mind that anything that causes the blood vessels to expand can cause flushing and redness. If you can’t get by without your morning cup of joe, wait until it’s cooled down a bit before sipping. Consider switching out hot tea and coffee for iced versions, recommends the National Rosacea Society.

7. Using Makeup Can Be Helpful, But Certain Cosmetic Ingredients Can Worsen Your Symptoms

All manner of cosmetics can be a double-edged sword for people with rosacea. On one hand, they can cover up redness and other imperfections, but they can be one of the things that aggravate rosacea, too, per the AAD. “Use water-based makeup that’s fragrance-free and nonallergenic,” suggests Stuart. According to the National Rosacea Society, cosmetics containing alcohol, menthol, witch hazel, and eucalyptus oil in particular tend to be irritating for people with this skin condition. It’s smart to test a new product on your neck before putting it on your face. If you have a reaction, don’t use it and note what ingredients it contains to isolate the things that aggravate rosacea for you.

8. Being in the Heat — Indoors or Out — Can Make Taming Rosacea Flares More Challenging

Heat is among the things that make rosacea worse. And it’s not just a challenge during the summer — it can be a year-round problem for you. “The winter is the time we close our windows and turn up those furnaces,” Stuart notes, “so lower that thermostat and open some windows to keep your living spaces cool and less dry.” In summer, seek out air conditioning. Dress in layers so you can peel some off if you begin to overheat. Avoid saunas and hot tubs, recommends the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology.

9. Exposing Your Skin to Extreme Cold Can Similarly Be Triggering for Rosacea Flares

Winter winds and cold temperatures are common things that trigger rosacea. Cover your face with a scarf or ski mask, be sure to wear sunscreen, and limit hot beverages if that’s a trigger for you, advises the National Rosacea Society. Ask your dermatologist about a skin barrier ointment that could protect your skin from the cold weather elements. Get to know your personal rosacea triggers, advises Stuart. “Avoiding triggers does not seem to slow the progression of this skin condition, but a thorough knowledge of them will help you coexist with this disease more easily,” she says…..CONTINUE READING

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