Rosacea flare-ups can affect more than your appearance. The redness and breakouts that characterize rosacea can affect your mental health. Among people who suffer from this condition, almost 90% say that they experience lower self-confidence and self-esteem, and 41% say they have avoided social situations because of it.
While there’s no cure for rosacea, it can often be controlled with lifestyle changes and prescription medicine. You’ll get the best results from rosacea treatment when you consult with a professional skincare expert.
Karl Trippe, MD, of Waco Primary Care in Waco, Texas, provides expert diagnosis and treatment for rosacea. Dr. Trippe has the experience necessary to reduce the number of rosacea flare-ups and help you manage these episodes when they occur.
Read on to learn five essential tips for managing rosacea flare-ups. Taking these precautions can reduce the possibility of this chronic condition from affecting your self-image and interfering with your quality of life.
1. Control your exposure to the elements
Sun exposure ranks as the most common rosacea trigger, but any of the elements can be a trigger. Rosacea-prone skin is so sensitive that just a few minutes of sunlight or wind can trigger redness and flushing.
Taking all precautions to control your exposure to the sun will help you manage flare-ups. Avoid being outside when the sun is at its strongest, typically between 10am-3pm. When you’re outside, wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses, and stay in the shade for extra protection.
Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen that contains an SPF of 30 or higher daily all year. You’re less likely to experience irritation with a fragrance-free sunscreen. For the best protection, use products that contain titanium dioxide and/or zinc oxide.
To avoid a rosacea flare-up in cooler weather, cover your face with a smooth silk or acrylic scarf.
2. Reduce stress
Stress is another common trigger for rosacea. Learning to manage stress can help you avoid flare-ups.
Prepare to control your reaction to daily stress by practicing deep breathing and using this technique when you feel stress coming on.
Participate in daily activities that help you relax and feel calm. Yoga, meditation, tai chi, and even seeking out a rosacea support group can help you feel more in control of your daily situation.
3. Avoid overheating
Overheating, whether from the environment or a hot beverage, can cause a rosacea flare-up. Control your body temperature by avoiding your exposure to fireplaces, heaters, and other sources of heat.
Wear clothing in layers so you can remove items when you start to feel your body temperature rise. Keep your body cool with a fan or air-conditioning.
When exercising, try lower-intensity activities that can prevent your body from overheating. Exercise in an air-conditioned or shaded area.
Remember to have water and a towel available to cool down when outside or exercising. If you feel overheated, you can dip your towel in the cool water and place the towel around your neck.
4. Control your diet
Knowing the foods that can trigger rosacea flare-ups can help you reduce the number of episodes that occur. About 75% of adults with rosacea have symptoms that worsen when they eat spicy foods.
The chemical capsaicin can interact with your skin’s pain receptors that react to warmth. Foods that contain capsaicin, such as chili peppers, jalapeños, hot sauces, and tabasco pepper, can affect these receptors and trigger redness.
Cinnamaidehyde, the chemical that gives cinnamon its distinctive taste, can also trigger a warming sensation and cause rosacea symptoms. The ingredient is found in cinnamon, tomatoes, chocolate, and citrus fruits.
5. Follow a skincare program that works
You can gain control of rosacea flare-ups by following a daily skin treatment program. Using gentle products and a daily moisturizer can be beneficial to rosacea-prone skin. Avoid hair and skincare products that contain alcohol, camphor, menthol, and sodium lauryl sulfate, which can irritate your skin.
Based on the condition of your skin, Dr. Trippe will create a customized plan to help you control embarrassing rosacea symptoms. Your treatment may include anti-inflammatory therapies, such as the antibiotic doxycycline and the topical metronidazole. Prescription medications, such as azelaic acid and ivermectin, may also be effective.
If you have visible broken blood vessels as a result of rosacea, you may benefit from photorejuvenation with light therapy This therapy is an intense pulsed-light treatment that uses controlled heat to break apart damaged veins to reduce the appearance of redness.