About 16 million Americans suffer from rosacea, a chronic skin condition that causes symptoms like redness, swelling, and acne-like breakouts, typically around the nose and cheeks. These symptoms worsen during flare-ups often associated with external “triggers.” Knowing your triggers — and how to avoid them — is vital for keeping your skin feeling and looking its best.
A leading dermatology practice in Portage, Michigan, Southwest Michigan Dermatology helps patients avoid flare-ups and manage their rosacea symptoms with state-of-the-art laser therapy and other treatment plans tailored to their unique needs. Here are five ways to reduce your rosacea flare-ups and enjoy healthier skin.
The sun’s warmth may feel good on your skin, but when it comes to sunlight, you can have too much of a good thing. Sun exposure is a common rosacea trigger for people of all skin tones.
Avoid sun exposure during the hottest time — typically between 10 am-4 pm. When you go out, wear protective clothing (including a broad-brimmed hat) and limit the time you’re in the direct sun whenever possible. Make it a habit to wear sunscreen daily for your skin’s overall health.
Heat is another rosacea trigger, increasing blood flow, nerve response, and sweating. In the summer, head for air-conditioned environments when possible and skip the long, hot showers and baths regardless of the season. Instead, opt for shorter showers and keep the water warm but not hot.
In cool weather, dress in layers to shed outerwear if you get too warm. And always carry a bottle of cold water and a towel during workouts or other physical activities. Consider carrying a spray bottle with ice water so you can enjoy a cool spritz now and then.
Having rosacea can be stressful on its own, but many people don’t know that when you feel stressed or anxious, your symptoms are more likely to flare up. Fortunately, stress management doesn’t have to be complicated — and it can benefit your health in other ways.
Yoga and meditation are well-known stress-busting activities, but even relaxing and listening to music, reading a book, or taking a quick walk can help too. Deep breathing exercises can be done anywhere, and they can effectively reduce stress at home, at work, and even on your commute.
Heat from outside sources — like the sun or a fireplace — can trigger rosacea flares, but so can heat from inside your body. Avoiding spicy foods can help decrease your flares, but if you can’t bring yourself to skip your favorite curry, try a milder version to see if that helps.
Alcohol is another trigger for many people with rosacea, especially those who enjoy red wine. To prevent symptoms, avoid red wine and limit your intake to one or two drinks, sipping them slowly to allow your body to adjust.
Most of us think of skin care products as pampering our skin, but if you have rosacea, even seemingly mild products can cause irritation and flare-ups. Make sure the products you choose are very mild, and avoid products with alcohol, camphor, or menthol, since these ingredients can dry and irritate your skin.
It’s also a good idea to avoid exfoliating your skin and to use a very gentle washcloth or just your fingers when you wash your face. Our team can recommend products ideally suited to your extra-sensitive skin.
Like any chronic skin condition, rosacea requires ongoing management to keep your symptoms under control. To learn about the rosacea treatments we offer or more tips for managing your symptoms, call 269-321-7546 or request an appointment online at Southwest Michigan Dermatology today.