Of the approximately 16 million Americans who have rosacea, most will tell you that one of the best ways to manage this skin condition is to avoid the triggers that lead to flare-ups.
These triggers can vary greatly from one person to the next, but there are many that are commonly shared. Some you can do nothing about, while others are within your ability to mitigate.
To help you better control rosacea, Dr. Bruce Saal and our team here at Los Gatos Dermatology want to focus on the five most common triggers and provide you with tips for managing them.
Triggers beyond your control
Before we dive into five of the more common rosacea triggers, let’s take a quick look at those that are out of reach in terms of control.
Rosacea tends to strike people with paler complexions, and women more than men. Hormones can also play a role, because women going through menopause are more susceptible to rosacea flare-ups. And a family history of rosacea can play a role in whether you develop this skin condition.
Triggers you can control
Since skin color, gender, and heredity are beyond your control to change, let’s take a look at five triggers that you do have some influence over.
Sun can be enemy No. 1 when it comes to rosacea flare-ups, so do everything in your power to protect yourself. Wearing a hat that shields your face is a good first step, as well as wearing sunscreen.
That said, the heat that comes with exposure to the sun exacerbates the problem, so we advise avoiding going outside during peak sun and heat hours (between 10am and 4pm) as much as you can.
On the other side of the weather equation is exposure to harsher elements, such as wind and cold weather. You may not see much of this in sunny California (unless you visit the mountains), but when these conditions do exist, protect your face or avoid going outside.
Another common rosacea trigger is alcohol. If you experience rosacea flare-ups when you drink alcohol, you’d do well to avoid it altogether.
That said, if you enjoy a relaxing drink at the end of the day, pay close attention to which drinks are the culprits. Many of our patients report that red wine is problematic, so you might opt for white wine instead.
The flush of your skin that often comes with exercise can lead to rosacea flare-ups. We hesitate to tell you not to exercise, because the benefits are almost too numerous to list here, but there are some exercise hacks that will serve you well when you have rosacea, such as:
- Avoid high-intensity workouts
- Don’t let your body overheat
- Try working out in the early morning or evening
Another great tip is to try interval training — go for high intensity for a few minutes and then switch to something that gets your heart rate down again. By cycling through your high-intensity exercises a little bit at a time, you can avoid overheating.
Another common trigger is foods with spices in them. This trigger is any easy one to avoid, and we assure you, you can still enjoy cuisines like Indian or Mexican food without the heat that comes with spices. All you need to do is ask for dishes that don’t contain spices.
There’s no shortage of stress these days, and many people with rosacea report that stress is a big trigger. To manage rosacea and your overall wellness, engage in relaxation and de-stressing practices:
- Deep breathing
- Walks in nature
- Turning off the screen
- Listening to music
You know yourself best, so choose an activity that keeps you present and engaged in a relaxing way.
Should you experience flare-ups despite trying to manage your triggers, we’re here to help. We can help clear your skin with our advanced intense-pulsed light treatments.
If you have more questions about rosacea triggers or you want to clear a flare-up, please contact our office in Los Gatos, California, to set up an appointment.