Answer: You cannot prevent rosacea but you can minimize the flare-ups
You cannot prevent rosacea but you can minimize the flare-ups
Until a cure is found, rosacea occurs intermittently, and sufferers can only treat the symptoms and attempt to reduce or avoid elements and environments that can trigger the syndrome.
What triggers a rosacea episode differs from person to person, and while the complete list of reported influences is long, commonalities exist among those who suffer from it. If a person doesn’t know what triggers an occurrence, consistent entries in a rosacea diary help identify what triggers episodes for an individual. Once identified, avoiding exposure is the first step in preventing rosacea.
Common Food-Related Triggers
Several elements are commonly reported as rosacea triggers. All are fairly commonplace, but some are surprising:
- Hot beverages: Coffee, tea, hot chocolate, among others.
- Carbonated beverages: soft drinks, soda water, etc.
- Hot foods: Food hot from heat or spices.
Common Environmental Triggers
Foods and beverages aren’t the only reported triggers. Taking precautions in certain environment conditions also helps reduce the severity and frequency of rosacea episodes:
Sunlight: Wear hats and sunglasses when outside.
Summer heat: Use fans or air conditioning inside.
Winter heat: Because rosacea is a skin disorder, any irritation to the skin, including drying from artificial heat and low humidity, may trigger episodes. Layer clothing, use moisturizing lotion clear by a physician, and cool compresses on the areas usually effected.
Emotional stress: 79% of patients reported this element as a trigger. Stress raises the blood pressure and the body temperature. Both increase blood flow to rosacea-prone areas. Calming exercises designed to reduce or relieve stress may be ideal, such as yoga or meditation.
Wind: Can cause drying of the skin.
Allergies: Environmental allergens irritate the eyes, nose, and skin-all areas subjected to rosacea episodes-with increased histamine levels, a reported trigger not listed above. Consult a physician before taking any over-the-counter medicine for allergies.
Alcohol: Can cause expansion of blood vessels, which is one symptom of Subtype 2 of the rosacea syndrome.
Cosmetics and skin care lotion: Look for benzoates as ingredients; if present, do not use. Benzoates are another reported trigger not listed above. Pharmacists generally compile list data on manufacturers that produce acceptable products for rosacea patients, if needed.
Exercise: Strenuous activity of any kind can trigger episodes. While exercise is good for the body and mind, rosacea patients must adapt routines to avoid or reduce episodes. If walking, do so early in the day or during evening hours before temperatures rise. Schedule workouts for more times per week but will lesser weights or repetitions. Drink lots of water. Cool the facial area during workout times with a cool compress gently laid over the face.
Consult with a physician for additional treatment or avoidance options.
“Rosacea.org: The National Rosacea Society.” Rosacea.org: The National Rosacea Society. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Aug. 2010. http://www.rosacea.org/patients/materials/triggersgraph.php.
“Rosacea Symptoms, Treatment, Prevention of Rosacea from WebMD.” WebMD – Better information. Better health.. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Aug. 2010. http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/tc/rosacea-topic-overview.
“Rosacea FAQs.” SkinCarePhysicians.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Aug. 2010. http://www.skincarephysicians.com/rosaceanet/FAQs.html.