Rosacea is a common skin condition that causes redness to form across the nose and cheeks. Learn how to help prevent and control rosacea from getting worse by identifying and avoiding the things that cause rosacea to flare-up.
Follow these tips from board-certified dermatologists:
Think sun protection
- Apply a gentle, broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher every day. A fragrance-free sunscreen that contains zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, or both is least likely to irritate your sensitive skin.
- Wear a wide-brimmed hat when outdoors during the day.
- Stay out of the midday sun.
- Seek shade.
- Find an activity that relieves your stress and do it often. Common stress busters include tai chi, meditation, or joining a rosacea support group.
- Do something that you enjoy on a daily basis.
- In a stressful moment, take a deep breath, hold it, and exhale slowly
Rethink hot beverages
- Drink iced coffee or tea
- Let the beverage cool so that it’s warm or lukewarm.
Observe alcohol’s effects
- Drink white instead of red wine.
- Add soda or lemonade to white wine, beer, and other alcoholic beverages to lessen the amount of alcohol.
- Limit yourself to 1 or 2 drinks, and have a large glass of cold water after each drink.
- Not drinking alcohol also works.
Dial down spicy foods
- Trying a mild version. Instead of eating hot wings that makes you sweat, opt for mild wings. Choose a mild rather than a hot salsa.
- If your rosacea still flares, it’s best to avoid all spicy foods.
Carefully select skin and hair care products
- See a dermatologist, who can give you a skin care plan for rosacea and recommend products.
- Stop using astringents and toners.
- Look at the ingredients in each of your skin and hair care products, and stop using ones that contain these common rosacea triggers — menthol, camphor, or sodium lauryl sulfate. The last ingredient is common in shampoos and toothpaste. If you’ll use a product around your face, it’s best to avoid ones that contain sodium lauryl sulfate.
Use rosacea friendly makeup
- Applying a mild, fragrance-free emollient to your skin before you apply makeup.
- Using a light, liquid-based foundation makeup that spreads easily and can be set with powder.
You want to avoid:
- Waterproof makeup
- Heavy foundations that don’t spread easily or require makeup remover
Check out your medicines
If the medicine (or vitamin) could be turning your face red, ask if you could take a different one. Medicines that can worsen rosacea, include those used to treat:
- High blood pressure
- Many types of heart problems
- Vitamin B3 can also trigger a rosacea flare-up
Protect your face from wind and cold
- Protect your skin by wearing rosacea friendly sunscreen (see “Think sun protection”) and an emollient every day.
- Limit your time outdoors.
- Follow your rosacea treatment plan.
Keep cool while exercising
Anything that raises your body’s temperature, including exercise, can trigger rosacea. You can still exercise. Here are some ways you can work out without a flare-up:
- Lower the intensity. You can still benefit from a low- or medium-intensity workout.
- Exercise where it’s cool. In the summer, try an air-conditioned gym or a shaded path during the coolest part of the day.
- Try exercising in the water. Aqua aerobics or swimming in cool water can limit flares.
- Keep supplies with you to help you cool down. A towel that you can dip in cold water and then drape around your neck, a bottle of cold water; or ice cubes can cool you.
Treat your rosacea
By treating your rosacea and avoiding what triggers it, many people successfully prevent rosacea flares. A dermatologist can create a customized treatment plan that helps you control your signs and symptoms.