17 Common Rosacea Triggers


RosaceaIt is estimated that more than 16 million people in the US suffer from rosacea.

Rosacea is defined as a  skin condition that is characterized by extreme redness on the face. This is due to the dilated blood vessels on the face.

Most of the time, rosacea is confused with acne. While acne and rosacea can occur together, their causes are extremely different. Also, while acne can be treated, there is so far no known cure of rosacea.

Another unique thing about rosacea is that more than 90% of the people suffering from this skin disorder are not aware of the existence of this disorder. Therefore, they are unable to take preventive steps to avoid the trigger that are known to flare up the symptoms of this skin disorder.

In this skin disorder, the blood vessels on skin dilate and lead to redness on the face. In some severe cases, it may lead to a variety of problems such as infection and various other skin disorders.

Even though the researchers have not been able to find out the main causes of rosacea, they have discovered that certain factors trigger this disorder in most of the sufferers. Therefore, sufferers of rosacea can prevent the flare-ups by keeping these triggers in check. Here is a list of 17 different rosacea triggers.

1. Eating Spicy Foods

spicy foodsWhile everybody enjoys an Indian or a Mexican meal, if you suffer from rosacea, you should stay away from such spicy foods as these are one of the most common cause of rosacea.

Anything that contains chili peppers, red pepper flakes or other such spices should be eaten with caution.

You can always eat these in moderation if you cannot live without them but it is best to avoid them. Therefore, if you feel like Indian or Mexican, eat in moderation.

2. Stay Away From Sun

Spending time at the beach is great but exposure to sun can trigger your rosacea. It is important to avoid exposure to sun between 10 AM to 4 PM. The UV rays in the sunlight can trigger your rosacea symptoms.

However, if you have to go out in the sun, you should always use a broad-spectrum sunscreen to protect your skin. Exposure to sunlight for more than a few minutes increases the local blood flow and results in redness and flushing to the skin. Exposure for a long period of time also heats up the skin that further triggers these symptoms.

3. Stay Away From Stress

women in stressEverybody lives a very hectic lifestyle today and stress has become part of the life. This is especially true as most of the jobs today are service based and are sedentary in nature. Stress can make rosacea worse as it leads to increase in heart rate that increases blood flow.

While it is true that you may not be able to avoid stress in your life, there are certain steps you can take to keep it in check. For instance, try to have calm thoughts and use various stress busting techniques such as deep breathing.

You should also learn meditation and yoga as these help in dealing with stress in a better manner. Pets have also been known to reduce stress. So, adopt a dog or a cat.

4. Intense Exercise

While physical activity is good for you, too intense exercise can trigger your rosacea symptoms. Intense exercises increase your heart rate which means that your blood flow is also elevated. High blood flow can lead to dilation of the blood vessels on your skin. Therefore, it is important that you exercise only in off hours when the outside temperatures are cooler and sun is low. Also, do not exercise for too long.

5. Alcohol

AlcoholDrinking a glass of a cocktail or wine has become commonplace these days as people tend to have a drink in the evenings. However, rosacea sufferers should avoid drinking alcohol as much as possible.

According to a survey by the National rosacea Society, more than half of the respondents listed alcohol as one of the factors that triggers rosacea.

In the list of various alcohols, vodka, gin and red wine is at the top among various drinks that are most likely to cause flare-ups. If you have to drink socially, you should drink in moderation.

6. Avoid Drinking Too Hot Drinks

If you like drinking a hot cup of coffee or tea, it is best that you let it cool down before you start sipping that hot beverage. More than one third of the respondents to a survey done by the National Rosacea Society listed hot beverages as one of the triggers.

Any hot beverage including hot coffee, hot tea and hot chocolate can trigger rosacea symptoms. So, you do not need to completely skip drinking these beverages but you need to wait for a few minutes to let these beverages cool down before you start sipping them. Another alternative is to switch to the colder version of these beverages.

7. Make Up

makeupWhile make-up is used by many rosacea sufferers to cover the dilated blood vessels, some ingredients in these cosmetics can trigger the symptoms of rosacea.

Therefore, experts recommend using water-based make-ups that are free of allergens and fragrances. Some of the cosmetics also contain eucalyptus oil, menthol and alcohol and these tend to be irritating.

The best way to test a new product is to put it on your neck before you start using it on your face. Do not use the product in case you have a reaction. Also, check the ingredients of the product to figure out the ingredient that may have led to the reaction.

8. Stay Away From Heat

Heat is known to make rosacea symptoms worse. Also, it does not mean that you are going to face this problem only in the summers. Sitting in front of the furnace in the winter months can also lead to these symptoms. The best way to avoid rosacea during winter months is to open some windows and keep the living spaces cool and avoid dryness.

Also, it is important to dress in layers to avoid overheating. In this manner, you can get rid of layers in case you get too hot. You should also avoid hot tubs and saunas as these may also trigger your symptoms. It is also recommended to keep your moisturizer in the refrigerator.

9. Stay Away From Cold Temperatures

dermatologist Cold temperature is one of the most common factors that are known to symptoms of rosacea. Therefore, do not forget to cover your face with a ski mask or a scarf during the winter months.

Also, make sure that the fabric of the mask or scarf does not irritate your skin. However, there are a number of ointments that you can use to protect the skin from cold weather. Check with your dermatologist to find an ointment that suits your skin during the winter months.

10. Stay Away From Hot Foods

Everyone likes to eat those piping hot meals served at the local restaurant but in case you suffer from rosacea, it is best to avoid eating those really hot meals. As mentioned above, heat may lead to dilation of the blood vessels in your face and may trigger your rosacea symptoms. Therefore, wait for some time and allow the food to cool down before you start eating it.

11. Stay Away From Humid Weather

Too much humidity is also known to trigger symptoms of rosacea. Therefore, you need to stay away from too much relative humidity. You may invest in a dehumidifier to keep your place free of excessive moisture. The air conditioners also come with dehumidifiers. So, keep running the air conditioner to keep your room free of excessive humidity during the summer months.

12. Don’t Get Anxious

anxietyAnxiety is also known to be one of the most common triggers of rosacea. Anxiety leads to increase in the heart rate that increases blood flow.

The increased blood flow leads to dilation of the blood vessels that may trigger other rosacea symptoms.

Therefore, try not to get anxious by using various anxiety busting techniques. There are a number of techniques that you can use to keep anxiety in check such as deep breathing techniques or meditation.

There are also a number of medications that are available to keep your anxiety in check. Ask your doctor to recommend you these medications.

13. Medications

Some of the medications such as some blood pressure drugs and topical steroids are known to trigger rosacea symptoms. Some of the opiate painkillers available in the market that are commonly used are also known to trigger rosacea symptoms. So, in case you’re suffering from rosacea and these medications trigger your symptoms, you should ask your doctor to prescribe some alternative medications.

14. Menopause

Menopause has also been known to trigger rosacea. While there isn’t much you can do about it, check with your health care provider to keep your symptoms in check.

15. Stimulants

caffinated drinksVarious common stimulants such as excessive sugar in sodas, nicotine in cigarettes and other stimulants such as caffeine in various caffeinated drink drinks are known to trigger rosacea symptoms.

All of these stimulants are known to expand blood vessels and trigger rosacea.

Also, these make you sweat more that results in clogged pores and these also increase your stress level. The artificial sweeteners also lead to a flare-up. Therefore, it is important that you avoid these stimulants as much as possible.

16. Dehydration

While excessive humidity can lead to rosacea symptoms, dehydration can also lead to dilation of the blood vessels. Dehydration leads to accumulation of toxins in the skin and it may lead to dilation of the blood vessels. Therefore, you should drink enough water to clear out these toxins from your skin. Make a habit of drinking at least 6 to 8 glasses of water on a daily basis.

17. Avoid Various Foods That Trigger These Symptoms

ChocolateA variety of foods such as yeast extract, avocados, red plums, figs, raisins, sore cream, cheese, chocolate, yogurt and various other foods are known to trigger rosacea.

The best way to figure out various foods that trigger your rosacea symptoms is to keep a food diary and note down various foods that lead to flare-up of the symptoms.

Overall, doctors have not been able to figure out a permanent cure for this skin disorder though researcher is still going on. Therefore, the best way to keep the symptoms in check is to follow the above mentioned tips and enjoy rosacea free life.


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