If you’re one of the estimated 415 million people around the world who live with rosacea, you’ll probably do just about anything to stave off the facial pustules, itchiness, skin sensitivity, stinging, burning, and flushing it causes. Learning more about rosacea triggers -- and how to avoid -- them is one powerful way to do just that.
At Z-ROC Dermatology in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, we take special care of the unique skin needs of our patients with rosacea.
Common rosacea triggers
Anything that causes a rosacea flare-up is considered a trigger. While triggers vary somewhat from person to person, common ones include:
- Extremes in temperature
- Hot baths or saunas
- Spicy foods
- Vigorous exercise
Certain medications, such as corticosteroids and high blood pressure medications, can also trigger a flare-up.
Once you experience or are exposed to a personal rosacea trigger, your skin reacts with inflammation and related symptoms, such as flushing and pustules, or bumps that contain pus.
Determining your triggers
Figuring out what tends to cause your rosacea flare-ups is important for best avoiding the triggers. To do so, keep a journal or calendar of your symptoms, along with factors that may have contributed. If you notice a flare after a few hours at the beach, for example, jot down those details, as well as any foods or beverages you consumed, notes about the weather, and whether you relaxed on a blanket or chair or played a sport. Bring the journal or calendar to your next dermatology appointment, so you can discuss it with your care provider.
You may also notice patterns without using a journal. If you seem to experience symptoms after eating spicy cuisine, try giving it up for a while. If your symptoms improve, spicy vittles are probably a trigger.
Ideally, you’ll work with your Z-ROC dermatologist to confirm or rule out potential triggers. Be sure to discuss what you’ve been learning during your visits.
Avoiding all common triggers
While it may not feel convenient, limiting your exposure to all common rosacea triggers may significantly minimize your symptoms. Smart ways to do so include:
- Avoiding alcohol
- Avoiding spicy foods, such as chili peppers, hot curries, and miso paste
- Avoiding sauna use
- Exercising routinely for less than 45 minutes per session
- Keeping exercise intensity low to moderate, versus high
- Limiting skin exposure in hot and cold weather
- Managing stress
- Protecting your skin when you’re outdoors
- Staying well-hydrated, especially during exercise
- Taking warm baths and showers, not hot ones
To preventing feelings of deprivation, replace spicy foods with milder foods you enjoy. Use garlic, rosemary, or lemon juice to season a dish that calls for hot pepper flakes, for example. When symptoms do flare up, follow your recommended treatment plan.
Learn much more about rosacea by calling Z-ROC Dermatology or booking an appointment using our online scheduler.