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Severe Rosacea on a white woman's left cheek, near her nose

Managing Rosacea: Tips for Reducing Flare-Ups and Improving Skin Appearance

While the roughly 14 million Americans who suffer from rosacea share symptoms such as redness in the skin, some patients also experience even more drastic ailments from this common skin condition, such as bumpy skin and irritation in the eye area.

All of these symptoms can be exacerbated by an unexpected flare-up. Today, we're going to explore what causes these rosacea flare-ups, how to avoid those triggers, and how to improve your overall skin appearance.

Identify and Avoid Your Triggers

Rosacea causes highly sensitive skin, which means many different stressors can trigger an uncomfortable flare-up.

There is a wide variety of potential culprits lying behind chronic rosacea flare-ups. For example, certain foods are triggering. These include spicy foods, dairy products, anything with citrus, vinegar, or even certain bean products such as chocolate (cocoa beans) or soy sauce (soybeans).

Drinks can have a similar triggering effect. Alcohol is a common trigger, and hot drinks such as coffee or tea can also be problematic. Heat in general is a main offender too, whether it comes in the form of hot and humid weather, saunas, or a simple hot bath or shower.

Stress is another factor at play in many people's flare-ups. This includes both negative stress (such as that caused by anxiety) and positive stress (such as that caused by vigorous physical exercise or other strenuous activity).

Finally, certain medications (such as topically applied steroids and azelaic acid) and cosmetic products (including certain skincare products, makeup, and hair care items such as hairspray) can also make your rosacea symptoms worse.

Learn to pay attention to which of the above factors are present just before a rosacea flare-up. Once you've identified potential triggers, do your best to avoid them (e.g. drinking fewer alcoholic beverages or cutting out alcohol consumption altogether). With that being said, some triggers are unavoidable (you can't control the weather, after all!), which is why the other health tips below are so important.

How to Moisturize

Rosacea typically makes your skin dry but can also cause it to become oily instead. Either way, having a good moisturizer routine in place is essential for keeping your flare-up symptoms under control.

However, since using the wrong kind of skincare product can actually trigger a flare-up (see above), you should exercise caution when choosing the right moisturizing agent for your skin. When it comes to selecting the perfect daily moisturizer, simpler tends to be better.

Go for products with fewer ingredients, and make sure the topical agent you're looking at is hypoallergenic, fragrance-free, and oil-free. A moisturizer that is suitable for gentler skin will be your friend in this arena.

You can also help keep your facial skin soothed with a simple trick: wet a towel with cold water and drape it around your neck or face. Doing this in conjunction with a daily moisturizer can have great results.

How to Find the Right Cleanser for You

Moisturizing your face and the rest of your skin on a daily basis isn't the only thing you should be doing, however. Washing rosacea-prone skin is another important step. This may seem counterintuitive given how irritated rosacea makes your skin feel, but keeping your skin clean can help keep flare-ups in check.

As with the moisturizer advice above, we recommend you purchase a cleanser specifically designed for gentler skin. Again, a product with fewer ingredients tends to be better. Ingredients to look out for in a daily rosacea-friendly cleanser (which will preferably be a cream rather than a gel or lotion) include alcohol, glycolic acid, menthol, and any type of fragrance.

Once you have the cleanser in hand, apply it gently to your face with your fingertips (no hard scrubbing!), and rinse it off with lukewarm-temperature water (again, using only your fingertips). Gently pat dry with a soft cotton towel. Following these steps will make the potentially painful process of washing your rosacea-affected skin more bearable and will help your skin in the long run.

Stay Out of the Sun!

Too much direct sunlight is the culprit for many kinds of skin conditions, and rosacea is no exception. Frequent sun exposure can trigger flare-ups in hardly any time at all. Whenever you need to spend significant amounts of time in direct sunlight, practice sun protection to keep your skin safe.

The most important thing you can do in this regard is use a gentle, broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. Also make sure your sunscreen has zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, and make sure there is NO fragrance. In addition to using rosacea-friendly sunscreen, you can also practice sun safety by wearing clothing that covers as much skin as possible, putting on a wide-brimmed hat whenever venturing outdoors, and using shade to your advantage as much as possible. And if at all possible, stay out of the sun during its highest point around noon every day.

Manage Your Stress

Stress is a major trigger for rosacea flare-ups, not to mention other medical conditions. Find ways to alleviate high-stress levels throughout the day, whether that's a gentle walk during times of the day when the sun is lower, a weekly tai chi or meditation session, or practicing mindfulness breathing techniques whenever you feel stressed out and "under the gun."

You can also combat stress by pursuing meaningful leisure, recreation, and self-care opportunities, such as personal hobbies and quality time with loved ones, throughout the week.

Find the Perfect Dermatological Team for You

While there is currently no cure for rosacea, there are plenty of ways a skilled dermatological team can help rosacea patients like you keep your condition in check and get the most out of life. Dermatological experts can provide you with oral antibiotics to reduce swelling and kill bacteria on the skin, as well as topical medications that can also address swelling.

There is also a battery of cosmetic dermatology procedures that have been shown to help treat rosacea symptoms, such as laser treatment (which treats enlarged blood vessels located under the outermost layer of skin). There are prescription medications along with other cosmetic procedures that can help control your Rosacea. 

Contact Altaire Clinic Today to Schedule a ConsultWant to discover safe skin treatment options that don't require a shelf full of pricey creams and lotions? Then you need to contact the dermatological experts at Altaire Clinic to make an appointment. Our team of top-rated medical professionals will be excited to meet with you for an initial consultation and discuss everything we can do to help you get your rosacea in check!

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We encourage you to book a consultation, so one of our providers can personally discuss your needs and recommend the procedures best suited to your lifestyle. Contact us by phone or use the convenient form below so you can reach your ultimate health, wellness, & beauty goals.