13 Triggers For Rosacea
An estimated one in five women in Europe suffers from Rosacea. So how does this unpleasant skin condition often miss being diagnosed by Doctors? Here is a list of the most common Rosacea triggers. I wonder if you will recognise any.
In fact, Rosacea is a vascular condition. Blood vessels on the surface of the skin suddenly become dilated, the blood flow increases which results in flushing and reddening of the skin. The most common triggers for Rosacea are the sun and alcohol. There are, though, more factors to take into consideration.
Keep a Diary
Do you sometimes, without any warning, have bright red cheeks? Caused by red bumps and visible blood vessels? Keep a diary with you so that you can note down all the times you have these so called flare ups. You will then know which of the triggers are aggravating your condition and can avoid the problem. As there is still no real cure for Rosacea.
1. Cold and wind
Cycling or walking in windy conditions can already cause sensitivity in normal skin, let alone skin with Rosacea. A combination of wind and cold temperature can result in severe flushing, or a bout of redness, sometimes even with red bumps or pimples. So, when it is cold and windy, try and protect your face as much as possible with a good quality scarf and hat. But make sure that the material doesn’t irritate your skin.
A day at the beach in the sun is lovely, of course, but can sometimes cause a bad reaction in skin with Rosacea. A small amount of sun can even be enough to play up the condition. So you have a pair of bright red cheeks, which aren’t even caused by sunburn. Very important for you are a good sun cream, accessories such as a hat and sun glasses and seeking shade in time.
Moving is good for body and soul. For everybody. Even so, exertion is actually also a well-known driver for Rosacea. The fact is that exercising increases you heart rate and, with it, the blood flow. And you will notice this in the faces of people with the condition. By doing very excessive exercise the so-called flushing can persist for days or even weeks.
4. Wine, coffee and even tea
Alcohol causes dilation of the blood vessels. Red wine is at the top of the list of drinks responsible for flare ups (source: National Rosacea Society). But warm drinks such as, hot chocolate, coffee and even tea can be a trigger for Rosacea. Basically, be aware that anything which can dilate the blood vessels can cause flushing and redness. Do you start your day, just like me, with a lovely cup of coffee? Then wait until it has cooled off a bit before drinking. And, if necessary, in the summer transfer to the iced versions; it’s still cool!
5. Spicy food
Even though the list of food substances that can trigger Rosacea is very extensive and often individual, spicy food is one of the main ones. If you don’t want to have rosy cheeks on your dinner date, then don’t choose the spicy curry from the menu.
6. Cheese Board
It might sound strange, but dairy products are a well-known Rosacea trigger. That delicious cheese board, a glass of milk or perhaps even whipped cream. In contrast, more and more studies, in particular case studies, are showing that products rich in probiotics, such as certain yoghurts drinks, can help improve Rosacea. This is, therefore, a tricky one. It remains a case of trying things to see what and what doesn’t work for you.
I have already explained how chronic stress can result in skin problems. But just one stressful day can cause all sorts of problems with Rosacea. Therefore, make sure you take regular rest and relaxation.
8. Warm bath
As nice as it is, having a warm soak in the bath or a long hot shower can cause a lot of flushing in people with Rosacea. Even the central heating can have an effect on the skin. To put it simply, temperature changes can trigger Rosacea symptoms. Therefore be cautious with saunas and steam rooms.
As well as a runny nose and itchy eyes, allergies can also aggravate Rosacea. Many people don’t realise that they are having an allergic reaction, just that they have a cold. Try and find out if an allergy is playing a part here.
10. Beauty treatments
Beauty treatments such as a scrub, connective tissue massage and microdermabrasion are not recommended for people with Rosacea. If you want to freshen up that sensitive skin and remove dead skin cells, then you should exfoliate with salicylic acid.
11. Skin care
Skin care products, no matter how natural and safe these seem, can sometimes contain ingredients which irritate the skin and aggravate Rosacea symptoms. Fragrances, menthol, alcohol and eucalyptus are examples of substances which can cause problems for sensitive skin.
Your favourite fragrance can all of a sudden be a trigger for Rosacea. Would you rather be safe than sorry? Then spray it on your hair and clothing instead of your skin.
It is also well known that smoking can aggravate Rosacea symptoms. And this doesn’t only apply if you yourself smoke, but being in a smoky environment can also cause problems.
Not everyone reacts in the same way
As a Rosacea sufferer, does this mean that you can’t go to the sauna, go outdoors in wind weather or enjoy a drink? Of course it doesn’t. Try and look at the above list as a way of finding out what triggers your Rosacea. Ultimately, every Rosacea skin reacts differently. While one can enjoy a cheeseboard without a problem, but suffer in a warm room, another might just have a problem with cold or spicy food.
(Research Physician Cosmetic Dermatology)