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6 Ways To Tame Rosacea Flareups

By The Nava Team

May 12, 2021

How is it that your rosacea flare-ups always seem to happen at the worst possible times?! You feel like you just got through your last  flare-up, and now you look in the mirror and see the symptoms have come roaring back. Frustrating, to say the least.

So what can you do about it?

The things that trigger rosacea symptoms can make flare-ups occur at the most inconvenient times. Fortunately, finding out how to calm a rosacea flare-up can help you get back to doing...life. And with confidence.

Here are six things you can do to tame those symptoms when a rosacea flare-up rears its head.

1. Avoid Food Triggers

Food is more than just nourishment for the body; it’s comfort, culture and, sometimes, an adventure. Unfortunately it may also be one of your biggest triggers. 

Do you love chocolate? [Who doesn’t?] It could be a trigger. Can’t do without your morning cup of coffee? It could also be sending your rosacea into a tailspin. 

Brace yourself, many of these are favorite indulgences, but common food and drink triggers for rosacea include:

  • Spicy food, such as Mexican, curries and anything that contains capsaicin
  • Any food that contains cinnamaldehyde, including chocolate, tomatoes and citrus
  • Dairy products, including cheese, milk, butter, and yogurt
  • Caffeinated drinks from teas to soda
  • All alcoholic beverages, including hard liquor and wine

Before you panic, not necessarily all of these foods are triggers for everyone, but they do seem to impact many people with rosacea, anecdotally. If you haven’t already figured out your triggers, keeping a food and rosacea journal is a good way to discover what sets your skin on fire (figuratively). You might not be able to go without your morning cup of coffee, but avoiding the foods and drinks that cause a flare-up can provide some relief from your symptoms.

In summary: avoid the wrong foods.

2. Eat a Healthy Diet

On the flip side, eating the right foods can make all the difference. Systemic inflammation is thought to be one of rosacea’s causes. When you eat the right types of foods, your body is better equipped to fight off inflammation.

And, no surprise, the right foods for your rosacea are generally the right foods for your general health too. 

For example, incorporate as many plants into your diet as possible, eat whole foods rather than processed foods, decrease your sugar intake and add variety – everything in moderation.

Along with eating a healthy diet, drink enough water throughout the day. If you notice that all-too-familiar stinging sensation or see the color in your cheeks start to deepen, go for a glass of water and drink more than you might normally. Keep it cool too. Avoid drinking ice water or hot beverages, as they can trigger your symptoms, just like hot and cold temperatures.

3. Protect Yourself From Harsh Weather Exposure

You know that beach vacation you’ve planned? Well, hanging out in the sun can make your symptoms much worse. The National Rosacea Society found that 81% of people surveyed cited sun exposure as a trigger for a flare-up.

The UVA and UVB rays do damage to your skin – both acutely and with permanent effects – making you more likely to experience severe symptoms now and in the future. If you’re experiencing symptoms, you should stay out of direct sunlight as much as possible: wear a wide-brimmed hat, sit in the shade, keep indoors, and definitely wear some SPF skin protectant.

For all you winter-weather adventurers out there, you aren’t out of the woods either. The sun’s rays bounce off snow and water, amplifying the intensity. The cold temperatures and wind may not draw blood closer to the skin’s surface, but they’re still rough on your skin. Even if you love the feeling of a wild wind whipping against your face, it’s best to bundle up.

4. Find Ways To De-Stress

Surprise, surprise: stress is a significant rosacea trigger. In another survey, the National Rosacea Society found that 69% of respondents indicated that emotional stress led to a flareup at least once per month. Another 14% said it happens to them weekly. 

Rosacea itself can cause significant stress, creating a vicious cycle where you and your symptoms go round and round. Finding ways to de-stress is good for your health overall, but it can also help calm those rosacea symptoms. Make sure you also get enough sleep, which means seven to nine hours of shut-eye every night. Then, try a few of these activities to figure out what helps you the most:

  • Regular, moderate exercise
  • Yoga
  • Breathing exercises
  • Meditation
  • Thai Chi
  • A new hobby

5. Develop a Healthy Skincare Routine

When you have rosacea, your skincare routine is as important as going to sleep every night. Your routine should include:

  • Cleaning your face in the morning and at night with warm water (if you use a cleanser, choose one that does not contain alcohol, witch hazel, eucalyptus, peppermint or other astringents)
  • Keeping your face moisturized with a non-comedogenic moisturizer that doesn’t block your pores
  • Avoiding skincare products that contain fragrances, lanolin, and sodium lauryl sulfate
  • Using an electric razor when shaving the face

Developing good habits helps you keep your symptoms at a minimum and reduces them when flare-ups do occur.

6. Use Medication Customized To Treat Your Symptoms

Though there's a lot you can do to tame your rosacea through lifestyle changes and skincare practices, a stubborn and persistent bout of rosacea symptoms calls for something a little stronger. If you’re looking for a way to rescue your social life, follow the advice above as much as possible - and then consider professional help. 

Prescription medication can reduce your symptoms to a more manageable level. Here’s the thing, though: you need the right treatment for the way rosacea presents on your skin.

There are four subcategories for this one skin condition, but many people experience symptoms from multiple types. In 2017, a panel of dermatologists and ophthalmologists recommended that doctors diagnose rosacea based on the characteristics of each individual patient to develop a patient-centered approach to treatment. If you have broken blood vessels on your cheeks and thickened skin on your nose, you want medication that addresses both of those, right?

Customized topical medications can be formulated to target your specific symptoms. If you have large and angry pustules on your cheeks and nose, you’d like nothing more than to see them shrink. Chances are, you’d also like to take care of the bright red patches as well, so you don’t feel like you have to put on a pound of foundation to cover them up — and end up with worsening symptoms as a result. 

Whatever your symptoms, working with an expert who considers your individual needs is critical to gaining the upper hand on rosacea.

The professionals at Nava MD can help you tame your rosacea symptoms. Your journey begins with a free consultation and ends with a custom formula, if prescribed, sent right to your home that targets all of your tough spots. All of this takes place virtually, so you can access your physician anywhere, anytime. 

Get started with NavaMD today.


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Disclaimer : This article is not intended as medical advice. It is intended for general informational purposes and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a qualified healthcare provider with any questions. Dial 911 in case of a medical emergency.