What are the triggers for rosacea flare-ups?
Sun exposure and emotional stress are the most common triggers
Anything that causes your rosacea to flare up is called a trigger. Sun exposure and emotional stress are the most common triggers for rosacea flare-ups in most patients. Other triggers include the following:
- Hot weather
- Heavy exercise
- Alcohol consumption
- Hot baths
- Cold weather
- Spicy foods
- Indoor heat
- Certain skin-care products
- Heated beverages
- Certain cosmetics
- Medical conditions
Foods that can trigger rosacea include the following:
- Cheese (except cottage cheese)
- Soy sauce
- Sour cream
- Yeast-containing items
- Broad-leaf beans and pods
- Citrus fruits, tomatoes, and bananas
- Red plums, raisins, or figs
- Spicy and hot foods
- Marinated meats
- Dairy products
Remember that not everyone with rosacea will experience their flare-ups caused by these factors. Each person has their own set of triggering factors. What could be a trigger for you may not be the trigger for others. Hence, it is necessary to keep a watch out for things that you suspect to be setting off your rosacea flare-ups.
What is the main cause of rosacea?
Rosacea is a chronic skin condition characterized by a flushed face and tiny bumps on the face, more commonly over your nose and cheeks. It can strike at any age of your life and is found in both the genders. However, it affects women more than men, whereas men get severe rosacea more than women.
Doctors don't know the exact cause of rosacea. A few factors that may play a role are as follows:
- Genes: You may get rosacea because of a particular gene that runs in your family.
- Trouble with facial blood vessels: A problem in your blood vessels may cause your face to appear red. If you have a light skin, the redness gets easily noticed by people. Sun damage to the blood vessels also causes rosacea.
- Mites: A mite known as Demodex folliculorum that is normally found on everybody’s nose and cheeks might be excess in number or cause hypersensitivity in certain people. Studies have observed that many people with rosacea harbor these mites.
- Bacteria: The bacteria Helicobacter pylori that infect your gut might make you more likely to get rosacea. Some studies have suggested that they increase the levels of a digestive hormone called gastrin, which might give you a flushed skin.
- Antimicrobial protein: A protein that normally protects the skin from infection, cathelicidin, may give rise to rosacea. The development of rosacea depends upon how your body deals with this protein.
Some things make you more likely to get rosacea. These include the following:
- Having a light skin, blonde hair, and blue eyes
- Being in your middle age (30-50 years)
- Female sex
- Having family members with rosacea
- Having a history of severe acne
Browse our medical image collection of bacterial skin conditions such as follicultis, scarlet fever, and more
How to find triggers of your rosacea flare-ups?
It is essential to find out what triggers your rosacea flare-ups so that you:
- Reduce flare-ups.
- Get maximum benefits from your treatment.
- Stop rosacea from worsening.
You can use a three-step process to find out the triggers as follows:
- Step one is “Discovering what could be triggering your rosacea”: You can use the list of common triggers mentioned before as a reference to identify what could trigger your rosacea.
- Step two is “Confirming your triggers”: After you identify what could be triggering your psoriasis flare-ups, you can maintain a rosacea diary. This diary should contain your everyday account of what you eat, what you do, and whether you have a rosacea flare-up on that day. Taking note of things that usually precede your flare-ups will help you confirm your triggers.
- Step three is “Making some changes”: Once you know what’s triggering your rosacea flare-ups, you can modify your lifestyle accordingly and take precautions to avoid those triggers.
How to prevent rosacea flare-ups?
Rosacea is a chronic skin condition that can only be controlled but cannot be cured. Hence, you have to learn to live with it peacefully. Along with the treatment, what you can do is to try to prevent its flare-ups by making some lifestyle modifications that include the following:
- Protect your skin from the sun
- Learn to manage your stress
- Stay away from heat
- Avoid hot food and hot beverages
- Dial down alcoholic drinks
- Be careful while selecting skin and hair care products
- Use a makeup that suits your rosacea skin
- Check your medicines
- Protect your face from wind and cold
- Stay cool while exercising
- Get your rosacea treated from a dermatologist (skin specialist)