Know Your Triggers
In addition to medical therapy, rosacea patients can improve their chances of maintaining remission by identifying and avoiding lifestyle and environmental factors that may trigger flare-ups or aggravate their individual conditions.
Identifying these factors is an individual process, however, because what causes a flare-up for one person may have no effect on another.
- Food (detailed info on the Diet page)
- Certain ingredients in Skincare Products – alcohol, witch hazel, fragrance, menthol , peppermint and eucalyptus oil
Finola says: nearly all skincare products have fragrance in them despite fragrances causing more allergic contact dermatitis than any other ingredient
Finola says Be careful with essential oils. We only use a small allowable amount of tea tree in our type 2 serum to act against demodex mites - but apart from that stay clear...always use your nose - if it smells strong its too strong for your skin.
- Avoid astringents and exfoliating agents – it is so tempting to exfoliate to get rid of any roughness –but rosacea skin needs to be handled like silk- very gently…
- Rosacea patients should also consider reducing the number of items they use on their skin by choosing products with multiple functions.
Finola says: Most ingredient lists are in Latin and a degree in chemistry would also be useful for reading the back of product labels. However, long lists are not a good thing for rosacea sufferers – the less ingredients the better. Clean formulation with minimal ingredients and multiple functions is best for rosacea sufferers which is why the finca serum has a nice short list with no added fragrances–. I believe mainstream skincare have a lot to answer for in relation to skin sensitivities.
- Use a gentle, non-drying, water-soluble cleanser. No soaps or bar cleansers!
- During the day, apply a sunscreen with SPF 30 or greater whose only active sunscreen ingredients are titanium dioxide and/or zinc oxide. Sun hats with wide brims are essential during Summer….
Finola says: People with rosacea are often sensitive to chemical sunscreens which are in the majority of skincare products so have a really good look at the ingredients in your spf moisturiser to ensure that zinc or titanium is the active sunscreen. They are physical sunscreens which means they sit on top of the skin to provide UVB/UVA protection.
- Use a foundation with sunscreen again only with the sunscreen actives titanium dioxide and/or zinc oxide,
- Check with your physician to see which prescription medication is best to treat your rosacea, such as MetroGel, MetroLotion, or Azelaic Acid (Azelex or Finacea). Any of these topical medications should be applied as directed on cleansed skin before moisturizing.
- Temperature-related Triggers avoid Saunas, Hot baths, Simple overheating, Excessively warm environments
- Sun – use spf of 30 minimum
- Strong winds
Finola says: Use a balm (a waxier, heavier type of moisturiser) for cold wintry windy conditions when outside but don’t forget to take it off when you are back inside. Think of it like a wax jacket for your skin –and you wouldn’t keep wearing the wax jacket when you come back inside. This is particularly true for men who work in traditionally male environments eg building sites or farms. They really need to protect their skin before it develops further, as men can develop more severe forms of rosacea if it is left to develop without trying to control it.
Finola says: its hard to do something about this but if you go outside wrap a scarf as high up around your face as possible and don’t forget heavier balm(waxy) type moisturiser.
The distress rosacea causes can create a vicious cycle. When rosacea causes emotional upset, the resulting stress can make rosacea worse. Getting educated about rosacea is extremely important, because the more you know, the better you can manage rosacea. This, in turn, will help to improve your self-esteem. But don’t expect to learn everything you need to know at your doctor’s office. Doctors rarely have time to give people extensive education on the disorder.
Get an adequate amount of sleep each night and exercise regularly. (Go for low-impact or water aerobics if heavy exercise bothers your rosacea.) Rosacea sufferers often say that yoga can help reduce stress.
When you can’t avoid redness, it may make you feel better to camouflage it with makeup. A sheer, green-tinted primer underneath foundation neutralizes redness. For men a small dab of green tinted cream may be enough just to calm redness down enough to restore confidence.
Finola says It takes a wee while to get this right so the green tint is not too noticeable but persevere. The tinted cream in itself offers some protection from the elements as well.
To minimize anxiety and worry, identify the things outside your control, and focus on taking positive action on things you can do something about.
Exercise - But for many rosacea sufferers, flushing from exercise may pose a special challenge if it causes their condition to flare up. You don't need a high-intensity workout to reap the benefits of exercise. Choose a low-intensity workout – it's just as beneficial.
Instead of exercising all at once, try breaking up your routine into shorter intervals. For example, exercise for 15 minutes, three times a day. Recent studies indicate what's important is the amount of exercise you get in the course of a day, not how continuous it is.
For outdoor exercise during warm weather, avoid midday when it's hottest. Exercise in the early morning or evening. And always protect your skin from the sun.
When exercising indoors, make sure the room is well ventilated, not too warm or stuffy.
Try draping a cool, damp towel around your neck, chewing on ice chips, or carrying a water bottle to keep your body temperature down during exercise. You can also use a spray bottle filled with cool water to spray your face.
The main point to remember: don't become overheated. This can cause flushing, and in turn, trigger a rosacea flare-up.
eg. Menopause , Chronic cough
Vasodilators and Topical steroids – be aware of any of these and then know that the symptoms of redness are only temporary for as long as you are on the medication