Rosacea is a disorder due to which the facial skin appears red as the underlying blood vessels become enlarged. The redness may be accompanied by pimple-like skin eruptions. Itching, burning sensation and swelling make the condition even worse. Symptoms are mostly seen on the cheeks, chin, nose and forehead. However, at times, they may spread to other parts of the body like neck, scalp and ears. Its effect can be seen in the eyes too when the patient gets eye irritation, watery discharge and bloodshot eyes.
The typical characteristic of rosacea is that these symptoms come and go quite frequently. In other words, people experience flare ups and remissions from time to time. It is mostly found in people who are above the age of 30 years. Women, particularly who are fair skinned, are more prone to rosacea.
Rosacea Flare Up Prevention Tips
The exact cause behind rosacea is not clearly known. Still, you can control the flare ups by bringing about some changes in diet and lifestyle. Here are a few helpful tips on how to prevent rosacea flare ups.
Gentle Skin Care
You have to be extra careful while selecting the skin care products for yourself. Any such product should be avoided that can irritate the skin. Astringents are not good for rosacea as it reduces the skin pores and more skin oils get trapped within it, which in turn promotes acne growth. A mild, non-abrasive skin cleanser should be used. Wash your face with lukewarm water and then pat dry the skin with a soft and thick cotton towel. Do not rub any rough washcloth on it as it can irritate the skin. Scrubbing is not suitable for this skin condition.
Maintain Good Personal Hygiene
Do not use any unwashed towel and facial washcloth on your skin. Wash them thoroughly after every use. These items are an ideal breeding ground for acne causing bacteria. So, if an unwashed washcloth or towel is used on the skin, the bacteria will pass on to the skin. Similarly, sheets, pillow covers and clothes should be changed daily to ensure that no bacteria come in direct contact with the skin from them.
Avoid Extreme Hot and Cold Water
Hot baths and showers are an absolute 'no-no' for these patients as the heat dilates the blood vessels and the skin appears more reddened. Cold water tends to shrink skin pores. Therefore, make sure your bath water is lukewarm, which is below 98.5°F.
Protect Your Skin from the Sun
When your skin is exposed to sunlight, the pores get clogged and the skin turns dry and this increases the chances of flare ups. Therefore, you must avoid going out in the sun altogether. Once in a while, if you have to go out, make sure that you apply a good quality, non-irritating sunscreen (SPF value 15 or higher) generously in order to provide protection to the skin.
Keep a Watch on Your Food and Drink
There are some foods and drinks that should be avoided by rosacea sufferers. Consumption of too much of sugary foods can stimulate flare ups. The problem with spicy foods is that they tend to cause flushing of facial skin. Among the beverages, alcohol and coffee are considered as stimulants of rosacea flare ups. Have three meals a day that consists of healthy foods and exclude foods that might aggravate rosacea.
Hydrate Your Body
We all know that drinking plenty of water keeps our body healthy as water is important for excretion of the toxins. However, rosacea patients should drink more water, about 10-12 glasses, as it prevents flushing of the skin. Ice-cold water is more preferable as it can cool down the body and minimize the chances of dilation of the blood vessels, which occur when the body is exposed to heat.
Too much of stress can lead to flushing skin and rosacea flare ups. You are under stress when your mind is gripped with fear, anger and negative thoughts. Change your attitude towards the people and things around you and it will help you to manage stress in a better manner. Besides, learn some relaxation techniques, devote some time for doing such things that you love to do the most and try to share your problem with a reliable friend to keep your mind free from stress. Do not isolate yourself from the rest of the world as it will increase your stress.
Exercising is important to maintain a healthy body weight. Excessive body weight puts additional pressure on the cardiovascular system and leads to dilation of blood vessels. Exercises are also good for stress reduction. Do not indulge in any physically strenuous exercise program that can make you sweat a lot and the skin pores get blocked. Rather, a brisk walk for 15 minutes or swimming is a better option.
Here, we have basically discussed various possible triggers, which if avoided, can delay the onset of the flare ups. However, when you already have a flare up, then you must visit your dermatologist. They will prescribe suitable medicines that can provide relief from discomfort and stop any further aggravation of the symptoms.