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Skin Deep: 12 Tips and Tricks for Living Life Large With Rosacea

Skin Deep: 12 Tips and Tricks for Living Life Large With Rosacea


According to the National Rosacea Society or NRS, an estimated 14 million or more Americans suffer from the symptoms of rosacea. Approximately one in 20 Americans suffers from rosacea.

Rosacea is a skin condition that can occur at any age, but it usually occurs during middle age. Incidents of this skin disorder are rising fast in the baby boom generation, as well as in fair-skinned people. Although rosacea is not life-threatening, its symptoms can impact a person’s self-esteem and quality of life.

If you suffer from rosacea, you should understand the things you can do to live life normally, even with rosacea.

What is Rosacea?

RosaceaRosacea is a lasting skin condition that mainly affects your facial skin. It is an inflammatory skin disorder characterized by redness or flushing that comes in a cycle of flare-ups and remissions of the symptoms.

Rosacea may also appear on your neck, chest, scalp and ears. It may also affect your eyes and make them look watery or bloodshot. Though rosacea is not a life-threatening condition, it can be disruptive in various aspects of your life. Over time, symptoms, such as redness may worsen and become persistent. In severe cases, the nose may swell and appear bulbous. If left untreated, acne-like bumps may appear.

Rosacea tends to affectthe fair-skinned people.Women are more likely to be affected, but symptoms appear to be more severe in men.

Major symptoms of rosacea include:

1. Flushing

Flushing is usually the first sign of rosacea. The redness may come and go but is more persistent compared to normal blushing of your skin.

2. Bumps

In severe cases, acne-like or pus-filled bumps may occur. They are usually accompanied with a burning sensation.

3. Visible Blood Vessels

Over time, blood vessels underneath the skin may become visible and noticeable.

Other symptoms include:

1. Irritated Eyes

Inflammation can also occur in the eyes. Your eyes may appear bloodshot, and your eyelids may swell. If left untreated, it can damage your cornea or lead to loss of sight.

2. Burning or Stinging

Along with flushing, you may feel a burning or stinging sensation. Your skin may also feel tight and itchy.

3. Dry Skin

You may also suffer from dry skin that appears to be rough.

4. Plaque

Plaque, or raised red patches may develop on the affected areas of your skin.

5. Skin Thickening

Also known as rhinophyma, your skin particularly your nose may thicken and swell. A bulbous red nose seems to be common in men than in women with rosacea.

These symptoms are more prominent during flare-ups, which many rosacea patients find physically and emotionally challenging.

What Triggers Rosacea Flare-ups?

The exact cause of rosacea remains a mystery but according to experts, there are factors that may contribute or trigger rosacea and its flare-ups. And, since there is no cure for rosacea, you can only relieve the symptoms during flare-ups or steer clear from triggers to prevent flare-ups.

Here are the most common rosacea triggers:

Exposing your skin to the sun1. Weather

Flare-ups may occur during hot, humid or cold weather. Exposing your skin to the sun or wind may also trigger flare-ups.

2. Stress

Stress or anxiety seems to be a common trigger among rosacea patients. Even a sudden change in your emotion such as feeling embarrassed can have the same effect.

3. Food

Hot and spicy foods and alcohol are common food triggers. Foods that heat up the body such as steaming soup or a cup of coffee may also trigger flare-ups.Food triggers may vary from person to person, and it can be any food.

4. Exercise

Exercise plays an important role in keeping your body healthy, but if you suffer from rosacea, exercise may not all that good for you.

5. Skincare Products

Harsh substances found in skincare products you use may trigger flare-ups, too.

Triggers of flare-ups vary from person to person. What triggers your flare-up may not trigger flare-ups of other rosacea patients. Thus, identifying your triggers may be a huge help to prevent or lessen your risk of flare-ups.

Dealing with Rosacea

1. Change How You Cleanse Your Face

saunasAs you know, high temperatures may trigger a flare-up, so it is best to avoid hot showers, saunas, and hot baths.

Wash with warm water and use mild soaps or gentle cleansers. Avoid using grainy or abrasive facial cleansers. Use a soft washcloth when scrubbing instead of loofahs or sponges that may irritate your sensitive skin.

After washing, dry your skin by gently patting it with a cotton towel. Avoid drying your skin by rubbing it in sweeping motions.

Avoid washing too many times a day, as this can make your skin even drier. Washing twice, once in the morning and once before bedtime, is enough to get rid of dirt particles.

2. Why You Must Moisturize

According to many skin experts, keeping the skin moisturized can greatly help rosacea patients relieve or prevent the itching and stinging or burning sensation. Today, moisturizers specifically manufactured to relieve rosacea symptoms, such as redness and irritation are available in the market. These moisturizers contain substances that address rosacea symptoms, unlike ordinary moisturizers you can find in most cosmetic sections.

If you are using any other topical medication, apply it first and wait for at least 10 minutes before applying moisturizer.

3. Sunscreen Tips to Follow

Using sunscreen lotion is a must whether you are suffering from a skin condition or not, but if you suffer from rosacea, you should be extra careful. According to a survey by the National Rosacea Society, sun exposure tops the list of flare-up triggers among patients. It can also worsen redness and telangiectasia or the visible appearance of blood vessels.

Use sunscreen specially formulated for sensitive skin when you are planning to spend some time outdoors even when it’s not sunny. Harmful UV rays are present even when the sun is not shining brightly. Use sunscreen with SPF 15 or up. Reapply every two hours when swimming or sweating.

Most importantly, limit sun exposure as much as possible, particularly when the sun is at its strongest, from late morning to mid-afternoon.

4. Humid and Hot Places Are Not Your Friends

To avoid uneasy and awkward situations, and also avoid overcrowded or hot places. Stay in well-ventilated places. If you feel like a flare-up is coming, go to an air-conditioned place or aim the fan directly at yourself.

5. Shave to Save Your Skin

Shave to Save Your SkinShaving may cause damage to your skin and make it prone to irritation. For the guys out there who suffer from rosacea, you need to shave properly to avoid skin damage, too.

If you prefer using blades, do not use dull blades that will require more strokes to get a close clean cut. Extra scraping may damage your skin. Steer clear of using shaving lotions, creams or gel that stings because most likely they contain strong substances that can irritate or dry your skin.

Read labels and avoid skincare products that contain alcohol, eucalyptus oil, menthol, and peppermint. Opt for fragrance-free aftershave products.

6. Conceal Blemishes and Redness

Facial redness and noticeable blood vessels can be embarrassing and disruptive, but you can easily deal with these cosmetic problems by camouflaging them with make-up. Opt for a green-tinted pre-foundation cream to better conceal the redness. Use liquid foundation, and avoid pressed powders or foundations because they make your dry and flaky skin more obvious.

Invest in trusted brands. They may be quite expensive, but they will lessen your skin’s risk of irritation.

7. Exercise Lightly

Exercise is a must to keep your body healthy. If you have rosacea, do not avoid any form of exercise altogether.

What you should do is avoid heavy and intense exercises that cause your body to heat up and your skin to flush. Choose low-intensity workouts, such as yoga, Pilates and Tai Chi. If you have to perform moderate aerobic exercises, do it in shorter and frequent intervals. For example, divide your 45-minute daily exercise into three 15-minute routines.

When you exercise indoors, do it in a well-ventilated space, and turn the fan or air conditioner on. Take a few minutes to rest and relax, and place a damp towel on your skin to keep it cool.

When you exercise outdoors during a warm day, do not forget your sunscreen. Exercise early in the morning or early at night when the temperature is cooler.

Most importantly, keep your body hydrated. Always bring a bottle of cold water wherever you exercise.

8. Deal with Stress: Simple Steps

Deal with StressDaily stressors are everywhere, from home to work and in between. There is no avoiding them, but it is how you react to them that determine their effect on you.

When you are stressed, a series of changes can occur inside your body that may trigger a rosacea flare-up. When you are confronted with an undesirable situation, close your eyes, take a deep breath and count up to 10. Repeat this slowly until you feel calm. Avoid reacting at the height of your emotions, as this can only aggravate the situation.

To relieve stress, stretch and take the time just to sit back and relax. Not reacting right away minimizes stress and will save you from regrets later on.

9. Identify and Avoid Trigger Foods

Alcohol, hot and spicy foods are common triggers among rosacea patients. But, trigger foods widely vary from person to person.

Examples of trigger foods include:

  • Spices
  • White Pepper
  • Black Pepper
  • Paprika
  • Red Pepper
  • Cayenne
  • Yogurt, Cheese and Sour Cream
  • Yeast Extract
  • Citrus Fruits
  • Liver
  • Chocolate and Vanilla
  • Vinegar and Soy Sauce
  • Eggplant and Avocados
  • Spinach
  • Broad-leafed Beans
  • Pods
  • Foods High in Niacin

These are just some of the trigger foods. Any food can trigger flare-ups, depending on how your body reacts to it. Identifying your trigger foods may help you lessen the occurrence of flare-ups. This can be a long process of trial and error, since you have to eliminate suspicious foods one by one.

make a journal or diaryTo better keep track of the elimination process, you can make a journal or diary where you can write all your observations. For example, today you eliminated cheese in your diet. Observe for any changes in two weeks and write them down. You can reintroduce cheese in your diet if it is eliminating it does not cause any changes.

Continue writing details down for each food until you have identified your triggers.For foods high in niacin, taking antihistamine two hours before eating may help lessen its effect.

To avoid trigger foods, you must first know what your trigger foods are.

10. Know Your Physical Triggers

While lifestyle and the environment are huge triggers, medical professionals have also identified some medical conditions that trigger flare-ups. Hormonal changes during menopause may trigger the onset of rosacea. In fact, many female rosacea patients started experiencing flare-ups during menopause.

High blood pressure and common illnesses, such as colds, cough and fever may also cause flushing which in turn may trigger a flare-up. If you experience flushing with diarrhea, itching and breathing difficulties, see your doctor as soon as possible.

11. Observe Your Medication Triggers

What you are taking to improve an illness might be the cause of your flare-ups. If you experience flare-ups after taking the drugs listed below, let your doctor know about it:

  • Topical Steroids: Prolonged use of topical steroids has been found to cause or exacerbate a rosacea flare-up. Furthermore, a study showed that symptoms in rosacea patients improved after they stopped using topical steroids.
  • Vasodilators: Doctors prescribe vasodilators to patients who suffer from cardiovascular diseases. These drugs help dilate blood vessels to improve blood flow. However, these drugs caused vasodilator rosacea in some of the patients.

Do not discontinue use if flare-ups occur after taking these drugs. It is crucial to consult your doctor first. He or she may be able to prescribe alternative medications that do not generate the same effect.

12. Keep It Clean

100 percent cottonDust, dirt, pollen and mites irritate sensitive skin, so keep your surroundings clean. Change pillowcases, blankets, towels and bedsheets frequently. Avoid pillowcases, blankets, towels and bedsheets made from rough fabrics. As much as possible use garments made from 100 percent cotton, from clothes and towels to bedcovers and washcloths.

Living with rosacea is living with a lifetime burden. Following these tips might help reduce the incidence of flare-ups and lessen your burden.

Living Life Large with Rosacea

Rosacea sufferers not only have to endure physical pain, but they also have to face the effects of their skin condition on their self-esteem and quality of life.

Whatever the severity of your symptoms may be, other people will most likely notice your red, dry and flaky face. Do not let rosacea get in the way of your social life, personal life and in advancing your career. Here are tips to help you overcome rosacea and normally live as you would:

1. Talk about your condition.Hiding in one corner and letting people speculate about your facial redness will only generate more talk and judgments. The best thing you can do to make other people understand about your condition is to let them know about it.

Communicating about your skin condition will not only lessen those embarrassing moments when someone tells you how red your face is. It can also help raise awareness on rosacea to people who do not know about it.

2. Find a support system.Nothing is worse than dealing with your problems alone. Tip number one is the first step to finding The people close to you can give you encouragement during your flare-ups and help you on your journey in making lifestyle changes to improve your symptoms.

Joining support groups at your local place or an online community of rosacea patients is also a good way to vent your feelings because they can relate to you better. Moreover, you can also share tips on how to relieve symptoms and skincare products that won’t trigger flare-ups.

Know that you are not alone in your battle.

find many exciting things to do3. Be productive.Living with rosacea means you have to avoid many things and doing many things. Avoid the heat, avoid the cold, avoid food triggers and the list goes on, depending on your specific triggers. You now know what not to do to lessen the occurrence of flare-ups. What you need to focus on is to make your life more productive even with rosacea.

Life with rosacea means living with limits but you can still find many exciting things to do without risking yourself of flare-ups.

4. Be gentle to your skin.Your skin is the largest organ and the most visible one, too. Taking good care of it can contribute a lot to your appearance, and your self-image, too. If you suffer from rosacea, you need to take extra care of your sensitive and irritation-prone skin.

Eating a balanced diet, drinking plenty of water, getting enough sleep and maintaining an active lifestylehelp keep your skin nourished from the inside. Using sunscreen lotion, moisturizers, and gentle skincare products help you take care of your skin from the outside.

As a rosacea patient, dealing with flare-ups may be the most challenging. But, with these tips, you can lessen your risks of a flare-up. Remember, you are not alone. Many people nowadays suffer from rosacea, so be sure to talk to your doctor, as well as your friends and family about your experience with this skin disorder.