4 Tips for Managing Rosacea
Rosacea is one of the most common long-term skin conditions, and it can also be one of the most frustrating. While no cure for rosacea exists, you can do a lot to manage the condition and minimize the discomfort it can cause. Discover four tips for managing rosacea that can help you feel more in control of the condition.
1. Learn Your Rosacea Triggers
Preventing flare-ups is the prime directive of rosacea management. The most important thing you can do to reduce the impact of rosacea on your life is learn your rosacea triggers. Rosacea flare-ups can occur in response to a wide variety of stimuli, and what is a trigger for one person may not cause a flare-up in another.
Whenever you experience a rosacea flare-up, think back over your day to determine what could have caused it. Dietary changes, especially eating spicy foods, can cause flare-ups that otherwise would not have occurred, so keep track of your most recent meal. Also, consider whether you have experienced unusual stress recently. Many people choose to keep a rosacea diary to easily review possible causes throughout the day.
2. Always Use Sunscreen
While rosacea triggers are different for everyone, sun exposure is one of the most commonly reported causes of flare-ups. Sunlight is partially comprised of ultraviolet light that can break down elastin and collagen in your skin. These are proteins that support your blood vessels, and when they break down, the blood vessels are more visible on the surface of your skin.
For those with rosacea, not all sunscreens are created equal. Learn the difference between physical sunscreen and chemical sunscreen. Chemical sunscreen relies on compounds that absorb sunlight before it reaches your skin. Unfortunately, these chemical compounds can also be skin irritants.
Physical sunscreen uses zinc oxide or titanium oxide to physically block rays of sunlight. These sunscreens create a sun-blocking barrier that won’t irritate the skin of rosacea sufferers. When selecting physical sunscreen, scan the ingredients so you can avoid additives that can be skin irritants, such as alcohol.
3. Wash Your Face Twice a Day
If your skin already feels sensitive from rosacea, you might not want to irritate it further. However, washing your face twice a day is essential to reduce flare-ups. Washing helps to remove natural oils on the skin that can aggravate rosacea.
Do not use a washcloth or abrasive scrubber when you wash your face. Instead, use your hands and a mild skin cleanser rather than soap. Wash gently with your fingertips in a circular motion, and be sure to remove all traces of the cleanser.
4. Know How to Handle Flare-Ups
It may surprise you to learn that simple remedies can help shorten flare-ups. Applying a cold compress to the face is effective for many people, as the cold helps to constrict blood vessels and reduce inflammation so that the redness goes away faster.
Staying hydrated during a rosacea flare-up is another key tactic for reducing redness as quickly as possible. Drinking plenty of cool water will help with dryness from rosacea and will also have a mild constricting effect on facial blood vessels. Finally, be sure to avoid possible triggers during a flare-up such as alcohol, direct sunlight, and stressful environments or activities.
With a little knowledge and some self-study to identify your triggers, you can control your rosacea and keep it from controlling your day. For more tips and advice about rosacea or any other skin care needs, contact us at East Carolina Dermatology and Skin Surgery, PLLC, so we can help you feel confident and comfortable with your skin!