What is Rosacea?
Rosacea is a chronic skin condition that can cause flushing, inflammation, and red lines on the nose, cheeks, chin, and forehead. It is related to acne and used to be referred to as acne rosacea. It is a surprisingly common condition with more than 14 million Americans suffering from it, but is also poorly understood by the general public.
It is important to fully understand that flare-ups of rosacea are triggered by different factors in our lives. As a sufferer of rosacea, it is important to find out what your own personal triggers are and try to avoid or control them, and thus to prevent aggravating the condition.
There are many common foods that trigger rosacea in many sufferers and it is worth keeping a diary to see how various foods affect your rosacea. Triggers are different for everyone but some common triggers for some people are spicy foods, cheese, chocolate, yogurt, vanilla, soy sauce, yeast extract, citrus fruits, liver, egg plants and foods high in histamine.
It is not just foods, but also many drinks and beverages that can irritate the skin of a rosacea sufferer. Beware of the affects of many alcoholic drinks including red wine, champagne, beer, whisky, bourbon, gin and vodka. Hot drinks such as tea and coffee and hot chocolate are a problem for some people, as well as hot cider and mulled wine.
Many people also find that are sensitive to temperature, so hot drinks and food in general could trigger a flare-up. Many people with rosacea also find that they are intolerant to hot climates, as well as saunas, steam rooms, hot baths or showers and heavy exercise that causes over-heating.
The weather is something that can't be controlled, but rosacea sufferers often find that hot spells of weather cause a worsening of their symptoms. This is often caused by strong sun, not just the elevated temperature, which aggravates the skin. Cold weather and strong winds can also exacerbate rosacea as the skin is often sensitive to such conditions.
Other triggers which should be born in mind are medications such as vasodilators and topical steroids. Beauty products, moisturisers and make-up should be chosen carefully and changed if it is suspected that they are causing flare-ups. The menopause, a chronic cough and caffeine withdrawal can also aggravate rosacea and make the condition temporarily worsen.
It is really worth remembering that, while it is important to determine if these factors are playing a role in your skin condition, stress and anxiety are the two biggest causes of flare-ups, so be vigilant, but try not to worry too much!
Relaxation exercises and stress management should be at the top of your list of ways in which to improve your overall health, including your skin.