Rosacea? Here’s Help!

Try these simple steps to ease the redness—and the embarrassment—of rosacea.

Health Monitor Staff
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Rosacea, Tips for Rosacea

If you’re one of the 14 million Americans living with rosacea, you know it’s more than just “rosy red cheeks.” Fact is, over 76% of rosacea patients say their condition has lowered their self-confidence, 41% report it has caused them to avoid social events and 88% say the condition has adversely affected their professional interactions, according to the National Rosacea Society.

The good news? While rosacea isn’t curable it is treatable. Try these tips, and discuss your symptoms with your healthcare team or a dermatologist to get your rosacea under control—and get back to living your life!

1. Avoid too-hot foods and drinks. You can still enjoy soup and tea, just make sure they’re not piping hot, which can make you flush and worsen your rosacea. If it’s cool enough for you to comfortably stick your pinky finger in, it’s fine!

Tip: Hot goes for spicy hot, too! Stick to mild or medium foods to keep redness at bay.

2. Take up yoga...or any relaxing exercise! Stress and anxiety have been shown to raise blood pressure and increase body-wide inflammation, both of which can make rosacea worse. And while exercise is a great way to kick tension to the curb, anything too strenuous (long-distance running, extreme cardio, etc.) may actually aggravate your rosacea. The solution? About 30 minutes a day of a gentle exercise like yoga, tai chi or walking.

3. Invest in a hat. It goes without saying—a sunburn on your face is going to make the redness worse! Some patients with rosacea find their skin is sensitive to sunscreens, so ask your dermatologist for a recommendation, and keep the sun off with a stylish hat! 

4. Ask for decaf. You may want to ease up on your daily coffee—the caffeine in it can raise your blood pressure and make symptoms worse.

5. Cut back on alcohol. Despite popular belief, drinking alcohol does not cause rosacea, but it can make it worse. Don’t worry; you don’t have to give it up altogether—just stick to the recommended daily amount: one drink for women and up to two drinks for men, say the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

6. Ask about medication. Researchers still aren’t sure what causes rosacea; however, some believe vascular problems may be at fault. In fact, prescription medications that reduce blood flow near the surface of your face can relieve redness and flushing. Ask your doctor about treatments that may work for you.

March 2014