If you suffer from rosacea you may feel you need medical help, prescription medicines or an in-office treatment.
But many sufferers have found that symptoms improve if they manage their own rosacea care – whereas antibiotics and medical intervention can be costly and sometimes make things worse.
Since the condition doesn’t have a cure – whether you seek professional help or not self management is a good place to start.
No one can say without a doubt what causes an outbreak – what causes a flare up for one person may not have any effect on another.
Just like people – rosacea triggers are highly individual the key is to get to know what yours are and try to avoid them. Here’s a great 10 step self management guide to help you keep your rosacea symptoms under control:
1. Keep a diary – not just any old diary what you need is a log of your flare-ups. Note down the time, day, what you were doing or what you had eaten, how you felt, whether you had taken exercise, what you had been drinking, how severe the flare-up was.
Write down any detail about the circumstances you can recall. Reviewing your rosacea diary will provide important clues to what triggers your own particular flare-ups and help you avoid rosacea triggers in the future.
A great place to start is with the The National Rosacea Society’s free diary which comes with pro forma inserts to help you note down all the important information. The National Rosacea Society website is a great resource for all sorts of expert advice and information to help you manage the condition- so if you haven’t visited yet – go check it out and add it to your bookmarks .
2. Control your stress levels. Wherever possible avoid stressful situations. When you are under stress your body releases stress hormones into your bloodstream and can result for some people in a flare-up of their rosacea symptoms.
Anger, embarrassment or fear can all result in a flushing response which can trigger a rosacea flare-up. Try to manage situations so that you are able to stay calm or withdraw before you get stressed.
3. Learn to identify and avoid vascular dilators. Vascular dilators are substances which cause a flushing response and should be avoided by rosacea sufferers wherever possible. Common vascular dilators include cigarettes and excessive sugary soda drinks. It used to be thought that caffeine in tea and coffee was a cause of the flushing response in rosacea – research in the early 1980’s showed that flushing was likely to be caused by the heat of the drink rather than the caffeine. Drink tea and coffee at around 70 degrees maximum and ideally try an anti-inflammatory tea like green tea which has been found by some rosacea sufferers to work.
Green tea or a a good herbal tea is also better if you find that caffeine is a stimulant for you. Green tea contains theanine which offsets the caffeine providing a calming reaction – one of the reasons buddhist monks drink green tea in meditation sessions.
4. Stay away from Aspartame or NutraSweet. Aspartame and NutraSweet are common sweeteners in many popular drinks and both have been found to cause substantial redness in around a third of all rosacea sufferers. Try to reduce sugar in your drinks since glucose is an inflammatory agent in the body and may cause flare ups in excess.
5. Keep hydration levels up. Drinking lots of water is vital if you have rosacea – you need at least 2 liters of water a day and more when exercising or when it’s hot. Drink regularly throughout the day whether you feel thirsty or not.
Drink iced water in hot conditions to reduce your body temperature even further and stave off the flushing response.
6. Create your own chill out zone. If you are going somewhere you know you will be hot take a small insulated picnic box with your iced water and some chilled flannels. If you feel yourself getting hot and flushed apply a cold flannel to the back of your neck and drink your iced water.
7. Manage your weight. Excess weight puts a heavier load on the cardiovascular system and will result in greater vascular dilation, flushing, sweating and skin redness. Excess weight gain can be a cause of spider veins for this very reason so as part of your rosacea care program make sure you keep your weight within healthy limits. You can still take regular exercise with rosacea if you are sensible without triggering a flare up.
8. Protect yourself from extreme weather. Whether inside or outside – extremes of cold, driving wind, snow and rain, cause changes in the body which can provoke rosacea flare ups. Wrap up well in severe cold, wind and rain or stay inside.
Use high factor sun block. It’s even more important for rosacea sufferers to protect skin from UV rays. Find the best non irritating sunscreen you can afford, cover up in the sun, protect your eyes with large lensed sun specs and stay in the shade.
9. Watch what you eat. Most rosacea sufferers find that certain foods act as triggers for a flare up. Monitor what you eat in your rosacea diary over a six month period and you will discover the foods that trigger your rosacea and you can eliminate them from your diet.
10. Use the best rosacea skin care Skin redness and sensitivity makes you even more anxious about what you put on your face – but your skin needs even more tender loving care if you are going to avoid the signs of aging and deal with your rosacea. The first step is to be scrupulous about hygiene at all times and follow a consistent skin care regimen using specialist products that work for you.
Following these tips doesn’t guarantee you’ll be free of flare ups but proper rosacea care will help reduce them and make them less severe.