Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

Rosacea Overview


Rosacea Triggers

A day at the beach. A walk on a blustery December day. A glass of wine. A hard day at the office. A good game of tennis. Lounging in a hot tub. Any of these things could trigger a rosacea flare-up. Fortunately, no one has to worry about every trigger; things that bother you may not cause any problems another patient with rosacea.

Rosacea triggers fall into seven categories:

  • Weather
  • Stress
  • Foods and beverages
  • Exercise
  • Bathing and cleansing
  • Medical conditions and medications
  • Skin care products

[source: National Rosacea Society]

Sun exposure is the leading trigger, causing flare-ups in 81 percent of patients, followed by emotional stress. Anything that increases blood flow to the surface of your skin is a likely trigger. Summer heat (and humidity) and winter winds can both aggravate rosacea, as can a sauna or even an overly warm room.

Vigorous exercise brings on a flare-up for more than half of rosacea sufferers. Experts suggest bringing down the intensity of your exercise routine. Try exercising several times a day for short periods instead of getting it all done in one session. Water aerobics is a good way to exercise without overheating. You can also suck on ice cubes, which will bring down your facial temperature, mist yourself with water or drape a damp towel around your neck. These tips work for any heat-related situation, whether it's outdoor activity or an intense cooking session in your kitchen.

Minimizing your exposure to triggers is one powerful way to get the upper hand with your rosacea -- 96 percent of rosacea sufferers reported a reduction in flare-ups when they avoided known triggers [source: National Society Rosacea]. It's not the only weapon in your arsenal, however. You have numerous effective medical options available, too. Read on to find out what they are.


More to Explore