7 Ways to Manage Rosacea

Rosacea is a common, long-term skin disease that affects more than an estimated 16 million Americans. The condition may produce persistent redness, or flushing; acne; and visible blood vessels in the center of the face. What's more, these symptoms can eventually spread to the cheeks, forehead, chin, and nose.

The cause of rosacea is unknown, and there's currently no cure for the disease, but a professional dermatologist can recommend treatments that can help to control your symptoms. In addition, these lifestyle guidelines may minimize rosacea flare-ups:

1. Avoid rubbing, scrubbing, or massaging facial skin.

Aggressive cleaning may irritate your skin. Use a light hand, and look for gentle cleansers, moisturizers, sunscreens, and other facial products.

2. Monitor food and beverage intake.

Keeping track of your flare-ups may help identify triggers that cause rosacea symptoms. Some people with rosacea find that they have to reduce or eliminate their intake of alcohol and hot spices, such as white and black pepper, red pepper, paprika, and cayenne. It may also help to reduce the temperature of hot beverages such as coffee, tea, and cocoa.

3. Exercise in moderation.

Intense exercise can cause rosacea flare-ups in some people, due to increased blood flow to the face or overheating. Avoid heavy exercise, and try shorter, more frequent workouts. Wear clothing that breathes, such as cotton, and keep a spray bottle with cool water available.

4. Avoid extreme temperatures.

Steer clear of hot baths and showers, as well as extremely cold weather, all of which can irritate the skin and cause flare-ups.

5. Talk to a dermatologist.

Talk to a health-care provider or dermatologist about your symptoms. If you have rosacea, he or she can help you to create a treatment plan. Keep in mind that certain medical conditions, such as menopausal hot flashes, fevers, and systemic diseases, can also cause flushing and trigger flare-ups. A medical professional can help determine the cause of your symptoms.

6. Reduce the emotional stress of rosacea.

It's normal to feel self-conscious about the changes rosacea may cause to skin, but this can be reduced in several ways. First, get medical treatment to keep the condition under control. Second, make lifestyle changes to reduce flare-ups. Finally, apply makeup to hide blemishes, tiny blood vessels, and redness. Green-tinted makeup may work best.

7. Minimize exposure to the sun.

Protect skin from UV rays by applying sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher and wearing protective clothing, such as long-sleeve shirts, long pants, and a wide-brimmed hat. Try to avoid being outdoors during the middle of the day, when the sun's rays are the strongest.