How to Reduce Rosacea

Three Methods:Limiting Triggers Through Lifestyle ChangesChanging Your DietUsing Medical Treatments

Rosacea (pronounced "rose-ay-sha") is a condition that is characterized by redness, pimples, and sometimes even thickened skin. Although rosacea doesn't have a cure, you can make some changes to your lifestyle to help reduce the appearance of the disease. In addition, your doctor can prescribe you medications to decrease your flareups.

Method 1
Limiting Triggers Through Lifestyle Changes

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    Limit your time in the sun. Sunlight is one trigger that can make rosacea worse. If you must be out in the sun, be sure to use a high-SPF sunblock, one built for sensitive skin, to help protect your face.[1]
    • Choose a sunscreen that is at or above 30 SPF. Also, look for the words "broad spectrum," which means it protects against different types of rays.[2]
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    Limit weather exposure. It's not just the sun that can trigger rosacea flareups; other types of weather can be harmful, too. For instance, if it's hot and humid, it's best to stay inside with air conditioner where it's cool and dry. In the winter, cover your face and nose with a scarf to protect yourself against the cold wind and apply an gentle moisturizer to your face daily to help with dry skin.[3]
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    Lower the heat on your showers. Hot water, whether in the tub or shower, can also make you flush worse than normal with your rosacea. Also, it's important to be gentle when scrubbing your face, as you can aggravate your condition.[4]
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    Pick a gentle facial cleanser. A gentle facial cleanser won't trigger flareups, and it is fine to use even when you are having a flareup. Pick ones that say they are made for sensitive skin. For instance, cleansers made by Dove or Cetaphil are often made for those with sensitive skin.[5]
    • Clean your face twice a day, as it helps remove dirt, makeup, and oil that can aggravate your condition.[6]
    • For facial hair, it's best to use an electric blade rather than a razor, as it's less harsh.[7]
    • Dry thoroughly. That is, you should give your face time to dry out before trying to apply anything to it and then give the medication time to dry.[8]
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    Take a breather. Stress can trigger flareups for many people, so limiting stress or learning how to deal with it can help decrease your problems with rosacea.[9] In fact, many people found that using techniques such as meditation helped them control their flareups.[10]
    • For instance, you can use deep breathing to calm yourself down when you feel yourself getting stressed. Close your eyes, and focus on your breathing. Count to 10 as you breathe in, and then count to 10 as you breathe out. Keep this process going until you feel yourself calm down.[11]
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    Skip creams, cleansers, and foundations that have irritants. Anything can trigger a flareup for a person with rosacea, including any product you put on your face. Skip ones that don't say they are for sensitive skin, and don't use ones that have alcohol in them.[12]
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    Change your exercising habits. High-intensity exercise that makes you sweat heavily for a long time can contribute to rosacea. Of course, you don't want to stop exercising altogether, as it helps you stay healthy, but you should take some steps to protect yourself.[13]
    • Break it up. Go for shorter routines, say about 15 minutes, rather than hour-long workouts.[14]
    • Try to stay cool. Part of the problem is the heat, so exercise at cooler times and in cooler areas. Swimming may be a good option for you to beat the heat.[15]

Method 2
Changing Your Diet

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    Limit alcohol. Many people who have rosacea have flareups triggered by alcohol. When you drink, check to see if that causes a flareup. You may find that certain alcohol beverages are worse than others for you. Limit the ones that cause flareups.[16]
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    Skip spicy foods. For some people, eating spicy foods, such as chili peppers, cayenne pepper, and even black pepper or paprika, can trigger an outbreak of rosacea. Try using other flavors instead of these spicy ones in your favorite foods.[17]
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    Avoid hot beverages. Some people see an increase in rosacea across their face after consuming hot beverages. If you notice this problem for yourself, you may need to start avoiding hot drinks altogether to keep your rosacea under control.[18]
    • You may be able to just lower the temperature of your drinks (from blazing hot to lukewarm) or decrease the number you drink per day to help your rosacea.[19]
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    Watch for individual food triggers. Everyone has different triggers when it comes to rosacea. Try to pay attention to the foods you eat to see if you can figure out what triggers flareups for you.[20]
    • For example, triggers from sour cream and yogurt to chocolate, oranges, and soy sauce have been reported by people who suffer from rosacea, as well as avocado, vinegar, eggplant, and spinach.[21]
    • Some people have also had issues with histamine-loaded foods, which may be counteracted by taking an antihistamine 2 hours before a meal, and niacin-high foods, which may be helped by consuming aspirin.[22]

Method 3
Using Medical Treatments

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    Try antibiotics. Antibiotics have been shown to offer some help for those with rosacea. Your doctor may prescribe you antibiotics in one of several forms, such a cream, gel, or a tablet. Because pills affect the whole body, your doctor will likely want you to try a cream, gel, or lotion first, as you just apply these topically to your face.[23]
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    Ask about acne drugs. Acne drugs mainly work to clear up rosacea if it is particularly bad. That is, these drugs primarily help if you've developed lesions from your rosacea, much like acne scars. Isotretinoin is a common drug for this use.[24]
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    Ask surgery options. Laser surgery and electrosurgery is an option if you have severe scars. It can help reduce the look of blood vessels under your skin, as well as take down any build up of tissue to help your overall look.[25]
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    Consider light therapy. A new technique being used to control rosacea is light therapy. Light therapy uses intense light pulses on your face, and it may lessen the redness of your face.[26]
    • However, research is still being done on this treatment for rosacea.[27]


  • To reduce redness caused by rosacea, you can try green-tinted makeup, which should counteract the effect of the redness.

Sources and Citations

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Article Info

Categories: Skin Conditions