If you have rosacea, it is important to visit your dermatologist. He or she should be able to prescribe a medicated cream or wash to help keep the redness, irritation, and breakouts under control. However, for many patents, medication alone won't get rid of rosacea symptoms completely. You can experience greater relief by also implementing some of these lifestyle changes.
Stay out of the sun.
Perhaps you used to enjoy laying out in the sun or playing all day on the beach, but if you want to keep your rosacea under control, you'll have to amend these habits. Sun exposure can trigger rosacea flare-ups and also make your day-to-day dryness and redness worse.
To reduce your sun exposure, invest in a big, shady umbrella that you can hold over your body when you have to walk a long distance outside or spend time sitting in the sun. Putting on sunscreen can also help, but make sure you choose a sunscreen that won't make matters worse. Rosacea patients are advised to use products that contain microfine zinc rather than zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. Preservative-free sunscreens are also less likely to cause flare-ups.
Say "no" to spicy foods.
Spicy foods are a rosacea trigger for so many patients. This does not mean you can never have your favorite foods again -- you just have to find new ways to enjoy them. For example, instead of ordering spicy Buffalo wings, try ordering barbecue or garlic-flavored wings. Make your own tacos at home, and season them with an onion-garlic sauce instead of a pepper-based one.
Limit your alcohol intake.
Some people find that they have a flare-up after drinking any quantity of alcohol, while others find that their skin only reacts if they have more than a drink or two. You may have to do a little experimenting with this to figure out where your limit lies. Once you know how much you can drink without triggering a flare-up, that should be your upper limit. It might be zero drinks, or it might be three. Here are a few tips to help you stick to your limit:
- When you go out drinking with friends, ask the bartender for a glass of water with some fruit added. It will look like you're drinking an alcoholic beverage, so you don't have to answer to friends who keep asking why you're not drinking.
- Dilute your mixed drinks with another part of soda or water to make each one last longer.
- If you prefer to drink wine, pick a drier wine rather than a sweeter one. You'll naturally sip it more slowly.
Cover your face when you go out in the cold.
Cold air can also trigger flare-ups in many rosacea patients. Thankfully, this is easy to avoid. Invest in a big, fluffy scarf, and wrap it around your face and head before you step out into the cold. Only your eyes should be peeking out! Once you get into the habit of this, you should have fewer rosacea breakouts in the winter months.
Cool down your shower temperature.
Hot showers might feel good while you're in there, but you'll pay for it with red, itchy skin when you get out. Get into the habit of taking slightly warm showers instead of hot ones. The same goes for baths. Shower quickly rather than lingering in there and singing for hours, since long periods of exposure to water at any temperature may be irritating. If you tend to take showers that are too long, try setting a timer for 5 minutes before you get in. Then, hurry to finish before the timer goes off.
Every case of rosacea is different. It may take you some time to get used to these lifestyle changes, but the effort will be worth it when your skin stays clearer. For more information, talk to a dermatologist from a clinic like Billings Clinic.