Anyone who has rosacea knows how disrupting a flare-up is to everyday life. And you don’t know when a flare-up will happen. Actively managing your rosacea will reduce the impact of these flare-ups and let you keep on going.
Rosacea varies substantially from one person to another. It can even vary from one flare-up to the next on the same person. That means that any rosacea management plan must be tailored to the symptoms that appear during a particular flare-up.
A management plan for rosacea needs to have three elements. Each one helps keep the effect of this condition from disrupting life too much.
Long-term medical therapy
Experts have identified four subtypes of rosacea. During any one flare-up, a person may experience one or more of these subtypes simultaneously. The medical therapies available address each subtype individually:
- Facial redness – The first line of treatment is skin care and cosmetic use. In cases where redness becomes very prominent or blood vessels appear on the skin surface, laser or pulse light therapy can reduce the appearance. In specific conditions, the doctor may recommend certain drugs to keep flushing to a minimum.
- Bumps and pimples – Doctors have several medication options to help treat these bumps and pimples. They often prescribe oral and topical medications to get it under control, and ongoing use of the topical medication to keep it in remission. In more severe cases, the doctor may recommend oral antibiotics and other medications.
- Skin thickening – Mainly seen in men, this condition usually appears prominently on the nose. In mild cases, medications often help. When the thickening worsens, surgery may be necessary to remove the excess tissue. There are several surgical methods available.
- Eye irritation – In mild to moderate cases, doctors recommend eye drops, antibiotics, and special cleanings. In more severe cases, the doctor may recommend a visit to the ophthalmologist for specialized treatment.
Avoiding flare-up triggers
Various lifestyle and environmental factors can trigger a rosacea flare-up. These triggers can vary from person to person. It is important to know what your triggers are and learn how to avoid them. Here are a list of common triggers:
- Certain foods like liver, some dairy products, soy products, avocados, spinach, citrus fruits, and spicy foods, among many others
- Any alcohol beverage along with hot beverages like coffee and tea
- Stress and anxiety
- Strong wind, high humidity, or deep cold
- Becoming overheated due to sun exposure, using a sauna, taking a hot bath, or simply getting too hot
- Certain medications like vasodilators and topical steroids
- Heavy physical exertion
Doing appropriate skin care and using the right products
Taking care of your skin is part of managing rosacea. Your skin care routine should be consistent yet gentle. You need to use care in selecting skin care products as well as cosmetics. The wrong ingredients can cause new flare-ups and aggravate existing ones. When selecting products, avoid these top irritants:
- witch hazel
Before trying any new product, test it first. Try a bit on the neck and see if it causes any problems. If there is a problem, note the ingredients and do not use it. And finally, it is always best to avoid using too much of any cosmetic or skin care product. Select products that do multiple functions.
Rosacea is not a condition that can be cured or put into permanent remission. It requires long-term management and ongoing monitoring to keep it from interrupting life too much. By taking an active stance in rosacea management, you can keep your life going without worry.