You can take steps to prevent your symptoms of rosacea from flaring up.
Avoiding known triggers can help reduce the severity and frequency of your rosacea symptoms. To establish what is triggering your symptoms, you could keep a diary of your daily activities to record their impact on your symptoms.
Advice about how to avoid some of the common triggers of rosacea is explained below.
As sunlight is the most commonly reported trigger of rosacea, it is recommended that you use sunscreen every day, even on overcast days.
A sunscreen cream with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30 is recommended. Using sunscreens specifically designed for children may help reduce any irritation to your skin.
During the summer months, minimise your exposure to the sun, particularly in the middle of the day when the sun is at its hottest. However, remember that the sun can also be very strong in the morning and evening, so you will need to take adequate precautions at these times as well.
To reduce your exposure to the sun:
- regularly apply sunscreen to your skin
- wear a wide-brimmed hat
After sunlight, stress is the second most reported trigger of rosacea. Successfully managing your stress levels can help control your rosacea symptoms.
You can reduce stress by:
- taking regular exercise
- eating a healthy, balanced diet
- getting the right amount of sleep
As strenuous exercise can trigger an outbreak of rosacea, a low-intensity exercise programme, such as walking or swimming, may be better than high-intensity activities, such as running or aerobics.
You may also want to try some relaxation techniques, such as:
- deep breathing exercises
See the Live Well section about Stress management for more information about coping with and reducing stress.
Food and drink
The most commonly reported food- and drink-related triggers are alcohol and spicy foods. You may want to completely remove these from your diet to see if your rosacea improves.
However, there are many other dietary triggers that can adversely affect some people with rosacea. Include information about how your diet affects your rosacea symptoms in your rosacea diary.
Covering your face and nose with a scarf can help protect your skin from cold temperatures and wind.
If you need to spend considerable time outside during cold weather, you can protect your face with a balaclava.
The advice below about skincare techniques may also help control your rosacea symptoms:
- Do not rub, scrub or massage your face. Doing so can irritate your skin.
- Use a moisturiser to soothe your skin if it feels sore.
- Do not use oil-based make-up, scented soaps, alcohol-based skin cleansers or other facial or hair products that contain ingredients that might irritate your skin, such as alcohol and fragrances.
- Look for products that are suitable for sensitive skin or non-comedogenic (will not block pores and cause spots).
- Gently clean your skin every morning and evening using a gentle, non-abrasive cleanser.
- Rinse your face with lukewarm water and allow your skin to dry thoroughly before you apply any medication or make-up.
- Men may find that using an electric razor, rather than a blade, helps reduce skin irritation.
- Do not use steroid cream unless you are specifically instructed to by your GP. It may make your symptoms worse.