The worst Rosacea triggers are those that cause a sudden and heavy influx of blood to the regions of the face affected by rosacea. While there is a seemingly endless list of possible rosacea triggers, patients who understand the most common aggravators of the condition are better equipped to be able to battle the onset of rosacea and treat it with maximum efficacy.
Environmental Factors that Trigger Rosacea
- Sun exposure – ranked one of the most common among rosacea triggers, exposure to the sun seems to have the most profound effect on rosacea sufferers. When heat and ultraviolet rays contact the skin, they cause an increase in blood flow to the site of exposure. The face is rarely protected from the sun, so the increased blood flow may cause rosacea to flare.
- Stress and anxiety – the body's natural response to dangerous situations causes a host of chemical reactions that increase heart rate and circulation. Additional blood that is sent to the brain and back could force rosacea to surface.
- Heavy exercise – like stress, exercise releases chemicals and hormones that aid in the success of completing intense physical functions. To perform, muscles require a higher volume of blood and nutrient delivery, causing the circulatory system to work rapidly and pushing the symptoms of rosacea.
- Cold weather – the body experiences an automatic shrinking response of veins and arteries, called vasoconstriction, when exposed to cold. Delivery of blood to the extremities is lowered and the body begins to insulate vital parts such as organs. Your brain is one of those organs, and your face will receive an extra helping of blood when exposed to cold, which may cause your rosacea to appear.
You don't have to avoid going outside, but wearing protective clothing such as hats and sunglasses may help prevent flare-ups from direct sun exposure and reduce the body's need to heat itself in the cold. Learn stress-reducing practices to prevent chemical imbalances that lead to rosacea.
Foods that Trigger Rosacea
- Spicy food – we call spicy food hot because the capsaicin binds to the same receptors in our body that detect heat. Our bodies react to perceived heat from spicy food by working to cool the body with extra blood flow and sweat.
- Cheese – the reaction from dairy cultures remains unexplained, but products made from cow's milk, including yogurt and sour cream as well, has been identified as a fairly common trigger.
- Chocolate – sweetened or not, chocolate makes the body react with powerful chemical releases when consumed. Some of these chemicals could contribute to increased cardiovascular activity.
- Citrus Fruits – the acids in citrus fruits cause similar reactions to those of spicy foods. When the mouth is irritated by certain sensations and flavors, it may increase the presence of blood throughout the body to heighten awareness.
Keep a food journal that includes detailed information on what you eat, including herbs and spices, and how your skin reacts to the food so you have a better idea of what causes your flare-ups.
Drinks that Trigger Rosacea
- Alcohol – hard liquors and red wine are the greatest culprits among alcohol related rosacea flares. Even alcohol consumers who don't suffer from rosacea will find their faces bright red and swollen when they've had enough to drink.
- Hot drinks – tea, coffee, and even soups bring heat directly to your face and the site of rosacea. Your body will naturally react to the heat by pushing blood to the face in an attempt to sweat and cool off.
Enjoy hot beverages and alcohol in moderation if you're worried about their potential to exacerbate your rosacea. You can also enjoy tea and coffee cold or on ice as an alternative.
Drugs that Trigger Rosacea
- Vasodilators – these drugs function as blood vessel expanders and allow blood to flow more easily throughout the cardiovascular system. Once extra blood is introduced to the face, rosacea may also appear.
- Topical steroids – there are only theories and no hard data that support the manifestation of rosacea after topical steroid use. Cases are common enough that popular opinion supports a link between topical steroid use and rosacea, but the cause cannot be explained.
Talk to a physician about use of vasodilators or topical steroids if you have a history of rosacea. A healthcare professional will be able to determine how you can use medications to treat conditions simultaneously.
Additional Rosacea Activators & Treatments
Finacea Rosacea Treatment Gel
There is no exhaustive list of possible rosacea triggers that exists in the current medical science community. Rosacea sufferers have only made unverified claims as to the potency of certain triggers, and only a small amount of those have been corroborated. Additional research must be completed to learn more about the causes and triggers of rosacea. For now, treatment drugs, like Finacea, are available to help reduce the symptoms.