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Avoid These Rosacea Triggers

Avoid These Rosacea Triggers

Rosacea is a skin condition that makes facial skin flushed and irritated. It causes visible blood vessels, and in severe cases, small, pus-filled bumps.

Experts aren’t sure what causes rosacea, but treatment can help reduce skin irritation and minimize flare-ups. If you think you might have rosacea, Oswald Mikell, MD, and our team at Dermatology Associates of the Lowcountry can diagnose your condition. 

Although there’s no cure, identifying your rosacea triggers is the first step to relieving your symptoms. Here are some of the most common rosacea triggers, and why you should avoid them.

Dietary rosacea triggers

The foods and drinks you consume could be worsening your rosacea. Common dietary rosacea triggers include:


Alcohol can dilate your blood vessels, making your face flushed and red. If you have rosacea, alcohol can exacerbate your symptoms. Consider limiting your alcohol intake, including wine, beer, champagne, and hard liquor.

Hot drinks

Hot drinks can raise your body temperature. If you have rosacea, consuming hot beverages, such as coffee or tea, may contribute to rosacea flare-ups. Avoiding hot beverages can reduce your symptoms.

Spicy foods

Many spicy foods contain capsaicin, a chemical that provides flavor and heat. However, capsaicin can make your skin warm and red. In fact, spicy foods make symptoms worse in up to 75% of people with rosacea. Try avoiding spicy peppers, hot sauce, and other spicy foods if you notice that they cause rosacea flare-ups. 

Environmental rosacea triggers

Your skin is constantly exposed to your environment, and having rosacea can make your skin more sensitive to changes. Common environmental rosacea triggers include:

Extreme temperatures

Both hot and cold weather can irritate skin and trigger rosacea flare-ups. Rapid temperature changes — such as going into a warm building after being outside in the winter — can also cause flare-ups. To protect your skin, avoid extreme temperatures and cover up when it’s cold.


The sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays can cause sunburn and skin cancer, so it’s no surprise that it can also make rosacea worse. Avoid sun exposure in the middle of the day, when the sun is at its strongest. And remember to wear sunscreen, and consider wearing a hat to protect your face even more.


Harsh winds can irritate the blood vessels in the face and worsen rosacea symptoms. While any strong winds can cause symptoms, cold winter winds are particularly problematic. Wear a scarf when outside or stay in on windy days.

Other common rosacea triggers

Besides diet and environment, some other factors are also linked to rosacea flare-ups. These include:


If you have rosacea, you may be sensitive to cosmetics with certain ingredients. Cosmetics include skin care products, hair care products, makeup, and other products that come near your face. Consider switching to fragrance-free and gentle products to calm rosacea symptoms. 


Exercising is important for your general well-being, but vigorous exercise can worsen rosacea. Hard workouts elevate your body temperature, dilate your blood vessels, and can contribute to facial redness. Try low-impact activities to maintain a lower body temperature and minimize exercise-induced rosacea.


Certain medications can dilate your blood vessels. If you have rosacea, you might find that these medications make your symptoms worse. But although some medications can worsen rosacea, never stop taking a prescription without talking to your doctor first.

There are many possible causes of rosacea, and Dr. Mikell can help you determine which triggers affect you the most. He’ll work with you to identify your triggers so you can manage them and control your rosacea flare-ups.

Depending on the severity of your condition, Dr. Mikell may also prescribe a topical cream to constrict blood vessels or an antibiotic to control inflammation. Together, he can help you develop a comprehensive plan to reduce rosacea discomfort and redness. 

To learn more about controlling your rosacea, book an appointment over the phone with Dermatology Associates of the Lowcountry today. We have offices in Beaufort, Hilton Head, and Okatie, South Carolina.

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