What’s Triggering Your Rosacea?

Rosacea is a common skin condition. Anyone can get it, but it’s most commonly diagnosed in light-skinned women over age 30. Rosacea is a condition in which blood vessels dilate to cause facial redness and swelling.

It’s not clear what causes rosacea, but treatment can minimize the redness and discomfort. If you think you might have rosacea, turn to Oswald Mikell, MD, and our team at Dermatology Associates of the Lowcountry for expert rosacea care.

Finding out what’s triggering your flare-ups is a key part of finding a successful treatment plan. In this blog, Dr. Mikell discusses some of the things that can trigger rosacea flare-ups.

Rosacea triggers

A number of things can trigger rosacea symptoms, including the following:

Sun exposure

Not only can the sun’s ultraviolet light damage the skin, cause sunburn, and lead to premature aging, but it can also trigger rosacea symptoms.

If you have rosacea, even a few minutes of sun exposure may cause flushing and redness. The best way to minimize skin damage from the sun and reduce rosacea outbreaks is to wear sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher every day.


Extreme temperatures — both hot and cold — can trigger rosacea flare-ups. Windy conditions and high humidity can also irritate the skin.

You can’t control the weather, but you can prepare for the conditions before you head outside. In the fall and winter, wear a scarf and hat to protect your face from the cold, windy conditions. In the spring and summer, wear a hat and seek shade as much as possible.


Because the condition affects the skin, many people assume that rosacea triggers are always external. However, what you put inside your body can cause rosacea flare-ups, too.

Alcohol and hot beverages, such as coffee and tea, may make your rosacea worse. Furthermore, spicy foods and hot foods may raise your body’s temperature and make your skin flush.

High-intensity workouts and stress

Vigorous exercise increases a person’s body temperature, and the resulting facial redness can continue long after the workout. Furthermore, high levels of emotional stress can increase rosacea outbreaks.

While physical exercise is important, you don’t have to participate in high-intensity workouts to get all the health benefits. Choose low-impact activities and monitor your exertion levels. And finding healthy ways to manage emotional stress — such as taking quiet time, reducing the number of obligations you have, and going to counseling — may all help minimize rosacea flare-ups.

Treating rosacea

Dr. Mikell and our team take a holistic approach to treating rosacea. Dr. Mikell will evaluate your health and lifestyle to identify possible triggers. Along with the common triggers listed above, he’ll also assess any medications that could be dilating your blood vessels, and he’ll also assess any skincare products that could be causing irritation.

Many people with rosacea find relief with a combination of treatments. Dr. Mikell may prescribe a topical cream to constrict your blood vessels, and he may also prescribe antibiotics, particularly for bad flare-ups. He’ll also discuss lifestyle changes that may help you reduce flare-ups.

With the right treatment, you can keep your rosacea symptoms under control. To learn more, book an appointment over the phone with Dermatology Associates of the Lowcountry today.

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