Rosacea Awareness Month: 4 Steps to Manage Rosacea

April 2024

Rosacea Awareness Month with Dr. Reimer and Dr. Polster of Optima Dermatology

Rosacea Awareness Month: 4 Steps to Manage Rosacea

We’re back with another Derm Deep Dive, a series where we provide expert advice from our team of board-certified dermatologists about common skin conditions and treatment options. For Rosacea Awareness Month, we’re collaborating with Dr. Amy Polster and Dr. Meredith Reimer on how to manage this skin condition.

If You Have Rosacea, Here’s What You Should Know

Rosacea has a reputation as simply being facial redness, but it is more complicated than that. Importantly, rosacea is a chronic condition that can cause noticeable inflammation on the cheeks, nose, chin, forehead, or eyelids, which can then lead to redness, broken blood vessels, swelling, pimples, or pustules.

The National Rosacea Society reports that rosacea affects about 16 million Americans. While there is no known cause or cure for this chronic condition, it can be successfully managed and controlled with the right treatment plan.

Rosacea Awareness Month is an important time for us to remind everyone suffering from this common skin condition that you aren’t alone and there is help out there! Here are 4 simple steps to help manage your rosacea.

STEP 1: Identify Potential Triggers

The first step is to work with your dermatologist to identify what might be triggering your rosacea. Triggers can include any of the following:

  • Sun exposure
  • Hot or cold weather conditions, including humidity or indoor heat
  • Hot baths, showers, hot tubs, or saunas
  • Heavy exercise
  • Alcohol consumption, especially red wine
  • Harsh winds
  • Emotional stressors, such as anger, anxiety, embarrassment, or general stress
  • Certain foods, including spicy foods, aged cheeses, dairy products, and some chocolates
  • Hot drinks, including coffee and tea

STEP 2: Create a Management Plan with Your Dermatologist

Second, your dermatologist will provide guidelines to help determine the best ways to manage your specific triggers. When it comes to triggers that exist in your everyday life, there are some best practice lifestyle changes that can help alleviate symptoms:

  • On hot, sunny days, seek out shade, wear protective clothing, and use sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher
  • Protect your face and neck from cold weather, especially harsh winds
  • Try to manage emotional stress through deep breathing exercises, meditation, or calming, relaxing activities like yoga or simply reading a book.
  • Keep showers short to avoid overheating. If exercising, recognize when it’s time to take a break and drink water, and keep cold water on hand.
  • Choose white wine instead of red if alcohol is a trigger, or try to avoid alcohol and opt for a mocktail or water.

Rosacea may be caused by triggers that are harder to pinpoint, or it may not be responsive to lifestyle changes. In addition to lifestyle changes, there are other treatment options your dermatologist may consider, including:

  • Topical medications
  • Oral antibiotics
  • Laser treatments to treat broken blood vessels on the face, such as VBeam®

STEP 3: Give it Time

It’s important to remember that because rosacea is a chronic condition, symptoms won’t alleviate right away. Additionally, every patient is different, and the dermatologists at Optima Dermatology recognize that what works for one of our patients may not work for another.

The right treatment plan could take time to identify. We may have to try a few different therapies before we find one that works for your specific form of rosacea. Patients should allow up to 12 weeks for a treatment plan to do its job. Time to remission may vary – and therefore, patience is key.  

STEP 4: Stay Consistent

If you’re trying to eat healthier, having a vegetable with dinner one time won’t do much for your overall health. Making any kind of lasting impact requires consistency and a dedicated effort. To truly prevent flare ups – or at least minimize their frequency and severity – you need to be consistent with your treatment and not just treat your rosacea during flare ups.

It can be frustrating to have to wait for results, especially when dealing with an issue that impacts your appearance. However, rosacea treatment takes time and commitment. Improving a skin condition is part of our overall health and wellness, just like eating more vegetables. Consistency and patience will generate better results.

If you’re dealing with signs and symptoms of rosacea and need help identifying triggers and developing a treatment plan, our team of expert dermatology providers are here to help. Request an appointment today!