1. Avoid or limit external triggers.
As I’ve mentioned, rosacea flare-ups are caused by both internal and external triggers, so eliminating or reducing these is extremely important to keep your skin calm. The most common external triggers include the following:
Sun exposure: While the sun’s UV rays can cause much damage to skin and worsen rosacea, the damage to blood vessels throughout the face is the most serious concern—often causing mild rosacea sufferers to progress quickly into the moderate-to-severe stages. It’s worth noting that even short-term exposure of 20 to 30 minutes can worsen a rosacea flare-up.
Windy, cold, dry weather: These are brutal stressors on the skin and can easily escalate even the mildest case of rosacea.
Saunas and hot baths or showers: Though these are quite enjoyable, the prolonged contact with heat will further dilate capillaries and aggravate rosacea.
Cosmetics and skincare: Especially those containing alcohol, sulfates, menthol, fragrance, or other known skin irritants.
2. Reduce internal triggers.
Internal triggers are just as detrimental (if not more) as external. Things like stress and anxiety are known to heat up the skin, while things like alcohol are going to cause instant flushing. The most common internal triggers include the following:
Stress and anxiety: These are the top internal triggers for rosacea flare-ups. Stress distorts the body’s ability to monitor and control proper function. Any pre-existing conditions are often made worse by prolonged stress.
Alcohol: Alcohol dilates blood vessels, which will make a red face look redder. Red wine also contains chemicals called tyramines—a compound that dilates vessels even more. Close to 90% of rosacea patients who have limited their alcohol consumption have reported a reduction in the frequency of flare-ups.
Spicy food: Sriracha and other spicy foods cause flushing and dilation of capillaries, which amplifies a rosacea condition.
Medication: Certain medications throw your body off balance, which in turn can cause flare-ups. Topical steroids are the worst culprit, according to Sonya, as they thin the skin, as well as any medication that dilates blood vessels. Some blood pressure medications and painkillers can also trigger rosacea.