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Rosacea Triggers

By Dr Ananya Mandal, MD

Rosacea is a chronic skin condition characterized by redness and flushing of the face. However, patients can remain in a relatively symptom-free state if they avoid exposure to certain factors known to exacerbate symptoms and cause "flare-ups".

These triggers include lifestyle and environmental factors and may be unique to each individual. However, many are common to all rosacea patients and include, among others:

  • Certain foods:

    Dairy products, chocolate, spicy foods, soy sauce, vanilla, vinegar, yeast, liver, avocado, spinach, eggplant, broad leaf beans, tomatoes, bananas, citrus fruits, raisins, figs, red plums, histamine-rich foods and hot foods.

  • Certain drinks or beverages:

    Red wine, gin, champagne, vodka, beer, bourbon, cider, hot chocolate, coffee or tea.

  • Extreme temperature and weather:

    Extreme heat, saunas, hot baths, strong winds, excess humidity, cold weather, excess sun or sun lamps.

  • Medications:

    Topically applied steroid creams, vasodilators, blood pressure pills and cholesterol controlling drugs.

  • Medical conditions:

    The menopause, a propensity to flush excessively, caffeine withdrawal syndrome and the chronic cough.

  • Emotional changes:

    Stress, anger, embarrassment, or anxiety.

  • Cosmetics:

    Cosmetics containing fragrances, alcohol, hydro-alcohol, acetone or witch hazel.

Trigger avoidance

Trigger factors vary from patient to patient so each individual needs to identify which particular factors are likely to induce their own flare-up response.

Rosacea patients are therefore often asked to maintain a diary documenting any trigger factors they were exposed to before a flare-up of symptoms.

Since there is no known cure for rosacea, the identification and avoidance of triggers forms the most important approach to minimizing any negative impact of the condition.

Reviewed by , BSc

Further Reading

Last Updated: Sep 22, 2013

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