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Rosacea Awareness Series Part 3: Living with Rosacea: Flare-Up Prevention

This month, Price Skin Care Clinic joins the National Rosacea Society’s annual awareness campaign, highlighting the chronic facial disorder known as ‘rosacea’ (prononed ‘rose-AY-sha).

More than 16 million Americans suffer from this skin condition, which can result in feelings of frustration and embarrassment, low self-esteem, work-related problems, anxiety and even depression.

“The good news is that with treatment and patient education, those who suffer from rosacea can reduce the effects of this skin condition and enjoy a higher quality of life,” says Richard Price, M.D, of Price Skin Care Clinic of Ridgeland, MS.

In Part 3 of this series, we discuss treatment options and tips to prevent rosacea flare-ups.

Rosacea Treatment Options
Depending on the subtype of rosacea, (see related article) your doctor may prescribe a topical skin care regimen as well as oral medication to treat your rosacea.

Laser treatments can also improve the redness and discoloration caused by rosacea.

Flare-Up Prevention Tips
Although medicine and laser treatments can be effective treatment options for rosacea, there are steps you can take to reduce the likelihood of flare-ups.

Those include:
• Identify triggers
• Practice 24/7 skin protection
• Practice rosacea-friendly skin care
• Reduce stress
• Avoid overheating
• Reconsider hot beverages

Identify Triggers
The first step in flare-up control is to identify the habits that trigger your rosacea and use that information to reduce flare-ups.

Common triggers that can result in rosacea outbreaks include:
• Alcohol
• Spicy foods
• Sun exposure
• Warm weather physical activities
• Certain skin care products
• Getting overheated
• Cold wind

It’s important to pay careful attention to your lifestyle, especially in these areas. If you notice a flare-up, try to identify a recent behavior that may have caused it and ty to avoid that behavior in the future.

Practice 24/7 Sun Protection
Those with rosacea are often very sensitive to the sun and should protect their skin at all times by:
• Applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF 30 (or higher) when outdoors.
• Avoid sun exposure between 10:00 am and 3:00 pm.
• Seek shade when outdoors
• Wear a wide-brimmed hat when outdoors to protect the face and neck from the sun
• Wear sun-protective clothing and sunglasses

Note: If sunscreen irritates your skin, try using one that contains only titanium oxide and zinc oxide.

Practice Rosacea-Friendly Skin Care
Skin care products can irritate skin with rosacea and cause flare-ups. Even scrubbing your skin too aggressively can cause a flare-up. It’s important to use mild skin care products, soft cloths or sponges and be gentle when cleaning skin.

Reduce Stress
If stress causes your rosacea to flare-up, you can learn to manage it so that it doesn’t.

Here are a few stress-reduction ideas:
• Choose a stress-reducing activity and do it often. Common stress busters include tai chi, meditation, or joining a rosacea support group.
• Do something that you enjoy on a daily basis.
• In stressful moments, learn to take a deep breath, hold it, and exhale slowly.

Avoid Overheating
To avoid getting too hot, here are some steps you can take:
• Instead of hot baths and shower, take warm one
• Dress in layers and remove clothing if you get hot
• Put a cold, wet cloth around your neck if you start to feel hot
• Sip a cold drink.
• Keep cool with a fan or air-conditioning.
• Keep your distance from fireplaces, heaters, and other heat sources.

Reconsider Hot Beverages
Studies show that even the heat from hot beverages such as coffee or tea can cause a flare-up. If you notice a flare-up after drinking something hot let your beverage cool down some or try substituting hot for cold – such as iced coffee or tea.

In Summary
Rosacea can be treated with medication or lasers, but as the old saying goes, ‘an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.’

You can take personal responsibility for preventing flare-ups when you:
• Identify triggers
• Avoid the sun’s harmful rays
• Practice rosacea-friendly skin care
• Reduce stress
• Avoid overheating
• And reconsider hot beverages

If you have questions about your rosacea or that of a loved one, you can make an appointment with Dr. Price by calling 601-992-3996.

This article is the final part of a three-part Rosacea awareness series. If you missed the first two parts of this series, you can find them here:

Rosacea Awareness Series Part 1: Causes & Effects

Rosacea Awareness Series Part 2: Subtypes and Diagnosis

Rosacea Awareness Series Part 2: Subtypes and Diagnosis

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