5 Ways to Control Rosacea

1. Avoid Your Triggers

Triggers of flushing can induce rosacea, which is a common skin disorder leading to redness and pimples on the nose, forehead, cheekbones and chin. These triggers may include hot beverages, spicy food, sun exposure, saunas, hot showers or baths, alcohol, prescription medications such as steroids, stress, weather extremes such as wind or cold, smoking, harsh soaps or cleansers and exfoliating creams. Foods may also trigger rosacea, but can vary from individual to individual. Knowing what causes your rosacea to flare up is the first step in controlling it.

2. Ask Your Dermatologist for More Effective Drug Therapy

The most effective treatments for rosacea include the use of oral antibiotics or oral acne treatments, such as low-dose oral isotertinoin (also known as Accutane). Mild cases can be treated with gels or creams such as metronidazole, which is also known as Metrocream, Metrogel or Noritate. Another option for reducing inflammation or redness is azelaic acid, sold as Azelex or Finacea. However, moderate to severe cases are best treated with a short course of oral medications, followed by maintenance creams or gels. In menopausal women with rosacea, hormone-replacement therapy may be prescribed to reduce hot flashes that can trigger rosacea-associated flushing. In severe cases, laser or electrosurgery may be recommended.

3. Use Mild Soaps, Cleansers and Lotions

Individuals with rosacea tend to be very sensitive to soaps, cleansers and lotions. Use mild products with few ingredients to help reduce occurrences. Be sure to avoid products that include alcohol or other skin irritants.

4. Reduce Your Sun Exposure

Wear a hat, slather on the sunscreen and limit your time in the sun. Choose sunscreen with a high SPF (at least 30) and stay hydrated when you’re out in the sun.

5. Seek Medical Attention for Ophthalmic Rosacea

Rosacea can affect the eyes, causing a condition that is referred to as ophthalmic rosacea. This condition is more complicated than rosacea of the nose, forehead, cheekbones or chin. Symptoms of ophthalmic rosacea include eye dryness, inflamed bumps on the lids, crusty eyelids, a burning feeling, red eyes and light sensitivity. It can become a serious condition, so seek medical attention if these symptoms occur or persist.