What Are Rosacea Triggers?

What are rosacea triggers?

What are rosacea triggers you want to avoid to gain control of your rosacea? There are many rosacea triggers and you want to specifically identify yours to prevent a flare-up.

Rosacea gets worse when your complexion is exposed to:

  1. things that increase the capillary blood flow in your skin, or
  2. things that irritate the fragile skin-barrier that characterizes rosacea-prone complexions. 

This is because two of the key characteristics of rosacea are an abnormal skin vascular response and skin-barrier fragility.

For over 30 years, I have treated rosacea-prone complexions, and there are many factors that cause rosacea triggers. - Dermatologist Dr. Cynthia Bailey

A number of them increase during the fall and winter which are high risk times for a rosacea flare-up. Others happen year-round.

Dermatologist's Tips on Rosacea Triggers to Avoid to Prevent Flare-Ups

what are rosacea trigger factors?

Classic, rosacea trigger-factors include:

  • consuming alcoholic beverages,
  • drinking hot beverages,
  • eating spicy foods,
  • being in hot environments (such as running indoor heat or sitting in a sauna).

Interestingly, a recent scientific study showed that drinking caffeinated coffee is somewhat helpful for rosacea, while other hot and/or caffeinated beverages are not. 

Triggers that cause facial capillaries to flush can be rosacea triggers.

Many people suffering from rosacea find that anything that causes their skin to flush will also trigger rosacea. The term for this is vasodilation; when the skin’s capillary network vasodilates and more blood flows to the facial skin, rosacea gets triggered. Examples of vasodilating rosacea triggers include:

  • Alcohol, spicy foods, exposure to hot environments, and strenuous exercise all cause skin vasodilation and all can trigger rosacea.
  • Menopause is associated with worse rosacea, and anyone who has gone through it knows that the "hot flashes" are associated with flushing and vasodilation.

Weather that triggers rosacea

Extremes in weather, such as strong wind and cold, will trigger rosacea. Sun and humidity can aggravate rosacea. Heat causes vasodilation. Wind and cold may also, but these cause additional skin-irritation by damaging the fragile, rosacea skin-barrier.

Some skin care products and procedures can trigger rosacea.

harsh skin care products that can trigger rosacea

Harsh skin-care products will trigger rosacea through irritation of the fragile rosacea skin-barrier. Products such as

  • alpha hydroxy acids,
  • retinoids,
  • rubbing alcohol,
  • acid face peels, and,
  • other skin irritants such as some essential oils, strong soaps etc.

These all seep readily into a rosacea-prone barrier compromised complexion and cause irritation. The irritation triggers rosacea.

what is the best skin care routine to heal rosacea?

In addition to trying to avoid rosacea trigger factors, you can help heal your rosacea with a skin care routine designed for rosacea. - Dermatologist Dr. Cynthia Bailey

What skin care routine will help to heal rosacea?

People with rosacea need to use a facial skin care routine that helps to restore the damaged skin barrier and fight inflammation. In my practice, my rosacea patients have seen that the right products help quiet their propensity for skin-flushing and stinging, and this in turn helps them maintain control of their rosacea. It also helps them to be less sensitive to rosacea triggers. 

the best skin care routine to heal rosacea developed by dermatologist

The best skin care routine for your rosacea-prone complexion targets the known driving factors behind rosacea. These include products that,

  • help to heal the fragile skin barrier,
  • calm inflammation,
  • address the Pityrosporum yeast that often over-grows on rosacea-prone complexions and,
  • protect facial skin from UV rays that can trigger rosacea.

All products used in a rosacea-healing skin care routine must be non-irritating to prevent triggering rosacea. I created my Rosacea Therapy Skin Care Kit to take the guess work out of the process. I give you the right rosacea-healing product options and information on how to use them.

My patients integrate their prescription rosacea-treatment medicines with these products for personalized results that fit their specific needs.

The bottom line with rosacea triggers:

Rosacea affects people in different ways. With my extensive experience treating patients, I've developed the Rosacea Therapy Skin Care Kit to help you avoid the skin care triggers and have healthier skin. When your rosacea-prone complexion is stable, it is better able to endure all the rosacea triggers with less sensitivity. My own complexion is rosacea-prone and my complexion depends on these products to stay rosacea-free - even if/when I get into some of the rosacea triggers. 

Author: Dr. Cynthia Bailey M.D. is a Board Certified dermatologist practicing dermatology since 1987. She has done well over 200,000 skin exams during her career and authors the longest running physician written skin health blog in the world.