For many, summer is the most anticipated time of the year. Sunny, warm weather and outdoor activities make summertime desirable. However, for 14 million Americans with rosacea, summer often means dealing with flare-ups.
Rosacea is a skin condition that causes facial redness and visible blood vessels. Some people experience small, red bumps also. Rosacea flares can last for weeks to months and can cause significant frustration and distress.
Warmer months tend to cause increased flushing and trigger flares in people with rosacea. Most patients find that their symptoms are worse during the summer. If you have rosacea, there are things you can do to ward off summertime flares.
Top-quality dermatologist Yvonne Hines, MD, at Hines Dermatology Associates in Attleboro, Massachusetts, helps patients with both rare and common dermatological conditions, including rosacea. Take a moment to learn a few of our top tips for quelling rosacea flares this summer.
Warm weather and rosacea
Increased sun exposure during warm months is a major trigger for rosacea flares, and so is increased physical activity. Vigorous exercise boosts blood flow, raises heart rate, and widens blood vessels, all of which can aggravate rosacea.
In fact, people with rosacea commonly report that outdoor summer activities like tennis, biking, swimming, and running are common triggers for flare-ups. Even without engaging in physical activity outdoors, the exposure to high-intensity sunlight and hot weather is enough to aggravate your facial condition.
At other times, the food or beverages consumed during popular outdoor activities like beach outings and barbecues can cause problems.
For instance, alcohol widens blood vessels and triggers the release of inflammatory substances. That’s why you may notice that you’re more likely to experience a flare-up after drinking an alcoholic beverage.
Similarly, spicy foods contain a chemical that widens blood vessels, and many people with rosacea report flares from spicy foods. Other problematic foods include tomatoes and citrus fruits. Many of these foods tend to be a mainstay at summertime outdoor gatherings.
Know your triggers
Knowing what you’re up against is one of the best ways to avoid aggravating your skin. This means understanding and avoiding your triggers. While that spicy margarita may sound like a good idea on a warm sunny day, it can spell bad news for your facial condition.
Consider your triggers and do your best to avoid them. Some common rosacea triggers include:
- Spicy foods
- Some skin care products
- Some hair care products
You may have triggers that aren’t listed here. Discuss them with Dr. Hines and find ways to avoid them.
Make some changes to your exercise habits
While high-intensity exercise is known to aggravate rosacea, exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. If you must engage in physical activity outdoors, consider lower-impact activities like yoga and walking.
It’s a good idea to consider taking up indoor physical activities if you notice your flares are worse after exercising outdoors. Racquetball and indoor tennis are just a few ideas. The sun is at its hottest and most intense from 10am to 2pm.
If you want to keep rosacea at bay during the summer, you may need to think long and hard about physical activities you enjoy that you can do indoors between these hours.
Stay cool when it’s hot out
It can’t be stressed enough that people with rosacea need to take special care in the summer to keep themselves cool when outdoors. This may mean carrying a water bottle with ice chips, a spray bottle with cold water to periodically spritz your face, or a small, handheld fan to provide a breeze while you’re out.
Follow your treatment regimen
Summer is the worst time to slack off on caring for your sensitive skin. It’s important to continue your medication therapy as prescribed and follow your dermatologist’s advice on managing your skin during the summer.
This may include avoiding certain skin care products and using a mild cleanser on your face. Whatever your treatment regimen, it’s important to stay on top of it throughout the summer months.
Help managing rosacea
A dermatologist is your best resource when it comes to managing your rosacea. Whether your symptoms are mild or severe, Dr. Hines can help you get your skin back on track and keep rosacea under control.
Contact our Attleboro, Massachusetts, office at 508-222-1976 or book online to schedule an appointment with Dr. Hines. Current and prospective patients can also send a message to Dr. Hines and the team here on our website.