It seems rosacea is never happy unless the weather is just right. “Rosacea can be very sensitive to extreme temperatures, whether very hot or very cold,” says Greenwich, CT, dermatologist Lynne Haven, MD. The condition is triggered by any kind of warmth, whether it be from a sauna, the sun, spicy food or simply working out. To help keep flare-ups at bay and redness at a minimum this summer, follow these tips from dermatologists.
Avoid triggering foods
Rosacea is super sensitive and can be triggered by a variety of things—including your favorite foods. Baton Rouge, LA dermatologist Ann Zedlitz, MD suggests avoiding “caffeine, wine, certain cheeses, like blue cheese, and spicy foods” as they can trigger rosacea.
Wear sunscreen and have a hat on hand
While sun protection is important for everyone, Dr. Haven says it’s extra crucial for those with rosacea in the summer since “sunlight can lead to rosacea flushing and redness.” Dr. Zedlitz suggests wearing mineral sunscreen daily as well as a hat when you’re out in the sun.
Consider Botox Cosmetic
“One of my favorite techniques to relieve the symptoms of rosacea, which can often flare in the heat of summer, is intradermal botulinum toxin (ie Botox),” says Campbell, CA dermatologist Amelia K. Hausauer, MD. “This is an active area of research with promising results in terms of efficacy and safety. It is different than treating muscles to soften wrinkles. Instead, the medication is injected into the top layers of the skin above the muscle where it may impact cellular and signaling pathways involved in rosacea.”
Consider laser treatment
Dr. Zedlitz says that “early prevention is key,” and suggests scheduling Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) treatments during the fall and winter months. These treatments “will help reduce the broken blood vessels associated with rosacea,” she explains.
Dr. Hausauer says laser treatment “is the gold standard for managing flushing and redness.” She adds that, in her practice, she’s found that combining laser treatment with Botox Cosmetic results in “more meaningful improvement.”
Talk to your doctor about taking low doses of doxycycline
“In patients with severe rosacea, I recommend taking a low dose of doxycycline like Oracea,” says Dr. Zedlitz. This kind of antibiotic is known “to control the redness and is well tolerated by everyone,” she explains.
Tint your windows
Dr. Zedlitz recommends tinting the windows in your car and at home if possible. “If you can see the sun, it can see you. The UVA rays that trigger rosacea and age the skin come through windows,” says Dr. Zedlitz. If you can’t tint your windows, wear sunscreen, even indoors.
Drink ice water
Trying to keep your cool while working out can be challenging. Dr. Haven says drinking ice water can help minimize potential rosacea flare-ups that occur while exercising in the heat.
Avoid direct sunlight
Dr. Zedlitz says rosacea patients should avoid direct sunlight if possible. She notes that this is especially important during the hottest part of the day. If you want to go outside, be sure to wear protective clothing and SPF.