Waking Up Amy

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5 Common Rosacea Triggers

Do you have flushing, swollen bumps, burning sensation, or dry eyes? These are all signs of Rosacea, a chronic skin condition that affects an estimated 16 million Americans. I have had Rosacea for over 20 years. Symptoms vary from person to person, but the first thing I noticed was red, flushed cheeks that made people […]

Do you have flushing, swollen bumps, burning sensation, or dry eyes? These are all signs of Rosacea, a chronic skin condition that affects an estimated 16 million Americans.

I have had Rosacea for over 20 years. Symptoms vary from person to person, but the first thing I noticed was red, flushed cheeks that made people think I was constantly blushing. Small swollen bumps that resembled acne soon accompanied the flushing, followed by dry eyes and a hot, tender sensation on my face.

Rosacea is more common in females, people over the age of 30, people who burn easily in the sun, and people who have a family history of the condition. Sudden inflammation of Rosacea, or a flare-up, sparks a “redness response” caused by triggers that can last from one day to one month. Below are five common triggers that can activate that response.

  1. Spicy foods can dilate the blood vessels under the skin and cause a boom in the blood flow near the skin. This increase in blood flow causes flushing and redness. The jerk chicken and red curry that you love to nosh may be boosting inflammation.
  2. Alcoholic beverages, especially red wine, can instigate a flare-up. Basically, when we drink alcohol, it elevates cytokines. Cytokines let all the cells know that you’ve been drinking, and this leads to widening of the blood vessels. Bam, flare-up.
  3. I am a makeup geek, but some of the best makeup, skincare, and hair products set my face aflame, suddenly enhancing all those wonderful symptoms. I do most, if not all, makeup and skincare purchases from businesses that have a gracious return police for that reason.
  4. Sunlight is one of my biggest triggers. Sun exposure not only give ma nasty burn, but it also leaves me with ugly, acne-like patches on my cheeks. Using SPF and wearing a (cute) wide-brimmed hat are a must.
  5. Stress is a significant cause of my Rosacea flare-ups. Like many people, I suffer from anxiety, which I try to alleviate with meditation and medication. Periods of anxiety adn stress can elevate inflammation, worsening the unpleasant characteristics of Rosacea.

Triggers differ from person to person. I’m convinced that cutting out spicy foods and wearing my big floppy hat while in the sun has helped me escape some severe flare-ups. It might be a bit hard to pinpoint your specific triggers, but identifying them makes it easier to prevent them.

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