James J. Romano, MD
Rosacea is a chronic disorder that can affect the skin and the eyes. It is most often seen in middle age and later, and it occurs in patients with thick oily skin and affects the central part of the face. There is an inflammatory reaction and occasionally pustules and telangiectasias. There may be hypertrophy of the sebaceous glands with inflammation and a condition in the nose known as rhinophyma. There is a strong allergy-type component to the condition, and many types of foods and lifestyle factors, drugs, and conditions stimulate the redness. Much research has been done, and as early as the 1940s it was learned that B Vitamins are helpful. Dr. Romano’s approach is a combination of internal and dietary recommendations and topical skincare interventions.
Signs and symptoms include redness and flushing, mostly in the central part of the face. This is often seen in response to substances in your food called tryptophans, stress, alcohol, spicy foods, hot or cold extremes, exercise, and certain foods. Consider some or all of the following recommendations one at a time as evaluating results:
Lifestyle Recommendations (for a complete list see visit here):
- Consider food sensitivity and avoid hot drinks, spicy foods, caffeine, and alcoholic beverages. It’s important to note that although alcohol may worsen a case of rosacea, symptoms may be just as severe in someone who doesn’t drink at all. This condition has been unfairly linked to alcoholism.
- Practice good sun protection. This includes limiting exposure to sunlight, wearing hats, and using broad-spectrum sunscreens with SPF of 15 or higher and avoiding extreme hot and cold temperatures, which may exacerbate the symptoms of rosacea.
- Avoid rubbing, scrubbing, or massaging the face. Rubbing will tend to irritate the reddened skin.
- Exercise in a cool environment. Don’t overheat.
- Be aware of the effects of sun, strong winds, cold, or humidity. Avoid these if necessary.
- Avoid irritating cosmetics and facial products. Use hair sprays properly.
- Certain drugs such as vasodilators and steroids may exacerbate rosacea.
- Several medical conditions such as menopause, chronic cough, caffeine withdrawal, and frequent flushing may be associated and need further evaluation.
- Keep a diary of flushing episodes (visit here) and note associated foods, products, activities, medications, or other triggering factors (visit here) to help determine what exacerbates your symptoms.
- Stress is a powerful stimulant of rosacea. Don’t underestimate the benefits of stress management.