It's easy to get away from your usual routine during the disruptions of the vacation season, back-to-school activities and the holiday weekend, but for rosacea patients, this can set the stage for a flare-up. If you’re finding yourself seeing an increase in frequency and intensity of your rosacea symptoms, here are some tips to help you get back on track:
- Return to usual: Get back into a routine that includes your usual daily medication, skin-care regimen and avoidance of your rosacea triggers, including stress. Track progress with your symptoms to see if these changes benefit your condition.
- Don’t panic: Waking up to a flare-up is no fun, and your instinct may be to panic and settle for a short-term solution that may actually make matters worse. Instead, take this time to stop and write down what possible triggers you may have encountered to determine when, where and how you might have triggered a flare-up. Forgot to use sunscreen during this holiday weekend? Too many gin and tonics or too much spicy food? Haven’t used your medication in a while? In addition to medical therapy, tracking your lifestyle can help you find trigger patterns and prevent future flare-ups. Use the NRS’s Rosacea Diary to help.
- Motivate through reward: To help yourself stay on track while you get back to normal, set up an incentive system by rewarding yourself with things that will motivate you, such as needed rest or a shopping trip. At the end, you will be back in a constructive routine and able to do something nice for yourself.
- Relax: One of the most common triggers reported by patients is stress, and agonizing over a flare-up may only make it worse. Try to take your mind off of your flare-up by shifting your focus to pleasant activities and positive thoughts. Stress reduction techniques such as meditation and and exercises such as yoga may be beneficial as well.
Since rosacea flare-ups, as with so much in life, tend to come and go, a further step can be to just take it easy and give your skin time to settle down. If you find your flare-ups are lasting longer than usual or increasing in severity, visit your dermatologist for an evaluation.