The weather outside is frightful, but the fire may not be so delightful this winter as frigid temperatures, biting winds and inside heat bring on flare-ups and discomfort for many rosacea patients. Here are some tips for managing rosacea during this challenging time of the year:
Protect your face
Exposed skin is vulnerable skin, and a heavy scarf or hood is helpful for protecting against the elements. For more extreme temperatures, a face mask may be desireable for better protection of the cheeks and nose. Keep them handy as needed.
Beware of indoor heat
Bob Fosse may have popularized "steam heat" in the 1950s musical Pajama Game, but indoor heat may not be something to dance about for rosacea patients as extreme indoor heat can be just as troublesome as the outside cold. Take precautions to stay away from roaring fireplaces, hot stoves or heat ducts, and dress in layers so that you can control your body temperature indoors. Moving between temperatures, especially from extreme cold to extreme warmth, may also cause your rosacea to flare-up unexpectedly. If you find yourself overheating, search for ice cubes to help cool down.
Provide special care for eyes
Eye irritation from ocular rosacea tends to be more prevalent this time of year. Keep sunglasses or goggles handy to shield the eyes from the cold and wind. See your doctor if irritation increases or persists, and warm compresses and gentle cleansing of the eyelid with a little baby shampoo on a Q-tip may help provide relief.
Order it hot, but not too hot
Nothing says winter like a steamy cup of hot chocolate, but heated beverages are one of the more common rosacea triggers. It may be tempting to dive right into a cup of hot cocoa or java during a cold day, but give your beverage a chance to cool down. If you are chilled indoors, reach for a sweater or blanket first as that might do the trick.
Take your medication
Be sure to use the rosacea medication prescribed by your dermatologist, as this has been shown to reduce the risk of flare-ups throughout the year.