Rosacea Review - Newsletter of the National Rosacea SocietyRosacea Review - Newsletter of the National Rosacea Society

Q&A: Sun Exposure and Aggravating Ingredients

Q. Is it common to break out in an itchy, bumpy rash (always on my forehead) after slight sun exposure?  Would sunscreen help prevent this?

A. In patient surveys, the sun ranks as the most common trigger for rosacea flare-ups, so it is likely that the sun is the culprit in your case. Even incidental exposure, such as running errands on a sunny day, might be enough to cause an outbreak of rosacea symptoms in some individuals.

Especially for those with sensitive skin, dermatologists generally recommend daily use of a non-chemical sunscreen that contains zinc or titanium dioxide and delivers UVA/UVB protection with an SPF of 15 or higher. A wide-brimmed hat may help protect your face as well.

Q. Can you provide me with a list of product ingredients that potentially could aggravate my rosacea?

A. Many rosacea patients have cited the following ingredients as triggers for irritation: alcohol, witch hazel, fragrance, menthol, peppermint and eucalyptus oil. This is by no means an exhaustive list, however. An ingredient that another rosacea patient cannot tolerate may have no effect on you, and vice versa.

Your dermatologist may be able to recommend products for your particular skin type, but even so, trial and error may be necessary. Look for a travel (or sample) size of whatever skin-care product interests you, and then try it on an inconspicuous spot, such as behind your ear or under your jawline, before using it on your face.