Winter is coming, and it’s time to expect the unexpected. Whether you reside in the frozen north or the milder south, the coming of winter may pose difficulties for those with rosacea, both outdoors and indoors. Here are some steps to help prevent flare-ups as the cold weather begins to take hold:
While the warmer months are known to be difficult for many rosacea sufferers, wintertime poses its own challenges, and more than a third of rosacea patients have said it’s the hardest season of the year.
A. While many rosacea patients are affected by environmental factors that change with the seasons, what affects one person may not affect another. It may be that you are particularly sensitive to wind or frigid weather and these winter elements aggravate your rosacea.
Some surprises may be welcome during the winter months, but others you want to avoid at all costs -- like rosacea flare-ups. Truth be told, managing rosacea can be especially tricky this time of year, due to many factors. Here are some ways to keep your cool:
- Take care of yourself. Be sure to eat right, rest, exercise, plan sensibly, delegate and leave time to relax. Don't forget to use your "Rosacea Diary" to identify your personal triggers.
If you're bothered by irritation, burning or a gritty feeling and redness in your eyes, you're not alone. Winter can bring a host of special challenges for rosacea patients, and the effects of dry eye head the list for many.
"Millions of people suffer from dry eye, and it accounts for 17 percent of all ophthalmologic visits," said Dr. Marian Macsai, chairman of ophthalmology at Northwestern University. "We definitely see more of it during the winter months because of the dryness of the environment, and it often accompanies rosacea."
Whether you live in the north woods of Wisconsin or the milder weather states of the South, the winter months can be especially challenging for people with rosacea. Various factors -- from wind and cold to sun exposure, indoor heat and low humidity -- all rank high on the list of common triggers for rosacea flare-ups.
A. Wind and cold temperatures may cause irritation and increase the watery discharge associated with ocular rosacea (eye symptoms)1. Besides limiting time outdoors during winter, patients with ocular rosacea can protect their eyes from icy blasts by wearing ultraviolet protective glasses or sunglasses.
Winter conditions may be particularly harsh on patients with ocular rosacea, according to Dr. Guy Webster, associate professor of dermatology at Thomas Jefferson University Medical College in Philadelphia. He noted that eye symptoms of rosacea seem to worsen during this season, perhaps because of the frequent gusty winds and cold temperatures.