A crackling fire, a cup of hot chocolate and gathering for festivities are some of the traditions many look forward to during the holiday season. But if you have rosacea, they could also be the makings of an unexpected flare-up. Fortunately, some careful strategies to help avoid your individual triggers, like the ones below, may help you get through the holiday season.
Curl up by the fire, but not too close
Many rosacea patients have been reported to have a greater sensitivity to heat and temperature changes, which can explain why moving from cold to hot air can trigger flare-ups in some. If the family gathers around the fire, keep a safe distance and drink a cold liquid to help regulate your body temperature.
Outside cold air and blasting indoor heat can dry out sensitive skin. Make sure you are using a gentle, hydrating cleanser and moisturizer -- look for products that are fragrance- and alcohol-free -- and protect your face outdoors with a winter mask or scarf like this one. It’s also tempting to want to defrost under a steamy, hot shower, but you could be asking for trouble. Settle for a warm blanket instead.
Leave it on the rocks...
Moderate or skip alcohol if drinking triggers your flare-ups. Most drinks can be turned into a creative “mocktail” by simply eliminating the alcohol or getting creative with ingredients. (Find some recipes here.) Some patients also find that they can tolerate one type of alcoholic beverage, like beer, and not others, such as a more notorious culprit, red wine. If you’re not sure and are attending a party where you don’t want to be surprised, just skip the libations for the evening.
Don’t stress out
Seventy-nine percent of patients in an NRS survey cited emotional stress as a trigger for their rosacea, and with the hectic demands of the holidays on work and family, it’s easy to forget the importance of taking the time to relax. While avoiding stress may be easier said than done, you do have control of how you react. If you find yourself getting stressed out, take a moment to pause and reflect while practice breathing techniques to lower your heart rate. Sometimes, simply letting others know how you feel can also help reduce anxiety.
And as always, make sure you are sticking to your medical therapy and skin care regimen, especially when traveling. It may be helpful to keep your products in separate travel-sized containers for easy grab-and-go and transporting.
Photo credit: Steve Jurvetson/Flickr