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

Stress Control Reduces Flare-ups

While emotional stress is one of the most common tripwires for rosacea flare-ups, using stress reduction techniques may help reduce flare-ups for the great majority of rosacea sufferers, according to a recent survey of Rosacea Review readers.

In a survey of 602 rosacea patients, 88 percent said that their rosacea flares up when they are under emotional stress. Only 8 percent reported that stress was not a factor.

However, survey results show that stress reduction techniques definitely help. About 62 percent of respondents said they had incorporated stress avoidance and reduction techniques into their lifestyles, with 92 percent of these sufferers reporting that controlling stress had reduced their rosacea flare-ups.

Some healthy ways of reducing stress include exercising moderately, cutting down on caffeine and getting adequate sleep and nutrition. Rosacea sufferers also may benefit from periodically practicing relaxation techniques.

To begin one popular relaxation routine, find a quiet place to stretch out and lie on your back, with arms at your sides and palms facing upward. Legs should be relaxed with toes pointing slightly outward.

Then, beginning from the top of the head, focus on each muscle separately and relax each one. Feel the muscles of the forehead and relax them. Find the facial muscles, and relax those. Work down to the neck and shoulders and relax them. Relax the arms, hands and fingers. Feel the muscles in the back and abdomen. Finally, continue down the legs and relax the thighs, calves, feet and toes. Once the body is fully relaxed, spend a few minutes letting your mind wander.

When asked what cause of emotional stress was hardest on their rosacea, 35 percent named their jobs, and 31 percent cited family. Relationships and social pressures were the next most common causes of emotional stress, noted by 20 and 19 percent of respondents, respectively, followed by money and health, with 16 percent and 14 percent selecting these as major causes. Almost half of respondents indicated more than one factor as a reason for stress.

Of the types of emotional stress that cause the most rosacea flare-ups, anxiety topped the list with a whopping 48 percent. For 35 percent, worry brought on the most rosacea flare-ups, and 34 percent said they suffered attacks due to anger. Embarrassment caused flare-ups for 21 percent, and excitement and sorrow followed with 11 percent and 8 percent, respectively. More than half of respondents cited more than one type of stress.