Weather conditions are a substantial factor in aggravating symptoms in most rosacea sufferers, according to a new survey by the National Rosacea Society. Fortunately, protective measures are nearly always effective in reducing these effects.
In the recent survey of 683 rosacea sufferers on weather-related tripwires, 88 percent of rosacea sufferers in areas with severe weather said outdoor activities during cold periods worsened their rosacea, and nearly half of the respondents even in areas with mild weather said outdoor activity during the cooler months had caused flare-ups.
"Rosacea flare-ups seem to be especially common in the spring, when the weather becomes variable and many people increase their exposure to the outdoors," said Dr. Jerome Z. Litt, assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Case Western Reserve University. "For many people, this is a time to protect against such common rosacea tripwires as wind, cold and sun."
Exposure to wind was cited as the biggest culprit, with 79 percent of all survey respondents citing this as a trigger factor for rosacea flare-ups. Cold outdoor temperatures were reported as a trigger factor by 81 percent of the rosacea sufferers in severe weather areas, 70 percent in moderate weather areas, and 46 percent in mild areas.
Many also reported that indoor temperatures, often a challenge to regulate in changing weather, are a significant factor. High indoor heat aggravated rosacea in 57 percent of those in severe weather areas, and in 63 percent of those in moderate or mild climates.
More than 73 percent of all survey respondents said they had modified their activities to avoid weather- related flare-ups. The most frequently cited protective steps were covering the face with a scarf to protect against wind or cold, minimizing time outdoors, using sunscreen and protective creams as well as medication, reducing indoor heat and wearing layered clothing to avoid the effects of cold or hot temperatures.
Of all of the rosacea sufferers who modified their routines because of the weather, 93 percent said this had been successful in reducing their flare-ups.