Brigitte Brocato doesn’t credit one particular lifestyle change with helping her manage her rosacea. Instead, the 66-year-old from Rhode Island cites a virtual laundry list of adjustments she has made through the years that have rendered her condition nearly undetectable.
Diagnosed with mild rosacea in her 40s, Brigitte used topical therapy with good results for a number of years. But when her flushing became more and more frequent, she returned to her doctor. She added oral therapy to Brigitte’s regimen but also determined that she suffered from a number of allergies.
“It was at that time that things drastically changed,” Brigitte said. “I went on a diet, made changes in our home to make it as dust-free as possible, purchased air conditioners, and started taking power walks instead of aerobic lessons, staying cool in the summer and avoiding being cold in the winter.”
Once an avid skier and beach lover, Brigitte became a devoted practitioner of yoga and meditation, which both reduced her exposure to weather triggers and helped her to better cope with stress and anxiety.
In addition, Brigitte decided to close the pottery studio she operated, as she felt the extreme heat of the Japanese firing kiln was exacerbating her rosacea. She turned her passion for the arts down a more relaxing avenue, writing and illustrating children’s books in both English and her native German.
Apart from stress and heat, Brigitte noted only a couple of specific food triggers – tomatoes and red wine – that she learned to avoid. She said she is able to have a glass of white wine with dinner without a flare-up.
Brigitte said she adheres to a strict facial cleansing routine and only purchases skin-care products and makeup that do not contain perfumes or alcohol. She occasionally experiences eye symptoms, particularly when her allergies flare up with the change of seasons, so she applies warm compresses to her eyes and uses artificial tears, if necessary.
“I used to flush quite often, but now nobody even knows I have rosacea. It doesn’t come up in conversations like it did 10 years ago,” she said. “The keys for me have been really simplifying my life and staying on my medication.”