Understanding Your Rosacea Triggers

Understanding Your Rosacea Triggers

Knowing and limiting your exposure to triggers is an integral part of managing rosacea, a chronic inflammatory skin condition. Rosacea causes redness and pustules in the central part of the face.

Rosacea can also impact extended areas of your cheeks, nose, chin, and forehead. It’s important to control flares because with each attack, the affected area may extend and blood vessels in the face tend to become more visible. Frequent, uncontrolled rosacea flares can even change the texture of your skin.

The Monarque Health and Wellness Center team of providers offers exceptional family and functional medicine, including dermatology care. Our team can help you take the best care of your skin and manage rosacea flares. Treatment for rosacea focuses on calming inflammation and alleviating symptoms. 

Limiting triggers

 Limiting exposure to triggers is critical to minimizing flare-ups. Rosacea flares are more than just an inconvenience; repeated flares can cause long-term redness and skin thickness.

Once you know the triggers, you can make changes to lessen future flare-ups and keep rosacea from worsening. Although each patient is unique, common triggers are a good place to start.

Top 5 rosacea triggers

The following are the five most common rosacea triggers: 

Sun exposure 

Sun exposure is at the top of the list of things that cause rosacea flares. Ultraviolet (UV) rays activate a complex biological response that triggers symptoms in approximately 81% of individuals with rosacea. 

The sun dilates blood vessels and raises skin temperature, which contributes to redness and flushing. 


After sun exposure, stress is the second-most common cause of rosacea symptoms. Following a stressful event, you’re more likely to experience a rosacea flare. 

Stress causes the body to release a variety of chemicals that trigger abnormal skin reactions in people with rosacea. Additionally, chronic stress can cause a recurrent cycle of flares. 

High temperatures

When exposed to high temperatures and humidity, people with rosacea have an abnormal chemical response. The heart triggers sympathetic nervous system activity. This is the system that regulates breathing, heart rate, and perspiration.

When you’re outside on a hot day, or you get overheated inside, blood flow to the skin increases and heart rate hikes up, which can trigger a flare. 

Rigorous exercise

Many people with rosacea report issues with heavy exercise. Like hot weather, rigorous exercise triggers the sympathetic nervous system. Physical activity raises the heart rate and body temperature, causing the nervous system to go into overdrive. 

The more nervous system activity there is, the greater the risk of a rosacea flare. 


Flushed skin after drinking an alcoholic beverage is common in people without rosacea. For people with rosacea, alcohol consumption is a common trigger for flares. More than half of people with rosacea report that alcohol is a common cause of flare-ups. 

Alcohol dilates blood vessels and may cause facial flushing. Limiting alcohol consumption and avoiding triggers can help control rosacea.

Other rosacea triggers

Many patients with rosacea notice that certain foods trigger flares. Spicy foods and foods high in histamine are known to cause issues. When trying to determine your triggers, it helps to keep a daily journal. This helps you hone in on things that may trigger your rosacea. 

Once you have a good idea of your triggers, we can work together to help you limit your triggers as much as possible. 

Most cases of rosacea respond to acute care and long-term management. If you’re struggling with rosacea, let our team help you learn more about how to best care for your skin. 

To get started, call or send a message to our team to schedule a visit with a Monarque Health and Wellness Center provider. Our office is located in Ashland, Oregon, and we offer in-person or virtual visits.

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