By Zoey Glick

Rosacea is a very frustrating disease that can manifest in many ways. Patients with rosacea can experience flushing, papules, pustules, and telangiectasias (blood vessels). Sometimes patients can also have rosacea combined with acne or seborrheic dermatitis (severe dandruff).

There are many things that can trigger rosacea. Some triggers are all of the fun things in life: red wine, spicy foods, wine, caffeine, and chocolate. Other triggers can be harder to control: heat, sun, and stress. It’s important for patients to know and recognize their triggers.

I have a few recommendations to prevent and treat rosacea. First off, wearing sunscreen on a daily basis can help combat triggers from the sun. My favorite sunscreen for rosacea prone patients is Elta MD UV Clear. Also wearing a hat, trying to avoid direct sun between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., and staying hydrated can help. Heliocare (an oral sunscreen from the plant Polypodium leucotomos) is an antioxidant that will help protect the body from free radicals and UV in the environment. Heliocare does not replace, but will help augment topical sunscreen.

Secondly, trying to minimize the food and beverage triggers that are in your control (red wine, spicy foods, wine, caffeine, and chocolate) can improve the skin’s appearance and your self-esteem.

Finally, seeing a board-certified dermatologist to develop a medication plan can help prevent and treat rosacea flares and minimize the appearance of symptoms. A board-certified dermatologist can help customize which oral, topical, and/or laser therapies that will best treat your rosacea.