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Change of Weather May Bring Rosacea Flare-ups

Posted: May 29, 2009

With the summer months—and temperatures—quickly approaching, skin care professionals should be aware of how the change of season can affect people with rosacea.

While the sunny days of summer may be associated with outdoor fun, new survey results show that it is also the time when people with rosacea must take the most precautions to prevent flare-ups of this unsightly, red-faced disorder now estimated to affect more than 14 million Americans. For many, the survey also found that even the cold days of winter can present special challenges.

In a recent survey of 1,190 rosacea patients conducted by the National Rosacea Society (NRS) and published in Rosacea Review, 85% said their rosacea is affected by changes in seasons. Nearly half said their symptoms are at their worst when hot weather arrives, and 46% said they have to make the most lifestyle adjustments during this time to reduce the likelihood of a flare-up of signs and symptoms.

"The sun and hot weather are such common rosacea triggers that it should not be surprising that rosacea is often aggravated in the summer," said Dr. Lisa Maier, assistant professor of dermatology at the University of Michigan. "Everyone should minimize sun exposure and use sunscreen during all seasons, but rosacea patients should be even more cautious than most."

In addition to using sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher, rosacea sufferers affected by sun and heat are advised to stay in a cool, air-conditioned environment during midday or when the weather is especially hot. Overexertion is also a common rosacea trigger, and sipping a cold drink or chewing on ice chips can help prevent or reduce the facial flushing that often accompanies strenuous activity.