Hi guys & happy Monday! Although I cannot wait for summer and I literally decorated my office for spring this week, the truth is that we’re still in February and half of the country is covered by snow and not tulips. So, I thought it will be a good time to speak about taking care of Rosacea during the cold season, as this is the worst for our red cheeks and unfortunately it’s a time when we can worsen it all together.
The information that I’m about to share with you is dermatologist approved and a lot of research went into this article so I hope you will find it as helpful as I did!
As you probably know, Rosacea is a chronic skin condition that can cause inflammation, thickening or a burning sensation to the skin. A Rosacea flare-up can make you feel like your face is on fire.
Why is the cold season the worst for Rosacea?
Simply, because anything we like about winter is making Rosacea worse. Let me break it down for you.
The food that we eat is directly related to our skin, and therefore to the Rosacea. The foods that play a significant role in this are categorised in 4.
First, the hot beverages, especially tea, coffee or soup that warm the face. This, combined with the decreasing air humidity that occurs during the cold season, dries up the face and results in hypersensitivity. This will most certainly cause a flare-up in Rosacea that can last up to a week.
A study came in recently that showed that people who consume coffee have a lower risk of Rosacea because caffeine can constrict blood vessels from the skin and it results in an improved redness. However, the liquid shouldn’t be hot.
Secondly, alcohol is another beverage that is usually harsh to Rosacea but, during the cold season, the skin reaction is increased due to low humidity. Bye, bye mulled wine!
The third category that intensifies Rosacea is the one that contains capsaicin. This ingredient can be found in foods such as chilli or red peppers as it is responsible for giving that tingling, hot sensation.
Lastly, it’s foods that contain Cinnamaldehydes - present in many unrelated foods and fragrances – this is why you should avoid fragrances for skincare as they are abundantly used in the industry – they dilate the blood vessels. When ingested they cause an increase in sensitivity and cause blushing. They are present in tomatoes, chocolate, cinnamon, nutmeg, citrus fruits (grapefruit, lemon), vanilla etc. Have this in mind when you’re about to order a grande hot vanilla latte topped up with cinnamon or nutmeg :(.
How can you improve Rosacea during the cold season?
Studies have shown that if you have good gut flora, your Rosacea will be in control and that will help to reduce the flushes significantly. The gut microflora can be improved through the consumption of prebiotics and probiotics.
Prebiotics: food ingredients that stimulate the growth of good gut bacteria such as plant fibres – getting your 5-a-day fruits and vegetables will support the growth of good bacteria.
Probiotics: live microorganisms that you ingest that can colonize the gut and help restore the healthy gut microflora. Present in fermented foods like cream cheese, yoghurt etc.
However, keep in mind that it can be useless to provide the gut with extra good bacteria (probiotics) if you don’t sustain and support their growth through prebiotics. Therefore, eating your 5-a-day can play a significant role in improving your Rosacea.
If you want more helpful information including suggestions for products and skincare routines, follow Dr. Dray on YouTube as she is a Godsend. Another thing that Dr. Dray strongly recommends is keeping a Rosacea diary so you can know what factors trigger your Rosacea - remember that everybody is different and unique.