Rosacea affects more than sixteen million Americans, and yet despite its prevalence, it is not a particularly well understood condition. There are many misconceptions and areas of confusion surrounding rosacea.
For example, many people do not realise that it is possible to develop rosacea later in life, or that it can affect both men and women. Another common question is why is rosacea worse at night for some people, but not for others.
Doctors are still learning about rosacea, and we do not yet have a lasting cure for the condition, however it Is possible to manage attacks, and once you learn to avoid the things that trigger your condition you can reduce the frequency with which attacks occur.
New treatments, such as laser therapy, offer hope for people with severe rosacea. Most people, however, can get by simply through making lifestyle changes.
The first thing you need to do, after getting a rosacea diagnosis, is understand the nature of your condition. Is rosacea worse at night for you, or does it strike at random? Does drinking wine trigger an attack?
Are you sensitive to stress or to changes in the ambient air temperature? There are many things which can bring on a rosacea attack, and you will need to learn to identify your own triggers and manage your symptoms.
Doctors are not completely certain why some people find that their rosacea is worse at night, but there are several possible reasons. In some cases, rosacea could be made worse because of the person’s lifestyle.
For example, they may commute home on public transport, or walk in the cold, then arrive home to a warm living room, and have their rosacea triggered by the change in temperature. Or, it could be the wine that they drink with the evening meal that triggers an attack of flushing.
If you wake up looking and feeling good, and find that you start to flush as the day goes on, it could be stress, or something in your day-to-day diet, that causes the flushing to happen.
If you have tried keeping detailed food diary, and still cannot figure out what is causing attacks, consider the places you go and the things you do throughout the day. Rosacea can be stress-related, so if you have attacks on weekdays, but not weekends, that may be why.
If your flushing happens late at night, then you may have what is colloquially referred to as ‘clock rosacea’, or systemic flushing. Most people experience a fall in body temperature around 3PM, and an increase at 7PM. When your body temperature increases, you are more likely to experience flushing. If you combine that with a heavy evening meal (something that many people still indulge in), then you have a recipe for a serious rosacea attack.
Controlling Evening Rosacea
If you’re one of the people who wonders why is rosacea worse at night, then you will have to take some careful measures to control your condition. Many people find that avoiding simple carbohydrates such as sugar, white bread and alcohol is enough to stop their rosacea attacks from happening.
It’s OK to eat complex carbohydrates such as beans, jacket potatoes, whole grains, and vegetables ‘ in fact, those things are particularly good for you, but simple sugars should be avoided.
Another thing to avoid is steroid creams. Steroids are used to treat a range of skin conditions, but they thin the skin, which can exacerbate rosacea in the long term.
If you have been prescribed steroids for an existing skin condition, talk to your dermatologist or doctor about changing your treatment, and whether the steroids are medically necessary. It may be that you can take something else instead.
Smoking is something which can make rosacea worse, and cause many other health problems. If you are a smoker, seek cessation advice from your doctor or your local pharmacy. Today, with e-cigarettes, nicotine gum and patches, and other anti-addiction options on the market, it is easier to quit than ever before.
Other Kinds of Rosacea
Exercise can trigger a rosacea attack. Most people flush slightly after exercise, but if you find that it takes you a long time to recover and get your skin back to normal, you may have exercise related rosacea.
You can reduce the likelihood of severe flushing attacks by drinking lots of water before, during and after exercise. The better hydrated your body is, the more well-equipped it will be to recover after vigorous exercise.
Do not stop exercising because you are concerned about your rosacea. The fitter you get, the more your body will be able to cope with before rosacea attacks occur. Exercise has many side benefits, including improved cardiovascular health, lower blood pressure, weight loss, and improved bone density, flexibility and mental awareness. Do not throw those benefits away.
Rosacea can be embarrassing, frustrating, and in some cases painful, but there is hope. Good nutrition combined with small lifestyle changes and some medical assistance in the form of oral and topical antibiotics can bring your rosacea under control.
Whether you suffer worst during the day or at night, you can beat your condition. Talk to your dermatologist or doctor today to find out what treatment options are open to you. If you have repeated attacks, ask about laser treatments which may offer a permanent (or very long term) solution for your condition.