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Home / Rosacea / 8 most common rosacea triggers

8 most common rosacea triggers

Reasons for your rosacea flare-ups and how to stay in control of your skin

Rosacea is an inflammatory skin condition that causes the skin on the face to redden or flush, due to dilated blood vessels.

A close-up of the same woman with and without rosacea

It is a chronic condition that varies in severity. Often rosacea doesn’t present itself until it is triggered by something, which causes the skin to flare up.

Learning what triggers your rosacea is one of the best ways of managing the condition. Read on to find out 8 common triggers you should avoid to stay in control of your skin.

Extreme temperatures

Very cold and windy conditions can cause your rosacea to flare up, especially because you are more prone to windburn.

A woman covering her face with a scarf during cold weather

Windburn can leave you with painful, irritated skin. Cover your face with a scarf (up to the eyes) during winter to limit skin exposure to extreme wind and cold.

Very high temperatures can also be a trigger. Avoid using sauna and steam rooms, and shower using warm water rather than hot.


Feeling stressed can cause a multitude of health problems - but it can also be a trigger for rosacea.

Try to limit the stress in your life. As this isn’t always an easy fix, you can try additional activities that could help you cope with stress, rather than eliminating it. These could include:

  • yoga
  • meditation and deep breathing
  • socialising with friends and loved ones
  • making an effort to do something you enjoy every single day

Intense exercise

Exercising at a high intensity (such as long cardio sessions or interval training) can also cause your rosacea to flare up.

This happens when the blood vessels in your face dilate (or expand) in an effort to cool you down.

If you want to avoid getting flushed, opt for low-impact exercise instead.

Rather than working out at a gym, go for long walks where you can keep your heart rate relatively low and avoid overheating.

Sun exposure

Exposing your skin to direct sunlight for more than a few minutes is enough to trigger a rosacea flare-up.

Make an effort to limit your exposure to the sun, especially on hot days. You can do this by:

  • applying suncream (ideally factor 50) to your face every morning
  • wearing a wide-brimmed hat to keep your face shaded
  • avoiding midday sun
  • spending more time under shade

Alcoholic drinks

Alcohol consumption can increase blood flow to the face, causing flushing. One survey has suggested that red wine in particular could be the most common trigger of rosacea:

Out of all of the participants, 72% said that red wine was a trigger

Other types of alcohol that were common triggers included:

  • vodka (28%)
  • champagne (25%)
  • whiskey/rum (both 22%)
  • tequila (20%)

If you’re trying to manage rosacea, opt for white wine instead of red, and avoid liquors when possible.

It is also best to limit yourself to 1 or 2 drinks, as well as following an alcoholic beverage with a glass of cold water.


Certain skin and hair products can irritate the skin and trigger rosacea. If you feel itching or burning from any of your cosmetic products, they could be the reason behind any flare-ups.

When it comes to cosmetics and rosacea:

  • avoid products containing menthol, camphor, or sodium lauryl sulphate
  • opt for fragrance-free products
  • cover your face when using hairspray
  • wear lighter foundations or CC creams
  • invest in more expensive products which are kinder to skin


Certain foods can also be a trigger for some people with rosacea. Not everyone will experience the same food triggers, but it could be worth removing the following foods from your diet:

  • spicy food - one survey Trusted source National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) Government Source Biomedical Research and Literature Go to source taken on over 1000 people with rosacea showed that more than half were triggered by spicy food (52% of participants)
  • high histamine foods - examples of these include dairy, shellfish, smoked meats, and dried fruits
  • foods with cinnamon - the compound found in cinnamon has been commonly reported as a rosacea trigger

You could also consider writing a food diary, so you can track what foods you have eaten on days you have flare-ups. Diet could be an underlying cause.

Hot drinks

Sipping hot drinks like tea, hot chocolate, and coffee could also be problematic if you have rosacea.

The heat can cause blood to rush to your face, acting as a trigger for a flare-up.

It is best to let your beverage cool down before drinking, or try drinking iced tea and coffee instead.

Why it’s important to know your triggers

Knowing and avoiding your triggers is important if you want to manage rosacea and prevent your condition from worsening.

Over time, flare-ups can get progressively worse. If you come into contact with your triggers frequently, you might end up with more visible blood vessels and thicker skin.

As well as avoiding triggers, you can treat rosacea with prescription medicines. We offer some treatments here at euroClinix.

Want to purchase rosacea treatment?

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Medically reviewed by Dr. Anand Abbot MRCGP Written by our editorial team Last reviewed 12-11-2023

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Further reading

Papulopustular rosacea

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What are the different types of rosacea?

What are the different types of rosacea?

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Good and bad foods for rosacea

Good and bad foods for rosacea

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Rosacea: a guide to treatment

Rosacea: a guide to treatment

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