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How To Use a Rosacea Diary To Identify Your Rosacea Triggers in 5 Steps

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Rosacea doesn’t present exactly the same for everyone.

Most people with rosacea can eventually pinpoint certain foods, beverages, activities, or environments that are more likely to spark a flare of rosacea symptoms -- these are called your rosacea triggers. 

Not all rosacea triggers will affect every person with rosacea, but there are some things that are more likely to be triggering than others.

For most people, rosacea symptoms come and go. And, while some people are ok with putting up with flares, it is important to try and reduce their occurrence to stop the progression or worsening of rosacea symptoms. Each time you experience a symptom flare from your rosacea, those symptoms may stick around a little longer, or spread to a larger area of your face, or just be generally more severe than previously.

Since the more flares that occur, the more likely your rosacea is to become more severe, it is very important to identify and minimize your personal rosacea triggers.

A great way to help make sense of what may be triggering for your rosacea, is to spend a few weeks or months tracking your diet, mood, and activities in a rosacea diary.

Below, we will explain just what a rosacea diary is, what kinds of things to record in your rosacea diary, how to get started on your diary, and what patterns to look for when checking through it.

What is a rosacea diary?

A rosacea diary is a place where you can jot down all potentially triggering foods, beverages, emotions, or activities that you experience each day, as well as how your rosacea symptoms were that day.

The diary doesn’t have to be used forever, but diligently using one for a few weeks to a couple of months should be sufficient to help you identify patterns a hopefully pinpoint foods, beverages, or activities that are triggering your rosacea.

Once you have enough days jotted down, it may be more clear certain things that you may want to steer clear of to keep your rosacea in check.

A rosacea diary doesn’t necessarily need to be on paper. If you would prefer a running spreadsheet on your computer, or even the notepad feature on your phone, these methods can work too.

If you want to use a template, has put together a printable rosacea diary form that you can use which pre-populates common triggers.

What kind of foods and beverages can trigger rosacea?

In order to know what sorts of things are important to note in your diary, you need to become familiar with the foods and beverages that are more likely to be culprits.

Below is a list of some of the most common food and beverage triggers for those dealing with rosacea:

  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Cheese, sour cream, yogurt
  • Chocolate, vanilla
  • Liver
  • Yeast extract (bread is fine), vinegar, soy sauce
  • Eggplant, avocado, spinach
  • Certain beans including lima, navy, or peas
  • Certain fruits including citrus, tomatoes, bananas, plums, raisins, figs
  • Spicy foods
  • Foods and beverages that are hot in temperature
  • Foods with high histamine levels

What activities or environments can trigger rosacea symptoms?

Aside from what you are consuming, your environment, activities, and even your mood can cause rosacea triggers in some people. 

The following items below may be rosacea triggers for some and are worth keeping track of in your rosacea diary:

  • Moderate to intense physical activity
  • Medications that are vasodilators or topical steroids
  • Conditions like chronic cough, menopause, or withdrawal from caffeine
  • Hot environments like saunas, hot baths, or just a warm day
  • Intense weather including strong sun, winds, humidity, or cold
  • Certain skincare products including those containing alcohol, acetone, fragrances, witch hazel, or anything that burns or stings upon application
  • Emotional states of stress and anxiety

How to use your rosacea diary in 5 steps:

1. Review common triggers and keep them in mind: You don’t have to meticulously record every leaf of lettuce, glass of water, or step you take. Focus on the things that are more likely to be triggers for rosacea to keep it simple.

2. Jot down a quick note of any potential triggers you ate, drank, or came into contact with each day: Quickly jot down any common triggers that were in your day, along with how your rosacea symptoms were that day.

3. Continue your journal for at least a few weeks: Patterns won’t emerge as easily if this is only done for 2 or 3 days. Keep your rosacea diary going consistently for at least a few weeks to start making connections.

4. Review your journal and identify items that may be personal rosacea triggers for you: After you have put in the leg work of at least a few weeks of your rosacea diary, take a look through and think critically about any patterns. Did your rosacea flare the day after you have an orange a few times? Citrus may be a potential trigger. Does going for a jog in the sun seem to match up with a couple of rosacea flares? Strenuous outdoor exercise on hot days may be another trigger.

5. Find ways to minimize potential triggers and evaluate if your symptoms improve: Pick out a few potential rosacea triggers and test out making easy adjustments to reduce them. If citrus may be a culprit, pick up peaches to snack on instead and see if your symptoms improve. Do you suspect running in the sun to be a trigger? Try running inside an airconditioned room on a treadmill and reflect on if your rosacea flares up less often. Try finding a vaguely equivalent substitution for potential triggers, rather than just cutting out things that you enjoy or are healthy for you (like fruit or exercise).

Strut Health prescription-strength customized rosacea creams

Here at Strut, we know how much of a struggle dealing with rosacea can be. That is why we make it easier for people with rosacea to get customized prescription rosacea creams that target their specific rosacea symptoms.

Depending on what your skin needs, we can utilize the power of prescription ingredients like high-strength azelaic acid, oxymetazoline, ivermectin, and metronidazole and formulate it into a gentle once-daily cream.

If you are interested in seeing if a prescription rosacea cream may be a good fit for you (along with avoiding your triggers using a rosacea diary), you can have a free online questionnaire and image-based telemedicine consultation with our U.S. licensed doctors in just 10-15 minutes. If our doctors determine that a prescription cream may be a good option for you, your medication can be shipped to your front door with our free shipping.

If you have any questions during your treatment, our staff and doctors are available for free unlimited follow-ups.

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