Stress and Rosacea


Emotions are powerful forces in our bodies that affect not only our mood, but also our health, physical appearance and energy.

Stress manifests as an emotion, and it has been proven to trigger rosacea flare-ups just as easily as common physical triggers, such as spicy foods and alcohol. Excess or chronic stress causes the body to overreact, causing dramatic chemical and physical changes. The body releases adrenaline and cortisol (among other chemicals) and even stops digestion. People under severe stress may gain or lose weight, break out in hives or pimples, or lose their hair. For those with rosacea, physical symptoms of stress may include flare-ups, because rosacea is already linked to abnormal chemical reactions in the skin.

Stress Management and Rosacea

For those who experience flare-ups as a result of stress, stress management is an important factor in managing rosacea. Curbing stress is all about tracking its cause. If you experience a rosacea flare-up, try writing down the date, time of day, and how you feel at that exact moment. After a few weeks, you should begin to see patterns revealing the people, places, or things that trigger your stress—and consequentially, flare-ups.

Being in control of a skin condition is stressful in itself. After all, we can tell our bodies to exert themselves any way we want, but our organs, skin being the largest of them, operate more or less autonomously. It is important to remember that we can improve our habits, and that health habits can influence the functioning of our bodies, including our skin. Breathing deeply and avoiding smoking enhances lung capacity. Exercising maintains healthy hearts. And consciously practicing relaxation reduces the physical effects of stress.

While we may not always know the cause of our stress, we do know what relaxes us. Whether it is reading a book at the end of the day, going for a long walk at lunch hour, or even calling a loved one just to say hello, there are little things that we can choose to do each day that will help us better manage our emotions and have a positive effect on our skin.

Vancouver dermatologist Dr. Jason Rivers has created a range of skincare products to help the patients in his Vancouver clinic manage facial redness. He is offering a free, 15-day supply of his Redness Control line for a limited time.

For more information on rosacea check out some of our other resources:

The Complete Guide to Rosacea Treatment

The Causes of Rosacea

Rosacea and Diet