Rosacea with flushing

Self-care for rosacea

Rosacea symptoms can be managed with some simple techniques you can carry out yourself at home. These are often referred to as self-care methods and will be different for each person:

  • Applying daily sun screen of at least factor 30.
  • Don’t rub or scrub your face.
  • Avoiding perfumed soaps or moisturisers on your face, and instead try an unperfumed product such as an emollient (a moisturising treatment which is applied to the skin to cleanse and protect).
  • Regularly use a perfume-free moisturiser to keep skin hydrated, especially if it is dry and/or sensitive.
  • Take note of what may be triggering symptoms and avoid these where possible.
  • Using skin camouflage techniques (cover-up make-up) to reduce the appearance of redness.
  • Avoiding acne treatments as these are known to worsen rosacea.
  • Looking at medication and discussing any medication which you think may be affecting your condition with your GP or other healthcare professional. However, it is important not to stop taking any prescribed medication without first discussing your options with your GP.

Psychological effects of a long term skin condition

Psychodermatology is a term used to describe the exploration of psychological (your emotional health and wellbeing) aspects of skin conditions. As physical and emotional health is closely linked, it is useful to consider this when thinking about self-care. Skin can be affected by anxiety, emotional distress and reactions to internal distress. Psychological treatments may be useful to help treat rosacea from this perspective. These can complement physical treatments.

Techniques and resources may include:

Rosacea with flushingMindfulness can help reduce stress and anxiety. Mindfulness is about learning to focus your awareness on the present moment whilst calmly acknowledging and accepting thoughts, feeling and sensations. The aim is not focus too much on the past or the future and to not judge our thoughts and feelings. This helps us to be more at peace with what is happening in our own body and mind. Giving the body space can help us respond in new ways to situations, form more adaptive habits and patterns of behaviour. This can improve the way we relate to others as we learn to live with less anxiety and distress. Other techniques, alongside mindfulness, that can help with decreasing stress and anxiety are:

  • Connecting with those around you, with yourself and with nature. Taking time to enjoy these connections.
  • Being active. This doesn’t need to be formal exercise, but anything you find fun that gets you moving.
  • Keep learning. Finding and developing new skills gives you confidence and can help improve self-esteem. This may be a new hobby, or developing an existing interest.
  • Give to others. Acts of kindness, big or small promote feelings of wellbeing. This may be more formal with things such as volunteering, or more informal such as helping a friend or neighbour.
  • Habit reversal e.g. stopping the act of scratching or picking at skin. Habit reversal is a type of treatment originally developed to address a wide variety of repetitive behaviour disorders.

Finding and accessing support when living with rosacea can also come from connecting with others who are living with the condition.

talkhealth is supported by a number of excellent charities and support groups, including The British Association of Dermatologists, the British Association of Skin Camouflage, and Skin Deep Behind the Mask. You may also like to talk with others in our talkrosacea forum, and keep track of the latest news and opinions from within the rosacea community in our rosacea blog.

If you think you are experiencing feelings of intense sadness or extreme emotional periods, please visit your GP to discuss this further.

Sources of evidence available on request.

Information contained in this Articles page has been written by talkhealth based on available medical evidence. Our evidence-based articles are certified by the Information Standard and our sources are available on request. The content is not, though, written by medical professionals and should never be considered a substitute for medical advice. You should always seek medical advice before changing your treatment routine. talkhealth does not endorse any specific products, brands, or treatments.

Information written by the talkhealth team

Last revised: 13 April 2016

Next review: 13 April 2019