Rosacea Review - Newsletter of the National Rosacea SocietyRosacea Review - Newsletter of the National Rosacea Society

Household Cleaners and Chores Can Trigger Rosacea Flare-ups

A broad variety of common household tasks and products may aggravate rosacea in various individuals, according to a new survey by the National Rosacea Society. The survey of nearly 400 rosacea patients found that harsh chemicals in cleansers and tasks requiring strenuous physical exertion may help make the house sparkle, but they can also lead to rosacea flare-ups.

Ammonia topped the list of household products aggravating rosacea, affecting 32 percent of the survey respondents, while bleach products affected 30 percent and bathroom cleaners triggered flare-ups in 27 percent. Other items irritating many rosacea patients included aerosol cleaners (26 percent), window cleaner (18 percent), gasoline (17 percent) and pump spray cleaners (17 percent).

"Household cleaners often contain ingredients that may irritate rosacea in various individuals," said Dr. James Del Rosso, clinical assistant professor of dermatology at the University of Nevada School of Medicine. "Facial contact with such products can aggravate sensitive skin, which is a common characteristic of rosacea."

Among the list of household chores, some ranked particularly high as rosacea tripwires. Cleaning the bathroom led the list, with more than 39 percent of the survey respondents indicating it caused their rosacea to flare up, followed by gardening for nearly 37 percent.

Other household activities likely to cause a flare-up included raking leaves (35 percent), mowing the lawn (35 percent), vacuuming (27 percent), cleaning floors (27 percent) and moving furniture (26 percent). Some survey respondents were also affected by lighter tasks, such as washing dishes (18 percent), dusting (17 percent), wiping mirrors or windows (17 percent), scrubbing pans (16 percent) and sweeping (15 percent).

"Getting help with tasks that require heavy exertion, taking breaks and using air conditioning when indoors may help many patients avoid the overheating and flushing that often lead to rosacea flare-ups," Dr. Del Rosso said.

Of those affected by household chores or products, 59 percent said they avoid these items or activities, and 95 percent of these respondents reported that this had reduced their rosacea flare-ups.