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

Avoiding Flare-ups Around the House

We often think of flare-ups occurring due to stress or weather, but they can also spring up in the midst of normal day-to-day activities around the home, according to Dr. Estee Williams, assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City. 

“As a rule, rosacea skin is sensitive skin,” explained Dr. Williams. “Because rosacea skin is so hyper-reactive, it is tough to predict what will set it off. From the moment you wake up to the time you hit the sack, triggers abound.”

In a recent NRS survey of 282 rosacea patients, 49 percent of respondents said they’d experienced a flare-up of their signs and symptoms while cleaning the bathroom. Thirty-eight percent flared up while moving furniture, 37 percent while mopping or cleaning floors, and 36 percent while vacuuming. 

Dr. Williams noted that even routine household cleaning could involve exposure to chemicals which might cause a flare-up. Ammonia and bleach, both commonly used in the bathroom, were cited by survey respondents as most likely to aggravate their condition; toilet bowl cleaner was also a common irritant. It may be wise to avoid products that contain these or other astringent, strongly scented chemicals while cleaning the bathroom, kitchen or other areas in the home. Consider using baking soda, white vinegar, citrus, hydrogen peroxide and alternative cleaners made without harsh chemicals, after first testing to make sure you don’t react to them.

Outdoor chores can also be risky for flare-ups. Half of respondents to the survey said they’d experienced a flare-up while gardening, and 42 percent reported flare-ups due to mowing the lawn, raking leaves or shoveling snow.

Fortunately, more than 70 percent of those who said they’d modified their house-cleaning routine said the changes had helped reduce their flare-ups.