BARRINGTON, Illinois (March 1, 2005) -- While exercise may promote good health, a new survey shows that fitness without flushing is often essential for many people with rosacea, a red-faced, acne-like facial disorder that affects an estimated 14 million Americans.
In the survey of 1,261 rosacea patients conducted by the National Rosacea Society and published in Rosacea Review, more than 83 percent reported that exercise had triggered or aggravated their signs and symptoms of the disorder. The good news is that of the 42 percent of respondents who had modified their exercise regimen because of rosacea, 89 percent said doing so had reduced its effect on their condition.
Perhaps because of its popularity, walking was the most common form of exercise that aggravated rosacea, affecting 36 percent of the respondents. Other frequent exercise triggers included jogging or running (33.5 percent), aerobics (30.5 percent), weight lifting (16 percent), doing push-ups or sit-ups (15 percent) and bicycling or spinning (15 percent).
"While exercise is important to a healthy lifestyle, people with rosacea should anticipate flare-ups of rosacea signs and symptoms, especially with strenuous activity or outdoor heat exposure," said Dr. James Del Rosso, assistant clinical professor of dermatology at the University of Nevada Medical School in Las Vegas. "By doing simple things such as working out in the early morning or late evening when the weather is cooler or in a cool indoor environment, rosacea sufferers may be able to reduce the intensity of flare-ups."
Other ways to avoid flushing to help minimize flare-ups include working out more often, but for shorter periods; keeping cool indoors by running a fan or opening a window; and cooling off by keeping a damp towel on your neck and drinking cold fluids.
Rosacea is a chronic disorder that is often characterized by exacerbations and remissions. It typically begins at any time after age 30 as a flushing or redness on the cheeks, nose, chin or forehead that may come and go. Over time, the redness tends to become ruddier and more persistent, and small blood vessels may appear. Without treatment, bumps and pimples often develop, and in severe cases, the nose may become swollen from excess tissue. In many patients, the eyes are also affected, feeling irritated and appearing watery or bloodshot.
Although the cause of rosacea remains a mystery, its signs and symptoms can be effectively controlled with medical therapy and lifestyle changes to avoid factors that may aggravate the condition -- many of which seem to be related to flushing. In addition to exercise, other common rosacea triggers include sun exposure, emotional stress, hot weather, wind, alcohol, hot baths, cold weather, spicy foods, humidity, indoor heat, irritating skin-care products and heated beverages.
To help rosacea patients identify and avoid their individual tripwires, the National Rosacea Society offers a free rosacea diary booklet as well as the brochure, "Coping with Rosacea." To receive this material or other information on rosacea, write the National Rosacea Society, 800 S. Northwest Highway, Suite 200, Barrington, Illinois 60010, or call its toll-free number at 1-888-NO-BLUSH. Information and materials are also available on the society's Web site at www.rosacea.org, or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The National Rosacea Society is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to improve the lives of people with rosacea by raising awareness, providing public health information and supporting medical research on this widespread but little-known disorder. The information the Society provides should not be considered medical advice, nor is it intended to replace
consultation with a qualified physician. The Society does not evaluate, endorse or recommend any particular medications, products, equipment or treatments. Rosacea may vary substantially from one patient to another, and treatment must be tailored by a physician for each individual case. For more information, visit About Us.