Warm Spring Blushing & Rosacea

With the warmer weather comes a desire to spend more time outdoors enjoying the sun, relaxing on the beach or on the porch can be a wonderful way to relieve stress. Reducing stress is an important factor in controlling rosacea. The outdoors can be a wonderful way to achieve stress reduction as long as we take care not to create a situation that worsens our rosacea. When out in the sun, always use a sunscreen if you are out longer than 30 minutes.

Sunshine and rosacea are not always compatible. And yet with all the negatives of over exposure to sunlight, there are is some value to sunlight; sunlight is a valuable source of vitamin D. Vitamin D is more readily absorbed topically through the skin than orally with a pill. Vitamin D is synthesized by the body as a direct result of sun exposure. Ten to fifteen minutes of sunshine every other day is all that is needed to maintain healthy levels of vitamin D. While this sounds easy enough, for some it can be a challenge to achieve. Many sunscreens block the absorption of vitamin D, overcast skies can also inhibit adequate absorption of sunlight, even seasonal changes in sunlight intensity and the angle of the sun can affect the absorption of sunlight. The effects of pollution and haze also have an impact on the body’s absorption of vitamin D.

A Vitamin D deficiency causes one to be more prone to bone weakness, chronic pain, fatigue and inhibits the body’s absorption of calcium and phosphorous. Our mood and emotions may also be affected by too little sunlight – the ‘winter blues’ or seasonal depression is often attributed to a lack of adequate sunlight absorption.

For the rosacea sufferer, sunshine can mean increased facial redness, burning and irritation. Why the rosacea skin is more prone to a negative response to sunlight is debatable. It could be the result of medications prescribed to address the symptoms of rosacea, many medications list as a side effect the increased possibility of skin rashes, skin redness and sun sensitivity. Why then would you prescribe something to treat rosacea that can have the negative impact of increasing the symptoms? The thought process here – right or wrong – is that the possible benefits outweigh the possible negative consequences.