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Exercise Can Heighten Rosacea Effect

But altering workout helps keep symptoms at bay, survey finds

FRIDAY, March 25, 2005 (HealthDay News) -- Exercise is a common trigger for flushing in people with rosacea, but altering exercise regimens can reduce the effect, says a National Rosacea Society survey in the journal Rosacea Review.

Rosacea is a red-faced, acne-like facial condition affecting about 14 million Americans.

According to the survey of almost 1,300 people with rosacea, more than 83 percent said exercise triggered or aggravated the signs and symptoms of their disorder.

However, 42 percent said they modified their exercise routines because of the skin condition, and nearly 9 out of 10 of those that did so said those changes reduced the effect of exercise on their rosacea.

"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," Dr. James Del Rosso, an assistant clinical professor of dermatology at the University of Nevada Medical School, said in a prepared statement. "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 reduce or avoid flare-ups: exercising more often, but for shorter periods of time; running a fan or opening a window in order to keep cool indoors; and cooling off by drinking cold fluids or by keeping a damp towel around the neck.

The survey found that walking triggered rosacea in 36 percent of the respondents, followed by jogging or running (33.5 percent), aerobics (30.5 percent), weight lifting (16 percent), push-ups or sit-ups (15 percent), and bicycling or spinning (15 percent).

Along with exercise, other common triggers of rosacea flare-ups include hot weather, alcohol, sun exposure, emotional stress, humidity, indoor heat, spicy foods, heated beverages and irritating skin-care products.

More information

The National Rosacea Society has more about rosacea.

SOURCE: National Rosacea Society, press release, March 1, 2005
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