5 Reasons Rosacea Flares Up in The Summer

Health Conditions

5 Reasons Rosacea Flares Up in The Summer

Jennifer Hadley
By Jennifer Hadley
Jul 10, 2020 - Updated Feb 16, 2021
Carina Fung, PharmD, BCPPS
Medically Reviewed ByCarina Fung, PharmD, BCPPS
5 Reasons Rosacea Flares Up in The Summer

According to the National Rosacea Society, more than 15 million Americans suffer from symptoms of rosacea. Unfortunately, for millions, the symptoms of rosacea also tend to flare up in the summer.

The most commonly reported symptoms of [rosacea][1] which arise during the warmest months of the year include visible blood vessels, redness, and small pus-filled bumps resembling acne on the center part of the face.

For others, summer months may bring about rosacea symptoms including dry, irritated, and/or swollen eyes and eyelids. In severe cases, and without treatment, rosacea may also lead to a condition known as rhinophyma, wherein the nose appears bulbous, due to a thickening of the skin on the nose.

Why Do I Have Rosacea?

It is unclear what exactly causes rosacea, but doctors and scientists agree that it’s likely a combination of hereditary and environmental factors. Although anyone can develop rosacea, there are some groups who are particularly prone to developing the condition. For example, women tend to get it more often than men. Likewise, although children may develop rosacea, it most often appears in those between the ages of 30-50. Fair-skinned individuals with light hair and light eyes are also more likely to develop rosacea, and it’s common in those who have a family history of rosacea and/or severe acne.

Fortunately, for those who suffer from rosacea, [RxSaver™][2] offers coupons for commonly prescribed rosacea medications, which may help you to manage symptoms of this condition.

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Why is Rosacea Worse in the Summer?

The majority of men and women who have rosacea report that their symptoms are the worst during the summer.

The reason? Seasonal environmental and lifestyle factors, which tend to aggravate rosacea, are typically increased in the summertime. Known as “triggers,” these aggravating factors which can cause rosacea to flare up in the summer include increased exposure to sunlight, warmer temperatures, an increase in activities/exercise, changes to diet, and even increased alcohol consumption.


Exposure to the sun’s UV rays is believed to be one of the most common causes of a rosacea flare-up. According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), even just a few minutes of sun exposure may trigger flushing and redness. As a result, doctors recommend that those who have rosacea are vigilant about using a broad-spectrum, fragrance-free sunscreen with at least SPF 30. In addition, the use of a wide-brimmed hat is advised, along with being mindful to seek shade, particularly if you’re outside midday, when the sun’s rays are strongest.


The warmer temperatures in the summer frequently lead to flushing and sweating, causing a rosacea flare-up. If you plan to be in the heat this summer, you can keep your body temperature under control by drinking cool water, occasionally spraying/splashing cool water on your face, keeping a cool, damp towel nearby, and/or chewing on ice chips.

Increase in Activity/Exercise

The longer days of summer allow for more daylight to exercise or engage in recreational activities. However, with increased exercise and activity comes an increased risk for a rosacea flare-up if you’re not careful. If you’re planning to exercise outdoors, avoid the midday heat, and consider shorter intervals of exercise with a cooling period in between. It is also advisable to work out in the morning or the evening, rather than during the heat of the day.

Dietary Changes

Dietary changes in the summer may lead to rosacea flare-ups. For example, you might want to avoid marinades or salad dressings which are made with pepper or other hot spices. Similarly, spicy rubs on grilled meats can trigger a flare-up. In addition, citrus or other acidic fruits which are in greater supply in the summer may also cause a rosacea flare-up.

Increased Alcohol Consumption

A cold margarita, refreshing beer, or summery cocktail can be the perfect way to end a summer night. But if you suffer from rosacea, it’s in your best interest not to get carried away. Alcohol is known to trigger rosacea flare-ups, as it enlarges the body’s blood vessels. In order to prevent a rosacea flare this summer, limit your alcohol consumption.

How to Calm a Rosacea Flare-Up

A good skin care routine is vital to preventing and/or soothing an existing flare-up. The AAD recommends cleaning your face twice daily with a mild, rosacea-friendly cleanser and using a rosacea-friendly moisturizing cream daily.

The AAD specifically recommends avoiding soaps or moisturizers which contain ingredients including alcohol, camphor, glycolic acid, lactic acid, menthol, sodium laurel sulfate, and urea as they may dry out, or otherwise irritate the skin. Any product that stings or burns, should also be avoided. It is furthermore highly recommended that all products you use on your skin be fragrance-free, as fragrances in cleansers and moisturizers are prone to causing allergic reactions.

Unfortunately, even with your best efforts, you may not be successful in preventing a rosacea flare-up in the summer. But thanks to advances in science and medicine, there are many medications that can help to calm rosacea and may even stop or reverse the progress of the condition. You can use the RxSaver tool to find coupons on commonly prescribed rosacea medications including:

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Azelaic Acid $100.77
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Erygel $135.97
Finacea $391.27
Ivermectin $18.44
MetroCream $632.15
Metro Gel $383.90
Metronidazole $4.97
Minocycline $16.03
Retin-A $43.20
Sodium sulfacetamide and sulfur $79.56

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Dealing with Rosacea in the Summer

Rosacea doesn’t have to ruin your summer. However, it is important to keep in contact with your healthcare provider, minimize exposure to triggers, and adhere to a proper cleansing and moisturizing regimen. In addition, it’s essential to take your rosacea medication as prescribed, in order to keep symptoms to a minimum this summer.

Azelaic Acid: 15% / 1 tube Azelex: 20 % / 1 tube Clindamycin: 300 mg / 30 capsules Cleocin: 100 mg / 3 supp.vags Doxycycline: 40 mg / 30 cap ir drs Erygel: 2 % / 1 tube Finacea: 15 % / 1 canister Ivermectin: 3 mg / 8 tablets MetroCream: 0.75% / 1 tube Metro Gel: 1 % / 1 tube Metronidazole: 500 mg / 30 tablets Minocycline: 100 mg / 30 capsules Retin-A: 0.025% / 1 tube Sodium sulfacetamide and sulfur: 8 %-4 % / 473 ml

Lowest online price at national pharmacy chains Costco, CVS, RiteAid, Walgreens and Walmart as of 01/16/2021. Prices vary by location and pharmacy, see RxSaver.com for actual pricing in your area.


1. Phoenix Research. The RxSaver was conducted online in the USA among 1000 adults 25-64 year olds who filled a prescription in the past 12 months. Fielded May 18-May 28. The research was conducted on behalf of RxSaver by Phoenix Marketing International.

Jennifer Hadley

Jennifer Hadley

Jen Hadley is a freelance writer and journalist based in Los Angeles, who writes extensively about the medical, legal, health care, and consumer products industries. Jen is a regular contributor to RxSaver.

Carina Fung, PharmD, BCPPS

Carina Fung, PharmD, BCPPS

Carina Fung, PharmD, BCPPS., is a pharmacist who earned her PharmD from St. John’s University in Queens, NY. She maintains an active practice, serving as a Board-Certified Pediatric Pharmacotherapy Specialist at a large metropolitan teaching hospital in New York City. Carina has also published in pharmacy journals and works as a consultant reviewing medical articles for publication.

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