Rosacea flare-ups may last anywhere from a few days to several months. The condition then tends to go into remission for a period ranging from weeks to years.

Like many chronic conditions, rosacea has periods characterized by active outbreaks and worsening symptoms, called flare-ups.

During this time, people with rosacea may experience a spike in symptoms like swelling, irritation, and inflammation.

These flare-ups may vary widely from person to person. As there isn’t much research on the length of these episodes specifically, it can be challenging to conclude their average duration.

That said, based on anecdotal reports, rosacea flare-ups typically last anywhere from days to months.

Since untreated symptoms may worsen over time, it’s a good idea to learn about the nature of flare-ups and how to manage them. Here’s what you should know.

Close-up of someone's face with rosacea.Share on Pinterest
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In simplest terms, a rosacea flare-up involves active symptoms. Meanwhile, remission involves a lack of symptoms.

According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), rosacea often (but not always) cycles between periods of flare-ups and remission.

Those who don’t experience flare-ups or remission will experience a steady stream of active symptoms, though they may be milder than those who experience flares.

Many flare-ups may onset in part due to specific triggers, including:

  • extreme weather
  • stress
  • certain foods, such as spicy foods
  • certain medications, like those for blood pressure
  • alcohol

Though rosacea is a chronic condition, with specialized care, it may go into remission for several years or even permanently.

When rosacea flares up, you can take steps to soothe the skin and alleviate symptoms.

Even after a flare-up has begun, avoiding triggers can help prevent further irritation or inflammation.

As triggers tend to vary from person to person, working with a doctor and using a journal to track and identify your symptoms can be helpful.

Other steps that may help provide relief from burning, itching, and discomfort include:

  • applying a gentle moisturizer formulated for sensitive skin to cool, hydrate, and soothe the skin
  • drinking plenty of water as dehydration can worsen rosacea
  • using a cool compress or draping a cool, damp towel around your neck to provide additional relief
  • using a humidifier to help retain moisture in the skin as dry air can worsen rosacea
  • practicing relaxation techniques like deep breathing as stress can worsen symptoms

Unlike other skin conditions like eczema, a bath or hot water is unlikely to soothe symptoms. For many people who experience rosacea, the combination of heat and steam, such as in a hot bath or sauna, may worsen symptoms.

Many ways you can try to avoid a rosacea flare-up include:

  • identifying and avoiding common triggers like spicy food and alcohol (if you do drink)
  • maintaining an overall healthy lifestyle with a balanced diet, regular exercise, and sufficient sleep
  • sipping on cool beverages like iced tea instead of hot beverages
  • reducing stress with techniques like yoga, deep breathing, or meditation
  • protecting your skin from sun damage and irritation by wearing SPF 30+ daily and wearing hats
  • avoiding extreme heat, which commonly triggers rosacea flare-ups
  • using skin care formulated for sensitive skin to help prevent inflammation and flare-ups

Though there’s not yet a single proven cure for rosacea, many people with the condition find significant relief and enter remission with regular treatment.

Treatments that may help include:

Why does my rosacea flare up at night?

As your body temperature fluctuates while you sleep, you may find that a sudden spike results in a rosacea flare-up.

What does a rosacea flare feel like?

A rosacea flare may feel like certain areas of your body, such as your face, are warm and painful. The affected area may also change in color and appear red in light skin tones and or dusky brown in dark skin tones.

How can you stop a rosacea flare-up?

You may be able to stop a rosacea flare-up by keeping the irritated skin area cool and applying a fragrance-free moisturizer.

Rosacea flare-ups, or periods of active or worsening symptoms, may last anywhere from a few days to several months. Though rosacea is a chronic condition, with specialized care, it may go into remission for several years or even permanently.

Managing triggers, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and using clinical treatments if necessary can help keep flare-ups at bay.