Rosacea in Men

Men with rosacea have facial stinging, botchy skin and a red face. Rosacea in men can be confused with a razor burn and may get worse when shaving.

Males that exercise, eat spicy foods, or drink alcohol may notice they get a red face afterwards. Shaving the face can also irritate and exacerbate rosacea and it can be hard to distinguish rosacea from a razor rash.

If you think you have rosacea, it is important to get on anti-inflammatory skin care products to prevent rosacea from worsening.

Using the correct skin care products for your skin type can help soothe and calm your facial skin. Our skin care routine quiz will assess your skin and tell you exactly what skin care products to use.

Rosacea in men

You can read more about what causes rosacea here. The causes of rosacea are the same in males and females.

However, rosacea in men can be a more troublesome for several reasons:

  • Shaving the face makes rosacea worse
  • Men often do not want to wear facial foundation or facial powder to cover the redness
  • Exercise can cause a red face
  • Men who work out in a hot gym may experience rosacea flares
  • Outdoors sports with exposure to extreme hot or cold makes males more susceptible to skin damage and rosacea
  • Chemical sunscreens can worsen rosacea

What triggers rosacea flare ups

What triggers your rosacea flares?

The first thing to think about when treating rosacea is consider what triggers your rosacea?

Rosacea Triggers in Men:

  1. Shaving: Shaving, especially with a multiblade razor, can cause skin irritation that may trigger a rosacea flare-up. Using an electric razor may be less irritating for some men.

  2. After-shave Products: Many after-shave products contain alcohol or other irritants that can exacerbate rosacea.

  3. Chemical Sunscreens: The use of chemical sunscreens, especially when outside for long hours, can be a trigger for some men with rosacea. Mineral sunscreens containing zinc oxide or titanium dioxide are typically less irritating.

  4. Heavy Exercise: Intense physical exertion, especially in hot weather, can cause the body to heat up and the face to flush, potentially triggering a rosacea flare.

  5. Hot Showers or Baths: The heat from hot showers or baths can be a trigger for rosacea.

  6. Infrared Saunas and Steam Rooms- heat can worsen rosace

  7. Stress and Anxiety: Emotional stress is a common trigger for rosacea, and men are not immune to this. Managing stress through activities like exercise, meditation, or hobbies can be helpful.

  8. Alcohol Consumption: For some men, consuming alcohol, especially red wine, beer, or spirits, can trigger a rosacea flare.

  9. Spicy Foods: Eating spicy foods can cause a flare in some people with rosacea, including men.

  10. Temperature Extremes: Being in very hot or very cold temperatures can be a trigger for rosacea. This includes spending time outside in harsh weather without protection for your face.

  11. Hot yoga- any prolonged exposure to heat is a trigger

  12. Medications: Some medications, including those that cause vasodilation (opening of the blood vessels), can trigger rosacea.

  13. Occupational Irritants: Men who work in environments with exposure to certain chemicals, fumes, or extreme temperatures may have more frequent rosacea flares.

Rosacea and testosterone

Rosacea and Testosterone

Rosacea is a chronic skin condition that is more commonly diagnosed in women, but often tends to be more severe when it occurs in men. In men with rosacea, the condition frequently results in the thickening of the skin, particularly around the nose. Testosterone, the principal male sex hormone, has been shown to play a role in the dilation of blood vessels, known as vasodilation. Elevated testosterone levels can lead to increased blood flow, and thereby, potentially more pronounced redness and flushing in the skin, which are characteristic symptoms of rosacea. This hormone can affect the vascular system through the release of nitric oxide, a signaling molecule that relaxes the smooth muscle cells in blood vessel walls, allowing for increased blood flow. 

However, the relationship between testosterone and rosacea is complex and not fully understood. Some studies have shown that testosterone does not affect rosacea. While higher levels of testosterone might exacerbate the vasodilation, and thus the redness associated with rosacea, other factors including genetics, immune system factors, and environmental triggers also play significant roles in the condition.

Rosacea treatments for men

Rosacea Treatment in Men

Shaving facial hair when you have rosacea

Rosacea can worsen after shaving the face. The friction from the razor blade moving over the face, the caustic chemicals in shaving cream, and the alcohol in after shave lotions and toners can worsen rosacea. When shaving with rosacea, choose a shaving cream that is specifically made for sensitive skin types. After shaving apply a soothing moisturizer.

Light moisturizers to use after shaving with rosacea:

Moisturizers to use for dry skin after shaving if you have rosacea:

Shaving Cream for Rosacea

The best shaving cream for rosacea is Zerafite Creamy Cleanser and Shaving Cream which was designed specifically for rosacea and eczema prone skin types.

When you shave, use a razor with only one or two blades to reduce friction. Shave in the direction that the hair grows instead of shaving against the grain which causes more injury to the skin. An electric razor may help your sensitive skin tolerate shaving.

You can also use soothing cleansers with anti-inflammatory ingredients to wash the rosacea prone skin on your face.


Can you get rosacea from going to the gym?

Does facial redness happen at the gym?

If your face gets red at the gym, it could be due to the heat. Here are some tips for men to calm rosacea flares at the gym due to heat:

  • Rub a cold bottle of water on your skin while exercising can help. Put ice cubes in your water bottle to keep it cold.
  • Choosing to exercise in air conditioning when possible
  • Take a cool shower as soon as possible after exercising
  • Apply a prescription medication such as Rhofade before exercising to help keep capillaries from dilating during exercise.

Detergent in the towels at the gym can irritate sensitive rosacea skin. So here are some tips for using towels when exercising:

  • Bring your own towels
  • Use fragrance free detergent
  • Choose soft towels
  • Wipe face gently
Does spicy food cause rosacea?

Do you get a red face after eating hot temperature or spicy foods or drinking alcohol?

This is a common trigger for rosacea. Avoiding these foods and drinks can help.

Can you change your lifestyle habits to avoid these triggers? If so, that will help. Learn more about using diet, supplements and better life habits to treat rosacea from the inside.

You can also see your dermatologist for laser or light treatments.

However, the best first step to treat rosacea in men is to get started on the right skin care products for your skin type.

Using the right skin care routine for rosacea can also help control facial flushing so that you can enjoy hot foods and alcohol again. There are many prescription rosacea creams that may help and can be paired with soothing rosacea cleansers.

We can guide you with customized advice on brands and exactly when products to use and when- but first we need to know your Baumann Skin Type. Once you identify all of your skin's underlying issues, we will give you a personalized skin care routine. 

Get started now!

Level up your skin care knowledge with medical advice from dermatologists

Best References and Scientific Publications on Rosacea in Men:

  1. Zeichner, J., Mitchell, K.. Rosacea in Ch. 17 of Baumann's Cosmetic Dermatology Ed 3. (McGraw Hill 2022)
  2. Baumann, L. Ch. 64-74  Cosmeceuticals and cosmetic Ingredients (McGraw Hill 2015)
  3. Aizawa, H., & Niimura, M. (1992). Oral spironolactone therapy in male patients with rosacea. The Journal of Dermatology, 19(5), 293-297.
  4. Schmidt, J. B., Raff, M., & Spona, J. (1983). Do sexual steroids contribute to the pathomechanism of rosacea? A study of estrogen and androgen receptors in acne rosacea. Acta Dermato-Venereologica, 63(1), 64-66.

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