Tell Me About Rosacea

During a routine physical yesterday, I learned the reason my face has been itching and flaking for the past several months is I have rosacea. I’ve been out to, read what they have to say and requested some literature. I’ve also got a prescription for Metrogel. Fortunately, I don’t wear makeup much and I never have had that much invested in my looks. It’s nothing dangerous or life-threatening, but it’s cause and it’s cure are currently unknown, so it looks like I’m stuck with it.

Does anyone else have rosacea or know anything about it?

I have it in a mild way now and then. My trigger is cool/cold wind, and sometimes it doesn’t have to be particularly cold or strong wind either; my face gets red and hot and blotchy and lumpy. It fades after about a day.

A few years ago when it was worse than usual, I went to the doctor and got a scrip for Metrocream. I used it up, but by then I wasn’t getting “episodes” as much anymore, so I never went back for more and haven’t had the blotchiness as much or as often.

Sorry I can’t be much help, but that’s my experience.

Do you know what your trigger is?

I know it manifests itself in lots of ways. My son had it and it looked more like acne than flaky. It was really bad for a few years. I know he finally took some medication of some sort (not sure if it was topical or pills). He’s been clear as can be for a couple years now.

I was diagnosed with this many years ago, my doctor offered me pretty much a lifetime subscription to steroids and anti-biotics daily. That didn’t go down so well, and I did about a month’s course instead which helped to clear up the redness and some of the blotchiness. After that, I went to see a Chinese herbalist and had some weird combination of creams that did a fantastic job but I couldn’t afford to keep going back there. A course of acupuncture and a few changes in my life sorted things out quite well.

I have the subtype 1 rosacea so mostly it’s just facial redness, blushing etc and some spider veins. I do sometimes get raised, red, itchy patches on the corners of my mouth, on my nose and across my forehead but I have pretty much pinned these flare-ups to certain triggers. Mine are spicy food, too much alcohol, dairy products and (oddly enough) red things. So now I have cut down on the red wine, red peppers, tomatoes and other ‘red’ things, I have fewer spicy curries and I’ve changed from normal milk to virtually lactose-free milk.

My skin’s always been quite dry but now it’s even more so and I have to be quite careful what I put on it because some things just burn! I use unfragranced cleansers like Origins “Pure” range and for a moisturiser, I have found that Vaseline’s intensive moisture-lock product is currently working very well. I do occasionally use E45 cream as they do a very good itch-relief variety which helps if I get an unexpected flare-up.

Mostly I have been able to work out what causes the flare-ups and what to do about it, so things are pretty much under control now. I know what foods to avoid, and I also know that if I eat certain things they will irritate my skin. It’s up to me how badly I want that bit of cheese, knowing what the consequences will be!

I was recently diagnosed with rosacea but I think my dermatologist was a little quick to pull the trigger. I do have acne. Nevertheless, I use Metrogel at night and Finacea in the morning. Siege, you’re a lady, right? Clinique’s Redness Relief cream feels nice and tones down the redness too. (Of course guys can use it; it’s not a cosmetic.)

I have it, mostly flushing in the cheeks. Triggers for me are alcohol and exertion. Hot days can also make me flush.

A couple of years ago I went and had laser treatements done at a dermatology clinic. That cleared a lot of redness out of my face; especially two or three really large veins. Since then I’ve stopped alcohol consumption and I find that my flushing and general redness are greatly decreased, even after exercise. I’ll probably go back in another couple of years and do another round of treatments.

I recommend reading Dr. Nase’s book on rosacea. It’s written in two parts; one part for the layperson and one part for medical professionals. My dermatologist read it too. I found it very helpful in explaining a lot about the condition.

If you’d like you can borrow my copy of the book, Siege.

Thanks everyone. I haven’t worked out what my triggers are yet, but I think cold or wind is one of them, since this first started in winter a couple of years ago. I’m also going to try to get in the habit of wearing a hat and/or sunscreen when I go out, assuming the sunscreen doesn’t irritate my face more. If it does, at least I like hats!

Sigmagirl, I’m female and I try to be a lady. Clinique’s the only brand of cosmetics I’ve dared to wear for a couple of years, so I’ll check out their Redness Relief Cream, and NinetyWt, I’ll keep an eye out for Dr. Nase’s book.

Thanks for the information.

Siege, I also have rosacea. I’m pale skinned, and have acne-prone skin to begin with. Basically, my cheeks are very rosy, and sometimes when it flares up, it looks like sunburn. I hate it! But it has gotten better in the past few years. One thing that helped is when I lost weight - I lost 60 pounds, and suddenly my face wasn’t as red any more. Of course, it could just be a coincidence.

I did do Metrogel for a while and that helps. You have to stick with it.

Other pretty obvious tips include: use a mild face wash; don’t scrub your face; use a hypoallergenic, fragrance-free moisturizer. I also find that it’s a bit worse in the winter - I attribute this to the cold outside and the dry heat inside.

I also don’t usually wear makeup, but for a while there I was having to use foundation daily just to look normal. Now, if my face gets too red, I use Bare Minerals, which is lightweight and natural-looking, and I have read that it has a soothing effect on rosacea too.

I have it. I often tell people who comment on my flushing is that if one wants to avoid all the rosacea triggers, one should do nothing but sit in a dimly lit room sipping tepid water.

I can get the overall flushing with exertion, heat and alcohol. I can also get the spotty flushing with stress. It’s the most horrible feeling. It seems directly linked to feeling exposed in an emotional sense – being put on the spot, for example, or expressing an opinion that is contrary to my audience. I feel it and I know it’s happening and that makes me feel even more put on the spot. It feels like there are waves of heat emanating from my cheeks and my ears and sometimes my neck.

Maybe I haven’t been dillegient enough in its use, but Metrogel has not made that much difference.

If you ever have the misfortune of seeing me without a beard in the spring or fall then you’ll understand why I wear a beard. When I used to shave I would shave on one day, use duct tape to get rid of the flakyness the next day, then wait two or three more days before I would shave again. Generally my bad times are during the seasonal changes, my chin and across the bridge of my nose (cheekbone to cheekbone, the soft sinus part all the way across) flair up, get red and puffy and sometimes start to flake.

It used to really bother me but now I have the beard to hide the lower half and warm water seems to sooth the upper half (not hot though, that makes it worse). FWIW it doesn’t seem as bad as it used to be but I don’t know if that’s because it’s not as bad as it used to be or if I have just accepted it more.