Carole’s Rosacea Story

Written by on June 20, 2016 in My Rosacea Story with 1 Comment

Rosacea News is starting a new series of articles that I’m calling “My Rosacea Story“. There is real power in hearing other people’s stories. We’d love to hear from you too. Feel free to send me an email, and to use the following questions as a starting point.

Thanks to Carole for sharing.

How long ago, and how did you discover you had rosacea?

About 16 years ago; diagnosed by dermatologist when I went for another problem.

 What feelings can you remember from when you first found out?

At first I was not very concerned because it wasn’t severe, and I didn’t know much about the disease. I never had the bad facial redness. The main problem was pustules and some broken blood vessels. I was then in my 60s; I am now 78. The good news is that with a little makeup, I have no visible signs of rosacea. The bad news is that the disease has gotten worse as I have gotten older. The major problem now is flushing on the nose and more sensitive skin that reacts to anything harsh. The pustules on my nose were a major problem but are now controlled with the antibiotic Oracea.

What did you start doing to find relief?

Followed doctor’s advice with gels and creams, sulfur wash and Doxycycline. Used Cerave cream and gentle non-soap washing (for my dry, sensitive skin). Used Finacea prescription cream, which worked for a while.

What things did you try that didn’t help?

Metrogel – both cream and gels left severe irritation and enlarged pores. One very bad experience: The physician assistant treating me for rosacea misdiagnosed a growth on my cheek as a rosacea pustule, which she froze with liquid nitrogen. It grew back and she froze it again. It grew back and I went to another doctor who did a biopsy and discovered it was squamous cell cancer, which he removed with surgery. I now have a scar across almost half of my cheek, although it is not noticeable under makeup. I have also read all the usual triggers (alcohol, spicy food), but they do not apply to me. Retin-A or retinol products, which are highly recommended by many authorities for acne and/or aging skin, are much too harsh for me, but they may work for other people.

What things did you try that did help?

Antibiotics — used to be on Doxycycline and now I use Oracea, which has been the best for controlling pustules. I tried Finacea again a month ago and quit after a few days with severe irritation. But after reading so many great reviews on rosacea blogs, I am trying it again with moisturizer and it seems to help reduce the pustule scars and large pores on my nose. Sometimes I just use drugstore acne medicine Clearasil (salicylic acid 2%) for a small acne-like eruption. I use sunscreen daily especially after having the cancer on my face.

Where did you find the best advice?

Rosacea blogs (, reading other people’s experiences with rosacea, and websites or blogs about skin care. Reviews of cosmetics and drugs are very helpful and I check them before I buy anything ( For example, I tried Finacea again recently and quit after a few days of severe irritation. But after reading so many great reviews on rosacea blogs, I am trying it again with moisturizer and it seems to be working. I have also read and tried many people’s home remedies and suggestions, but most didn’t work for me.

Please tell us what advice you would offer newly diagnosed rosacea sufferers?

Go to a dermatologist. BE INFORMED. Do your research and find out all you can about all the medications and rosacea treatments available. If one medication doesn’t work for you, ask the dermatologist for another medication or advice. Be skeptical about expecting cures or expensive treatments and cosmetics offered by many websites or doctors who are just marketing profitable products. Find out what kind of skin you have – sensitive, dry, oily, acne prone – before you try products that are not good for your skin type. What works for one person may not work for you.

What hopes do you have for the future for yourself and for rosacea sufferers in general?

Many new prescriptions and treatments are being tried and approved. I don’t expect a cure, but I think more products are being geared to rosacea sufferers, and we will have treatments that provide more relief from the disfiguring symptoms.

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Read more about: My Rosacea Story

About the Author

About the Author: David Pascoe started the Rosacea Support Group in October 1998. .

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1 Reader Comment

  1. comment via email.

    “I found Carole’s story very interesting and informative.

    I’m now going to find myself a dermatologist !

    Thanks for sharing.

    Age 63 – recent Roseacea sufferer”

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