Need advice (on redness) - better late than never?

As we all know, rosacea is more than just a red face, but indeed trying to treat the redness or erythema associated with rosacea is quit tricky. Use this forum to get the lastest and greatest information.

Need advice (on redness) - better late than never?

Postby JOHNMERRICK » Tue Dec 15, 2009 6:11 pm

Hi all.

Apologies in advance for the longwinded post, have got to get stuff off of my chest....

My story so far...I am a 41 yr old male from the United Kingdom and had bad eczema as a child. When I was about 16/17 I noticed red blotches on my face especially around the cheeks, kinda like the butterfly shape people mention. As there were small blood spider veins on one of my cheeks, in my infinite wisdom I started using steroids on my face to dampen down the redness. I can remember being incredibly angry and highly sensitive about my skin and no-one inc my family seemed to realise just how much impact this was having on me. At age 17, I discovered that I could cover the redness up using my sisters foundation....and I have been using it ever since :-(

I went to a dermatologist at that time and to say they were understanding would be a travesty. The female doc kinda just kinda coldly said 'You have something called Rosacea and it's mild so you just have to live with it as nothing can be done about it'. This in hindsight must have really traumatised me as since that day, I haven't felt like going to any doctors or dermatologists about my condition. Since age 17, my Rosacea has got worse and I have redness and blotchiness over 90% of my face and forehead and also some papules now and again.

I have basically attempted to hide this condtion away from EVERYONE. I have gone to great lengths to hide it from family, girlfriends (not that there's been that many due to my lack of intimacy caused by my fears over my Rosacea), work colleagues and friends. I have turned down holidays with friends as there would be water and sunbathing involved, have bunked off work due to worrying/bad skin days, lateness at work (it takes me an eternity to put the foundation on every single day..it takes me an hour and half plus to get ready for work!)

I have stopped having girlfriends as I figure until I can get to the point of coming to terms with my Rosacea, how can I let my guard down and be intimate with a girlfriend? Lately I have been having problems with my eyes, which I believe to be Ocular Rosacea which is really getting me down over and above the usual feelings of feeling low/depressed bc of my facial Rosacea, so much so that I don't think I can take much more of this day to day agony.

So...I went to doctors (with full foundation on), and saw a lady doc, explained my history and experiences. She wasn't as bad as the original doctor years ago but she kinda shook her head alot and I kinda felt that she wasn't reallt that understanding or sympathetic, maybe all doctors all 'cold'? However, she said she was also a dermatologist for 4 yrs and she could help. She has prescribed me the 'usual' of Oxytetracycline and also Metrogel, and asked me to come back in 4weeks where I would have to show her my face WITHOUT the foundation (this admittedly made me nervous as I never let anyone see me without the foundation on!). She has also asked me to speak with the counsellor as I am obviously VERY sensitive re: my face and may have become traumatised by it?

I looked at the medical info and there were soooo many common (and serious!) side effects, I actually had second thoughts on taking the anti-biotics and the Metrogel. My main questions are:

Is there anyone else out there who thinks 'is helping my Rosacea potentially worth having one or more of these side effects?' I am desperate to try these drugs IF they help me but part of me thinks, I should paint my face every day for the rest of my life and put up with the torture...rather than gain a medical condition caused my the side effects?

Your help/advice is needed...and much appreciated :) thanks for letting me vent lol.
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Re: Need advice (on redness) - better late than never?

Postby Aurelia » Wed Dec 16, 2009 1:39 am

Hi John and welcome to the group, (wave)

Because you were diagnosed with rosacea many years ago, I have moved your post out of the 'Newly Diagnosed' section into this one for help with redness or blotchiness, etc.

On the whole, we don't like duplication of posts. However, in your case, I have taken the liberty (mod's prerogative :) ) of copying it across to our section on psychology because many rosaceans share your feelings about rosacea and that aspect might be best dealt with separately. I hope you won't mind that.

viewtopic.php?f=23&t=1876

Kind regards, and wishing you the best of luck,

Aurelia
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Re: Need advice (on redness) - better late than never?

Postby Aurelia » Wed Dec 16, 2009 2:59 am

A follow-up -

The butterfly-shaped redness and small spider veins are typical early signs of rosacea. As you probably now realise, steroids are one of the worst things you could have used, especially if applied on a regular basis. (If only we knew then what we know now, eh!?)

There are many types of treatments and useful hints for countering solid redness, blotchiness and papules. Ditto with ocular rosacea. For the former, please start by reading threads in this section. For the latter, perhaps start by reading these two pages from our RS Resource Pages:

http://rosacea-research.org/wiki/index. ... ones%2C_MD

http://rosacea-research.org/wiki/index. ... nnis%2C_MD

Please don't hesitate to ask questions. We don't bite. :)

Kind regards,

Aurelia
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Re: Need advice (on redness) - better late than never?

Postby Naturaltreatments » Wed Dec 16, 2009 4:06 am

Hiya

There are definitely some doctors and others who will take rosacea seriously if you go to see them and show sympathy to our plight, but there are many more who are not that great at dealing with rosacea. I'm not sure where you're based, but in the UK there's Dr Tony Chu at Hammersmith Hospital in London who has a long waiting list but is knowledgeable about rosacea and also Dr Peter Crouch in Swindon (he specialises in laser treatments for rosacea and answers questions on this board sometimes). It sounds like a good idea talking to the counsellor as well - the figure I heard suggested was that 70% of people with rosacea suffered depression so I think a lot of us could do with this emotional support. It's also worth bearing in mind that there are specialist make ups for guys to wear with skin conditions called camouflage make up (many guys with skin conditions do wear them and they are designed specifically to cover up the skin condition rather than to look like you have make up on).

I know what you mean about how difficult it can be to not wear the usual mask when going to see the doctor so they can see what's going on. Additionally to not wearing your foundation, it's also worth taking photos of a 'bad skin day' to show the doctor what it's like at its worst.
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Re: Need advice (on redness) - better late than never?

Postby CrabbyCathy » Wed Dec 16, 2009 8:28 am

Welcome! (wave)

I love that idea, of taking a picture! Or letting them wipe off a tad of make-up on one spot, and you can reapply it before you leave the office. We feel you. I had to go bare-faced a few times and a very rude man (and a woman, actually) kept staring at me on two separate occasions. Hello, dermatologist's office---skin problems usually---clue? Geez.

Can I ask your dose of antibiotic? Because, for example, if it is a low dose of doxycycline or "Oracea", the effects are anti-inflammatory rather than anti-microbial, and nasty side effects are low to none. I also know that sometimes, at least it was the case with me, two derms I saw prescribed high dosages of doxycycline for the first month or two, then wanted to taper down once things started to respond, eventually settling on the very low dose mentioned above (40-50 mg). I know you're thinking, or at least I did, "antibiotic! for life! daily! no way!" but it's really usually okay.

Also, the Metrogel--I myself have only used metronidazole (cream and gel) for a year or two, sporadically, and had no side effects. I stopped sometimes because I was convinced I had found the next miracle cream :P The only thing I can remember is a little itchiness when combined with certain foundations. My best friend has used MetroCream non-stop for 12+ years, and you can hardly tell she has rosacea now; I think she only used it at bedtime.

If you can, keep seeing different derms--you will find one that is nice, listens to you, has empathy, and is knowledgable. It can be hard; they can look at you like you shouldn't be complaining because it's "just" rosacea, but that's not for them to judge. You can try asking your regular doctor(s) if they can recommend a good derm; sometimes they know other departments and know who is good, etc.

I'm glad you are seeking treatment; it may take awhile, but it should start to work. I don't think we can be "cured" but we can look pretty good once we find the right routine and combination of products that work for us!

For the eyes, others recommend warm water compresses, I think, and I know that 1-2 gms of flax seed oil capsules are very good for dry eyes, not to mention your skin in general.

I am also testing out drinking green tea daily; I read that it can be very good for redness, both internally and topically, as a toner or compress.

Can I ask what else you are using on your face? And do you know of any triggers for you, that you try to avoid?

By the way--I have also called in sick to work sometimes, and often don't want to go out even for errands if I'm having a flare.
Cathy (makeup)
See my blog for tips and helpful links!
Please note: Any advice offered here is not meant to replace medical advice. Always see your dermatologist.
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Re: Need advice (on redness) - better late than never?

Postby Lisamouries » Wed Dec 16, 2009 5:14 pm

Hi John.
So sorry to hear what you've been going through but sadly it is quite common. But never mind, help is at hand now and things should definitely improve. First you can talk to us, we are all ears and hopefully you'll see some positiveness coming out of all this.

Just to reassure you, I've been applying metrogel every evening for almost 2 years now and can't say it's made my skin worse. I'm still reddish but it's at a level which I find acceptable and thank goodness it burns way less than it use to. For me and a lot of others it's a combination of things that work. For example I take Clonidine x 3 a day which is a vasodilator, I also take omega 3, Vitamin D3, do 10–15mns of red light therapy, always wear sunblock whether it's sunny or cloudy and moisturise a lot, like 2 to 3 times a day as the topicals we apply can be very drying. I also tissue off my face cleanser instead of rubbing with cotton puffs which helps a lot. So there is a number of things you might need to do but the important thing is once you've found something that works for you to stick to it without fail.

Don't let the Rosacea take over your life. Fight back and regain your happiness. We're here to help.
Lisa M.
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