Thursday, 26 January 2017

My Rosacea

I have Rosacea & am currently having a flare up which has prompted this post.

I've had it on & off for 10 years. It coincided with my 1st pregnancy. I thought it was hormonal & didn't realise it was a skin condition. I thought it was adult acne & skin sensitivity.

I had a short period of good skin followed by a very bad period where I was put on a 3 month course of antibiotics. This had little to no effect so I was referred to a dermatologist at the hospital.

This was a frustrating time as every time I went I saw a different consultant so they had no idea if it was better or worse & I continuously had to explain. I was also suffering eczema at this time which was part of my referral & I feel this meant my rosacea was overlooked.

After 18 months of various lotions & potions my skin improved. The consultant seemed uncertain if this was due to treatment, hormones or just luck but I was just relieved everything seemed relatively normal.

This however didn't last and I've had problems on & off every since.

My eczema is under control. I need occasional steroid cream & use Aveeno moisturiser often. After much trail & error this was the best for me.

My rosacea however is not and has been a weird and very frustrating experience. A bad flare up can leave me in tears and it can effect my confidence and ability to socialise.  I feel like seeing a doctor is wasteful as some people are actually ill. I usually only go when I have a bad infection or am extremely low.

My rosacea occasionally effects my eyes.  I hadn't known this was linked until a couple of years ago & just thought I was unlucky.  I usually just buy some eye ointment from the chemist and get on with it.

However this week I've had a flare up with acne like spots & it has really effected me.

I started a new job recently & I'm now facing people daily & they are new people.  I'm in a school and a few children have commented on my red nose/cheeks.  As I also had a cold I just blamed it on that but it made me inwardly cringe and wish the floor could swallow me up.

I feel self conscious & less of a person when a flare up is bad.

A lot of people will not understand & I know it sounds ridiculous.

The trouble is it largely effects my nose, mouth & part of cheeks. When its just red it's easier to cover but when I have the strange spots make up clings or slips & it doesn't sit right therefore drawing more attention to the area of concern.

I've decided to visit my GP although already feel bad for taking their time. I called on Monday and have an appointment for Friday evening. My skin settled a little over the weekend and the spots have reduced but I want some medication so when another flare up occurs I can reduce the symptoms quicker.

I've tried Avene Antirougeurs Jour redness relief cream as its highly recommended but it makes my skin redder and seems to annoy blemishes so is definitely not for me.  I've also tried Clinque Redness Solutions in the past which also didn't agree with my skin.  Over the years I've tried several of the green tinted creams that most make up brands offer but none have really done the job.   I'm currently trying Dr Nick Lowe Redness Relief.  It feels nice and made a small difference this morning but I don't think its going to be the solution I was looking for.

If you'd like more info on Rosacea I've written a separate post so click here.

Wish me luck & if anyone has any tips or wants to share their experience I'd love to hear from you.

Emma xxx


Rosacea - Information, Symptoms, Treatment

Rosacea is a common but poorly understood long-term skin condition that mainly affects the face.

Rosacea often starts with a tendency to blush/flush easily and this can lead to other symptoms.
  • burning and stinging sensations
  • permanent redness
  • spots
  • small blood vessels in the skin becoming visible
  • eye symptoms (inflammation of the eyelids, dry eyes, reoccurring stye).
  • Thickening of skin usually around the nose (rhinophyma) This is uncommon and in severe cases.
The exact cause of rosacea is unknown, although it is thought it maybe abnormal blood vessels. 

Some people report certain triggers cause a flare up. Common triggers are -
  • exposure to sunlight
  • stress
  • strenuous exercise
  • hot or cold weather
  • hot drinks
  • alcohol
  • caffeine
  • spicy foods
Treatment varies dependant on the symptoms. Rosacea is a chronic condition that is incurable but can be controllable.  

There are a number of things you can do to help keep the symptoms of rosacea under control -
  • avoiding things that trigger your symptoms if known
  • taking good care of your skin and using products suitable for sensitive skin
  • using make-up to camouflage persistent redness
  • using an SPF daily
If you have round red bumps that rise from your skin (papules) and pus-filled swellings (pustules) caused by rosacea, there are a number of different medications to try which require a prescription.
  • metronidazole cream or gel
  • azelaic acid cream or gel
  • ivermectin cream
If symptoms are severe antibiotics often used are tetracycline, oxytetracycline, doxycycline and erythromycin.  This can be for 1 to 2 weeks or a low dose for several months.

Redness can also sometimes be successfully improved with vascular laser or intense pulsed light (IPL) treatment. These treatments require a referral to a dermatologist and they're not usually available on the NHS, so you may need to pay for them privately.