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Rosacea has killed my inside - what can I do?

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  • Rosacea has killed my inside - what can I do?

    *First post*

    After only 6 long months I'm nothing more than a shell of my former self.

    Derm diagnosed me with subtype one pre Rosacea and have since had 2 IPL treatments with some success but due to this condition of chronic facial redness and intense flushing due to stress/anxiety/heat/wind/exercise/cold I have lost all my friends bar one. I live in a constant state of anxiety when in groups of people and depression at home.

    I have recently came off accutane and so at least cured acne. But I now have such an uneven skin tone that changes colour throughout the day depending on how flushed I am or stressed its made me incapable of being happy.

    Coupled with having horrid dark circles and I have gone from being relatively good looking before Rosacea to looking as people in school let me know on occasion 'looking chronically ill'.

    Have had 2 IPL treatments and my derm said that would be enough but clearly not. I cannotnsee this being cured as the constant flushing just brings back the persistent redness that IPL is used to rid.

    Here are some photos:


    Second IPL - I saw the beatific skin under the redness and thought that's what my skin will look like now :

    Then I flushed a few times and it's now persistently back to this level of redness:

    I'm new to this forum and is my first post. Have absolutely no idea how to tackle this. Carry on with IPL ? Antidepressants?

    High stress and anxiety are causing the flushed mostly now but I can't control them at all. :/

    I know it's something to do with my ANS and SNS but I cannot control this.

    I am currently using oil cleansing at night and cerave hydrating in morning with just a moisteriser each time.

    I have delayed uni for a year as I'm not prepared to go uni until I have restored my confidence and have zero anxiety.

    Is there any tips, treatments, lasers anyone would suggest?

  • #2
    You seem really young, and I know that is really hard to deal with this condition. But you are young and handsome, and you really need to fight the depression.
    In any case, you need to keep going to the dermatologist and maybe ask to try some creams.
    Has your dermatologist tried to prescribe medicated lotions or creams before these IPL treatments?heard the IPL is pretty painful.

    My dermatologist prescribed sulfacetamide sodium-sulfur cream, an antibiotic cream which seemed to have a great effect right away but sadly I think I got a bad reaction so I stopped that for now, and now I"m trying Metrocream, another prescribtion cream, which is helping not get worse....But there are other creams to try, such as Finacea. Another option is Oracea which is oral antibiotic but is too expensive, although there is a cheaper alternative which is Doxy, and doctors seem to not want to prescribe this unless your case is pretty bad, but is something to consider. They also say you need to wear sunscreen, because sun makes rosacea worse.

    Something to make your social life better,
    is one I never considered before, which is using maybe some mineral foundation on top of these medicated creams. I know you are a guy and would never consider this...but if is affecting your social life, maybe some coverup or some mineral powder to disguise the redness that could help the social side until you find a treatment that works for you. I don't doesn't hurt to try.
    If you ever consider, check on youtube search for this video "HOW TO: COVER ACNE - FOR MEN AND WOMEN - BEFORE AND AFTER " by Wayne Goss..... He is a makeup artist and if you look in his chanel he had IPL for acne, and treatments and he does cover up his own skin and the video shows how he does it.


    • #3

      your text could be from me except the point that I did not try accutane for my acne. I am also a very young Rosacea sufferer... But as I can see on your photo, you are a very handsome guy! Well anyway here are a few things in my mind that could help you:

      1. Vbeam - there are a lot of people on this forum who made very good experiences with this kind of laser. I think it is better than IPL

      2. Soolantra - it's a new cream and most of the people who use it experienced less redness and flushing. My derm said you need at least 3 weeks to see results

      3. Low carb - if you lower your carb intake, your flushing issues will be better

      4. Take antihistamines! I take 1 every morning


      • #4
        I dare you to read this all

        You're not alone!
        This is gona be awfully long probably, but I myself enjoy long posts and hopefully you do too.
        My symptoms:
        In the beginning: flushing completely randomly when I was actually feeling awesome and enjoying myself;
        Now(a year later): I flush a lot less now and when I do, it's not as horribly red, my face is often looking from alright to pinkish, I've got tiny caps on nose and cheeks and these areas are sometimes sensitive, I have periodic eye pain that keeps from being my best self, succeeding at school (my grades have dropped) and noone is sure what to do about it (eye doctor just said that my eyes have very good results in all of the tests and that she couldn't find anything). If you don't have eye symptoms, you've been blessed a little, because it's a MESS.
        My triggers for face: anxiety (this is an evil loop, because I got anxious from this facial redness in the first place and now this anxiety is making everything worse), hot weather, very hot or spicy food (but I'm just really glad I can enjoy a tea, because it's really a simple little thing to sip it, but in the beginning I couldn't and it made me realize how many such little things we have in our lives that we just take for granted, like, dude, I remember myself crying in my bed just because I thought I'll never be able to drink tea again and it made me just so sad lol), also actually a longer while at computer can make me flush.
        My eye triggers: anything that makes my eyes work a little: reading, screens, drawing, hot rooms and also anxiety. The pain ceases if I rest my eyes for a while and walk around a bit (this is not always possible though,eg in lessons). If I don't stop the pain somehow soon after it starts, it gets worse and actually makes my face flush!

        My tragic backstory lol:
        I'm a girl about your age and got myself into this mess a year and a half ago, when I decided to finally finish off my mild to moderate acne and cluelessly bought a cleanser from Garnier with exfoliating particles and salicylic acid, and a toner with alcohol in it :/(and a moisturizer as well but it didn't manage to calm down the dryness caused by the two previous products completely). Six months in I began to flush from hot drinks and social situations (and these reactions are mostly driven by ANS - you're right, it's a big player in this disease). Being a 21st century kid I googled my symptoms , found out about rosacea, freaked out, because the information provided is mostly just really scary as you know (an incurable disease which will inevitably make you dreadfully ugly, we have some treatments, but, eh, nothing's really effective). I hurried to dermatologist just to get my worst fear confirmed. At that point I had become paranoid of creams, lotions and potions (because, duh, that's what had caused this mess), so I actually didn't use anything she gave me but instead got into this naturopathy magic sparkle dust stuff, tried to think positive which is nice and all, but I regret this now, because probably my skin barrier was really torn down and my largest organ just really needed some REAL goddamn help. (Yeah, also would've been nice if the dermatologist had talked to me more and explained things >:[) So I freaked out and didn't trust her and actually didn't see her or any other derms for months.
        Things got worse, I developed eye pain (no typical blepharitis symptoms - burning, redness, itching, stinging - just pain after even very little eye work, for example, 10 mins at computer or reading a book), then a month later I started constantly feeling a spot in my left cheek, and developed some visible capillaries which freaked me out the most actually, because you kinda can't get rid of them without some sort of serious, expensive, risky laser procedures (I'm just really glad lasers are atleast somewhat working for you because, for example, I am damn scared of them) Of course, felt desperate, mad at myself for making this absolutely FATAL mistake in my life, doomed, kinda depressed, all that jazz.
        Winter was really tough with all the cold and wind and my right cheek also became sensitive, I finally got myself into some real biology and science, read a lot on this and medicine in general (my eyes were sometimes okay).
        Honestly, I've gone pretty much through hell the last year and one of the hardest things is how noone really gets this. My parents have mostly just been like "it's okay to blush a little every now and then, you're FINE!", doctors here shake their heads all confused and don't get how this illness is a HUGE part of my life, it's not just a little uncomfortable side thingy that I notice every now and then. I mean, GUYS, it's a person's face, it's like what everyone recognizes me by, what I see every day in the mirror, a big part of how I perceive myself. Also their favourite line was "it's just a part of puberty, it'll pass". Not that I hate doctors, I just have come to rely on myself more, because they hardly ever seem to be interested in helping me with my life (I know, they're busy and have many, many patients, yeah ://). It just seems like everyone believes you have an ACTUAL health problem only if you're down in the bed with flu and 40 degree C temperature or if you've been diagnosed with cancer or something like that.
        I went to psychologist but it was kind of useless, because she couldn't help me with the main problem, which is redness, then I went to neurologist because nerves, duh, she prescribed me low dose Anafranil (it's an antidepressant and I don't advise it) "for strengthening my nervous system", a month or two later I noticed that it's made me flush much more to the point where I couldn't even eat cold food without feeling heat in my face and looking red-ish. So yes, that hasn't put my thoughts about doctors much higher I've quit those meds now for about a week or two and I'm better again. Also, like half year ago or so I developed a small spider angioma on my left cheek in the spot which I would feel all the time. I freaked out at first, because I thought it might grow larger or others could pop up, but it's fine and nothing terrible has happened. It's just like a little birth mark on my cheek.

        My advice after a year of reading and experimenting:

        Nerves: You may already know all the usual rosacea triggers: hot or spicy food, sunlight, overheating, stress, etc. Nearly all these things have two things in common, of which the first is that almost ANY white person who has a little bit of blood inside of them can blush from every single one of these triggers. The second thing: this normal blushing reaction is mediated by the ANS. Therefore we can conclude that in rosaceans this perfectly natural and common reaction is exaggerated. I've read a really nice article here that proposes a clever theory of why this exaggeration may be. Many people on these boards have had very positive reactions to this theory and I personally was given a real hope by it so definitely make sure you read it. Here's an interview with the author of the previous article:
        You said you flush from anxiety and that's a big problem for me too up to the point where I go out much less and am a bit scared of meeting new people. Actually it's not that I am scared, it's more like my BODY is. I'm not sure how to tame my ANS but I think I could do it somehow, because we've all heard of people who were once very shy and could never speak in public, for example, (they got shaking legs, dry mouths, twisted tongues, also blushing maybe - all mediated by the sympathetic nervous system) but eventually got over it and became comfortable in their skin. It's like we just have to learn how to speak in front of crowds
        Inflammation: It is known that rosacea is a chronic inflammatory disease, which means that there's a, duh, chronic inflammation in your face that's making you miserable. Now there are other chronic inflammatory illnesses too, for example, asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, atherosclerosis, heart disease, diabetes, psoriasis and many more, partly including even cancer.
        There's one foolproof way how to help all these diseases and it's the good ol' healthy lifestyle - not stressing out, sleeping enough each night, eating healthy, working out enough (30 mins to an hour five times a week, working out too much is pro-inflammatory actually). It works by lowering inflammation all over the body, and therefore in your face too. If you stick to it for long periods of time you should certainly see a reduction in your symptoms and may even send your chronic disease into remission eventually, but, of course, you have to combine the healthy living with proper skincare and trigger avoidance to get results. This paper inspired me very much: Here is a bunch of other interesting reasons to live better:
        I believe that most likely there's no ONE thing that can cure you but rather many smaller lifestyle and skincare choices that'll eventually add up and give your skin back. So I advise you not to listen to people who promise miracles with a cream or eliminating certain food groups. Quitting grains, for example, may help someone with an undiagnosed celiac disease but that's the minority.
        What's a healthy diet? No junk AT ALL, processed sugar to minimum or none at all, I also don't eat anything that contains white (refined) flour, I do eat lots of vegetables, not so much fruit (because they're sugary), whole grains, legumes, also sometimes organic dairy and meat (I really dislike vegans, it just feels like a trend that's actually dangerous for health in the long term and most vegans have no actual idea of what they're doing with their bodies). Also drink more water.
        Speaking of excersise, if it makes you flush, do it less vigorously. I tend to dance around my apartment to my favourite songs like a retard and it's awesome. Keep the room well ventilated because lack of oxygen can make you flush. Also somehow strangely I can tolerate much more vigorous excersise if I'm in the dark. Definitely keep on working out because it's a potent anti-inflammatory and antidepressant and improves microcirculation (your little capillaries will become stronger and less likely to break). Just make sure to avoid flushing! During and after my dancing session my skin looks really good - pale, but with a glow, and my eyes are really calm. Many rosaceans actually have said that excersising in moderation helps them.

        Luckily noone really mocks me because of my face, though certainly many people have seen me flushed and commented on it which made me embarrassed and hurt. My friends have stayed with me but I haven't told them about this thing cause they probably wouldn't understand anyway. It's okay though because I've never really shared my secrets with anyone much. My family knows but they don't get how it is to live with this, they just act sometimes like I'm overreacting and being a hypohondriac, probably because I don't look that bad most of the time (because of all the work I've put into healing my face).
        Many people (including your family) will probably comment not the nicest things if you decide to live healthier (this is an absurd, but, oh well, human nature ugh), but forget it and do what you've got to do to because if they were in your position, they'd be willing to do anything to get out of it (even eat VEGETABLES aaaaaagh). You are now your number one priority and you've got to fix yourself, because, as I've understood now, health is the very base of our whole life and it's so, so, so important that without it we're practically just little, sad nothings roaming around. Definitely take a year off if you need it, summer's coming now so we'll get torest and heal finally now.
        You're young and strong, have spotted rosacea early and are already getting proffessional treatment done, so you should really be able to get into remission soon. Also, one of the leading rosacea specialists in UK, dr. Chu, has said that he belives rosacea can burn itself out over time.
        You can also look into red light therapy, since it has helped many people. I'm planning to get a device for myself this summer. I'd also like to know - how did your rosacea begin? What do you think caused it?
        Paradoxally, dealing with this has boosted my confidence in a way because now I really don't care about the opinions of others anymore and just do what's best for me. I've also become so much more compassionate and understanding, because I know what a ****hole life can become if you make just one dumb mistake by accident. I've pretty much stopped judging people based on their looks and no longer worry about small problems that don't actually matter. I feel like rosacea is one of the hardest things a person can have to deal with so when I'm done with this, I'll have a powerful experience and will be able to tackle anything life brings my way.
        Listen to your derm, keep a positive attitude, definitely don't give up, drink green tea and fish oil (both potent anti-inflammatories). I wish you luck on this journey and a healthy, calm, pretty, pale skin in the end :--)


        • #5
          Thanks for the post and the links. I definitely understand the biology of it all now. And previously had no idea. I think the IPL is effective as it helped destroy some of the 'extensive Vaso infrastructure' that rosaceans have. So the capacity to flush is reduced as well as overal redness. I think obviously this is far from perminant as that infrastructure can re grown when your nervous system plays up and causes flushes again but it does help to reverse it and so I highly recommend it tbh.

          Mine seemed to have started when I applied an aha all over my face whilst also using retinol and on antibiotics I think. It causes some sensitisation in the skin and the harsh winters just brought out the chronic flushing which eventually led to persistent redness.

          Topicals did it for me as well and is a major life regret on that September 2015. Utter decimated the rest of the year and first half of 2016 for me. As I slowly lost all my friends, confidence, happiness sapped away.

          It made my hypercosncious of how I looked and I interesting care a lot more about my own looks now. I also care about how other people look as I know now that nearly all conditions can be treated to an extend and so people with untreated conditions I just think they don't have enough drive and self respect so yes I make character judgements on them.

          Furthermore as you pointed out your face is a big part of how you view yourself and how other do. It's perfectly naturally to be judged on our looks it's very natural and part of the mating process to go with the best looking people we can get. That's why you see ugly people together and good looking people together. It's natural selection at play and your skin is a big player in how healthy you look.

          Unfortunately I am only sexually attracted to attractive people and if you are unattractive in my eyes I couldn't form a long theme sexual relationship with you. If you are hugely obese for example I don't care how nice you are as a perosn if you are not attractive it's a massive drawback.

          That is why I am determined to do all I can to rescue my skin as it's the main cause for my ugliness I feel.

          Saying all that o wouldn't ever bully someone for their looks or anything and I would still be friends but when it comes down to it look are important in this day and age weather poeple like it or not.

          I would love to eat healthier and I do eat moderately healthy but I also love chocolate and unhealthy food because it's just nice.


          • #6
            Please read my last post under Newbie section called "healing from the inside out". All the treatments and medications from dermatology are only bandaids to the real problem going on inside your body. I won't repeat it all can read it yourself if you'd like. I understand how difficult and embarrassing this all can be.


            • #7
              First I need to point out that Colin Dahl's article is still just a theory and hasn't been confirmed by any specialists as far as I know. It just seems to really make sense and, as I already said, people on forums have said the "staying warm" approach works against flushes. So it's a very good read and hopefully really true, just stay cautious.

              About diet - you of course can choose what to eat yourself I'll just try the superhealthy approach for myself and see where that goes. Theoretically should be good

              And I totally agree about the fact that it's very natural to judge people based on their looks, especially when it comes to lovey dovey stuff. But I disagree with you that some people lack self respect or drive to banish their health and looks problems. I believe anyone would really do anything to help themselves. It's just that sometimes things don't work even though you really try. Idk but you just can't know the story behind how a person looks.


              • #8
                I'll try to eat healthy I mean it definitely won't do any harm at least.

                And yeah I think it does help to an extend as it reduces the changes in temperature your body experiences and so guess your body doesn't have that reaction it can when temp suddenly rises or falls.

                Yeah I get whag you mean some people just can't help it but I know some people who just don't have any anxiety at all about how they look and completely let themselves go they just don't care.. To an extend that's lucky as it saves them a lot of stress but obviously has negative impacts In love life.

                All I know is that the kind of girl I would find sexually attracted to would be far better looking than I currently am and so need to make myself better to try fit into the generally perceived 'good looking' category just so I'm in the right league as these things do exist for sure even in an unspoken way.


                • #9
                  Hi Vice

                  have you already contemplated trying anti flushing medication? The side effect profile can be scary, but drugs like clonidine, beta blockers (propranolol is good for flushing often), antihistamines and some antidepressants can be very helpful to make your face a lot less prone to flush. I take them and it really has been a big help; before the meds I used to flush and burn literally all the time. Hellish way to live and it made me very depressed and anxious too.

                  I take the antidepressant mirtazapine (brand name; Remeron) at 22,5 mg a night. Not a high dose but it works very well for me to cut down on my previous depression and anxiety, and it also makes me less flushed. You might even find that your IPL/laser treatments are more effective while taking such medication, as they will make it harder for you to flush, and that helps with long term results. Not flushing for the first month after treatment is said to be important, because of new vessel growth stimuli in that time frame..

                  Sorry you are having such a tough time with this. Everybody can relate I think. Try to take new roads to stabilize your rosacea?

                  Many people find that adjusting their diets can also make a difference. Food triggers can differ, but avoiding high sugary foods and foods high in histamine usually helps. Some find that cutting out dairy and/or gluten helps as well.

                  Best wishes Nat
                  My rosacea related blog:


                  • #10
                    Think of Princess Diana with her crimson cheeks and chin. Or Bill Clinton, for example, with thickened skin and uneven texture. Rosacea is not just a cosmetic problem, but a real vascular disease medically called angioedema. It is even listed in the International Classification of Diseases (code L71).


                    • #11
                      So you should not treat it as just a cosmetic defect. But it can be treated with drugs from the anxieties group