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  • Dealing with redness for 10+ years

    Hello, everyone! In the mood for a bit of reading?

    I'm 22 years old and was diagnosed with rosacea when I was in elementary school. Yup, elementary school. I remember my classmates calling me "Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer" as early as the fourth grade. For me, a red face was normal and nothing to feel bad about, but then I started breaking out a few years ago. Here's the deal. My chin gets very itchy and flaky, to the point where I wake up at night from discomfort. I get persistent bumps around (or on) my lips and am now permanently red. My lips haven't looked normal in years. Several doctors have reassured me I don't suffer from cold sores. My cheeks and nose are always red to some degree. Burning/stinging is rare unless I'm extremely distressed.

    Three years ago I went to a dermatologist who prescribed Finacea, Metrogel, Benzaclin, and Oracea (Doxycycline). He told me to never ever moisturize. I didn't use the Metrogel because it didn't give me results in the past and I couldn't keep up with all the applications. Everything except my lips cleared up, but I stopped seeing him because his office was very far from my house. I eventually started breaking out again.

    I went to another dermatologist. She prescribed Noritate, Clindagel, and Doxycycline. I also started to suffer from seborrheic dermatitis on my scalp and was losing hair. I'm a woman, so I found it hard to deal with. She prescribed Derma-Smoothe/FS which helped to relieve the itching and scaling. I saw no improvement on my face. In fact, things got worse.

    I went back to my previous dermatologist. The nurse who attended me said Noritate was "outdated" and "greasy" and she was surprised they still made it. She also said Clindamycin was worthless and again told me to never moisturize. I told her it was hard not to moisturizine when my skin was cracking and flaking. (I've used Cetaphil for years and never felt it harmed me.) She left in a bad mood. The dermatologist walked in and told me I had a severe case of rosacea. He then said, "It can't be cured. You know that, right?" I told him I knew that He prescribed Metrogel, Avar-e Green cream, and Oracea. He also tried to sell me an Avar facewash.

    Here are my questions:
    • Has anyone had success with Metrogel? Avar-e Green? (I'd never heard of Avar before.)
    • What is the difference between Noritate and Metrogel aside from one being a cream and one being a gel?
    • What's bad about Clindamycin? Why would he prescribe Benzaclin if it was worthless?
    • What's bad about moisturizing? The pamphlet he gave me recommends daily moisturizing with Cetaphil.
    • I don't eat meat aside from fish. This helps with a certain chronic pain I experience. Does this help rosacea in any way?


    For what it's worth, I live in Florida where it's impossible to avoid the heat. I get red just from walking to the car. Is anyone else in a similar situation? If so, how do you manage?

    Thanks in advance to anyone who reads and replies!

  • #2
    yow! what a bum deal you got from those derms.

    I had R since grade school, too. So chances are you have exactly what I had, which is caused by the demodex mite. Have a look at my little bio on this site -- just click on "ghost" where it's in color and you'll go to my section. Pick the About Me tab.

    All the info is there.

    G

    P.S. as far as I'm concerned drugs from derms are useless.
    "It's all illusion anyway."

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    • #3
      Thank you for your response, Ghost

      I looked through your profile but haven't had the chance to read it in full. I've suspected I was diagnosed too early and without too much consideration, but there may be some basis to my diagnosis because my symptoms appeared at around the same time as other ailments. I figured it was stress and a crappy immune system. Either way, thanks for bringing up demodex rosacea and a possible solution to my problem. My only concern would be altering my diet. I was a vegetarian for five years until I noticed my B12 was a bit low. I've since added fish to my diet. I don't want to further restrict myself by cutting off dairy and grains like cereal, pasta, or bread. I understand I should alter my lifestyle so I can improve my rosacea, but I can't alter it in such a way that my health will suffer in other areas. Having said that, I admit I'm not too familiar with the "Paleo Diet," so feel free to explain it to me if you feel I'm misunderstanding the premise!

      I'm also rather cynical about dermatologists and medications, but I hold on to the hope that something will work in the long run.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by manzana23 View Post
        Thank you for your response, Ghost

        I looked through your profile but haven't had the chance to read it in full. I've suspected I was diagnosed too early and without too much consideration, but there may be some basis to my diagnosis because my symptoms appeared at around the same time as other ailments. I figured it was stress and a crappy immune system. Either way, thanks for bringing up demodex rosacea and a possible solution to my problem. My only concern would be altering my diet. I was a vegetarian for five years until I noticed my B12 was a bit low. I've since added fish to my diet. I don't want to further restrict myself by cutting off dairy and grains like cereal, pasta, or bread. I understand I should alter my lifestyle so I can improve my rosacea, but I can't alter it in such a way that my health will suffer in other areas. Having said that, I admit I'm not too familiar with the "Paleo Diet," so feel free to explain it to me if you feel I'm misunderstanding the premise!

        I'm also rather cynical about dermatologists and medications, but I hold on to the hope that something will work in the long run.
        Fish is good. And there are many kinds out there. When I started the paleo I ate mainly (almost exclusively) fish, eggs, salad (with lime & olive oil), steamed veggies, avocados, nuts, fruits -- see, there's a TON of food... I also had a very little bit of chicken (organic). I cut dairy later. But found I can not get along with soy. So now I have a teeny bit of dairy (mainly as yogurt, or whey protein).

        The demodex mites love it if you eat wheat and other grains, and sugar. And it looks like this is a big part of your diet.

        If you do what I describe in About Me, you will see clearing in a month provided, of course, that it is demodex and not an underlying condition.

        You know there are b12 pills and that natto from Japan is vegetarian b12.

        That's all there is to it. As I noted in my write-up, which you read, not everyone will do it.

        Good luck!

        G
        "It's all illusion anyway."

        Comment


        • #5
          Oh, I know there are B12 supplements. I was consistently on B12 pills (and fortified foods) for about a year and was able to raise my B12 levels, but I didn't raise them enough to feel comfortable continuing my diet as it was. Trust me, I tried what I could before breaking my vegetarianism. I also know there are other foods I can eat besides grain (and I wouldn't say grains make up most of my diet) but I know my limits rather well. I'm open to lowering my grain intake but don't see myself eliminating grains altogether.

          I mentioned in my original post that my face cleared up while I was taking Finacea in combination with other medications, but I broke out once I distanced myself from that specific dermatologist and discontinued treatment. Looking back at my post, I feel I didn't make that clear.

          Again, thanks for the suggestions. I'll keep them in mind should I continue to struggle.

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          • #6
            I figured I'd make a small update. (I wonder if I should head over to the prescriptions subforum )

            I've been using the Metrogel in the mornings. My chin is no longer as itchy, flaky, or painful. The P&P's have subsided and my only uncomfortable side-effects are dryness and a bit of redness. I moisturize in the mornings and this helps to relieve the discomfort. I've also been applying the Metrogel to my cheeks even though I don't suffer from P&P's in that area. It hasn't decreased the redness but it also hasn't worsened it. My cheeks are not experiencing dryness.

            I applied the Avar-e cream to my chin for a few nights but experienced stinging and burning. The redness intensified and the smell of rotten eggs stuck to my nose. I tossed the cream aside.

            I haven't taken the Oracea (Doxycycline) long enough or consistently enough to comment on its effects.

            All in all, I'm surprised the Metrogel seems to be working on the P&P's, but I'm not going to jump for joy just yet.

            Edit: Ah, I've been moved to the newbie questions. Interesting.
            Last edited by manzana23; 2 September 2012, 05:02 PM.

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