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Newbie pics, Rosacea or KP??

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  • Newbie pics, Rosacea or KP??

    Hi all

    My names Tom, Im 22 and live in the UK. Since I was 15 or so I developed what I thought to be rosacea on my cheeks. Basically both cheeks have a permanent pink colouration to them, with very set lines to the side of my mouth where the red cheeks meet the pale skin around my mouth. I have noticed other lads my sort of age with a similar thing.
    I have attached a couple of pictures, sorry for the poor quality, it gets worse than this but I dont have any "bad" pics of my cheeks as I delete them usually!!

    I am very easily prone to flair ups where my cheeks will BURN and the colouration will change to a very deep red. This will stay for hours! Im triggered by heat, alcohol, stress/anger and most of all EMBARASSMENT!!!! It takes the smallest thing for me to become embarassed so that I go bright red, unfortunately my work colleagues play on this to the point that I will hold back from saying things because I fear a flair up.

    I have now got to the stage where Im reluctant to do nights out etc anymore as im so self conscious of my face, can pubs/clubs not provide adequate air conditioning?!

    I have been to the doctors on several occasions and was originally told I had rosacea. My GP surgery has an aesthetics clinic and at 16 the GP treated me with IPL twice. I didnt see much improvement, but have a noticeable white patch in the middle of each cheek. I had assumed this was where he did the test patches however since stumbling across this forum tonight it sounds like it could be KP! My uper arms/thighs are very "pimply" in appearance, a nuisance but I deal with that by remembering that not everyone will be seeing it there My older sister has similar symptoms, however a far lesser degreee of facial redness.

    I went back to the doctors this year and he prescribed me Clonidin...big mistake. I was very tired on these pillls. to the extent that I could hadle function!

    Recently, I have saved up over £1000 and decided to try IPL again. I revisited my local clinic where, 6 years on things seem to have improved. It would seem that my skin type was misdiagnosed last time around and that the machine wasnt zapping me hard enough! This doctor does not think I have rosacea, instead he thinks I have erythema.

    So, two days back I received my first IPL treatment with a 560 filter and at 30 Jules. He did a pass on this, and then another at I believe 515 but using a tripal light shot (or words to that effect).

    Tw days on, my skin is slightly patchy (swollen i should think), however I think that it may possibly be slightly lighter in colour and I dont think I have flared up today. I didnt mention KP to my doctor but will do on my return there next month.

    My question is, does it look/sound more like KP than rosacea and if it is KP, is it likely that the IPL will treat it well and that it should last well (with the odd top up?) Many thanks for any thoughts/ suggestions, I know my problems are very minor compared to some people! I just want this improved so that I wont have to worry about it anymore!


    Attached Files

  • #2
    Hi Tom

    I can relate as your redness is very similar to mine. The donut shape is quite characteristic of KPRF. I have the same pattern of redness, and have only ever been diagnoed as it being rosacea. Regardless, the problem is the redness.
    Yes you are right going down the laser/IPL route, although I would urge you to seek out the best. In the UK, I can highly recommend Dr Crouch in Swindon. Personally I travel an hour and a half to get to him, and would never dream of letting an aesthetics clinic in London touch my skin, as IPL can be dangerous, or even useless in unskilled hands. His treatments are not expensive, but there is a long waiting list (because he is so skilled)
    I am on moxonodine, which is similar to clonodine, but without the bad drowsiness. It is a newer drug and easily avaialble by presccription for flushing. It helps me a lot.

    Hope this helps


    • #3

      Welcome to the forum it sounds like you have been sensible in the actions you have taken so far.

      If you want to get a proper diagnosis then I would ask your doctor to refer you to Dr Chu at Hammersmith Hospital. He really is the best dermatologist and will be able to help you to find out what the situation is. There are many people on this forum that go see him including myself.

      IMO it looks like KPRF but as I am not so sure about all the symptoms related to that condition the best thing I could do would be to point you to a forum that deals with that it. It does appear flushing may be part of it:


      More info on KPRF

      It is important to get a proper diagnosis as the treatment for the conditions are slightly different and what may be good if its KP may not be so good if its rosacea. Having said that the IPL can appear to help both conditions.

      I can understand and sympathise with how you feel about going out and getting embarassed. I tend to avoid confrontation because I get red easily. I will also avoid venues where I know which I know will get hot.

      Best wishes



      • #4
        Another idea would be to post your question about the use of IPL in the 'Ask the Doctor' forum on the RSC

        As Terry said Dr Crouch in Swindon is a very expereinced doctor who uses IPL and other lasers to help treat rosacea and other skin conditions. This is where I go for IPL,etc


        • #5
          Thankyou for replying so quickly guys, to be honest I feel better about things just from having found this website!

          From having a look at the KP forum it would seem that maybe this is what I have. Users on the KP forum seems to encourage the use of Paxil, an anti anxiety drug to alleviate the flushing as well as making you feel better about things. Im very reluctant to go down this route as A) I don think im quite that bad and B) I would have to disclose this to my work which would affect my job.

          So do I take it that KPRF and Rosacea are two completely different things? If so, is IPL suitable for KPRF or should I try Vbeam PDL etc?

          Terry, thankyou for your comments. How well are you finding IPL is working for you? Is it nearly normal? Did your Dr suggest PDL as an alternative as the KP forum seems to suggest PDL is better? My Dr who is carrying out my IPL seems to know what hes doing, his technique seems similar to that described by Dr Crouch on his website. I do know though that the machine im on now is the one purchased by the sugery back in 2003, not sure if this makes a difference or not! Unfortunately, Swindon is a vey long way for me to go so I may have to stick things out in sunny old Eastbourne for the time being!

          I have to admit to not visiting a dermatologist, I wouldnt know how to go about sorting it out and im guessing there would be a hefty wait to see one of the NHS!!


          • #6
            You would have to go back to your doctor and ask to be referred. If you want to see Dr Chu then I would recommend that you ask to go privately as the waiting list is six months even when you pay. I can give you all the details about Dr Chu if you want. I do think it would be a good idea to get a proper diagnosis.


            • #7
              Hi Tom

              Yes i visit the KP forum occasionally, but have to admit I find it not well moderated and some users can be very argumentative. I actually havent had much help on that forum, and yes I have heard of the paxil thing that has worked for one member on that forum, but I prefer to stay with moxonodine to reduce flushing and not a anti-depressant with so many side effects.
              My redness is being helped by IPL, although i definately intend to have Vbeam treatment(pdl), when i find one that doesnt cost an arm and a leg. In the UK , for some reason no-one of any repute (or reasonable cost) seems to use it.

              For me I would travel way out of my way just to see an expert in rosacea, as there are SO FEW- trust me! I have seen so many doctors and derms in my life who don't have a clue about the condition. You have to ask yourself if its that important to you. If it is, distance is not the biggest factor.I have had IPL treatments in san francisco that did nothing and were a waste of money.

              Also, if you want to see Dr Chu, I got referred by my NHS GP..the wait was 12 weeks, and now its NHS, BUT the appointments are spaced about 5 months apart, so its not ideal. But he is the top derm in the UK for this kind of thing.



              • #8

                my checks are they same ive been diagnosed with rosacea on many different occasions mine kinda looks like kprf but my nose and center face go red and i flush like a mad man,

                But laser and ipl have helpped with the redness.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by minibbb View Post
                  My question is, does it look/sound more like KP than rosacea and if it is KP, is it likely that the IPL will treat it well and that it should last well (with the odd top up?) Many thanks for any thoughts/ suggestions, I know my problems are very minor compared to some people! I just want this improved so that I wont have to worry about it anymore!


                  It looks like you have received some excellent advice above, but do you mind if I take a stab at your specific questions?

                  IMO, it is more likely KP than Rosacea based upon your pimply thighs and upper arms comment as this is classic KP description and locations. So, it would stand to reason, the likelihood of you having KP on your cheeks is very high. Also, given your young age of development (15), the likelihood of Rosacea significantly decreases and the likelihood of KP increases. So, while I nor anyone on this forum can give you an accurate diagnosis, I think Phlika's advice of seeing Dr. Chu is the best way to spend your money. I would not get another IPL treatment until you have a very clear diagnosis. Just my opinion, but while you may suffer from social blushing, that's not rosacea either.

                  As you say, you have noticed other lads with a similar appearance. They likely don't have rosacea and the odds are very good you don't either.

                  An accurate diagnosis would be money VERY well spent, and you wouldn't be possibly paying for IPL treatments that if it is indeed KP, will be useless (at least from what I have read, KP does not respond to IPL).

                  As for your last comment about worrying about it, I will give you my standard exclusion that as a hetero male, I don't really look to closely at any other guy's pictures but you look fine to me- like any other normal bloke (is that the proper English term?). No matter what, I think you should make every effort to live your life and try to worry about it a lot less.

                  No matter what, I think an accurate diagnosis is key and frankly, I don't know that you have received that as yet.

                  Well, that's my two cents.