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Thread: Personal success stories

  1. #11
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    Smile Goodbye rosacea

    Hello there. My name's Katie and I live in the UK.

    When I was 30, I started getting a red, hot, itchy, bumpy, oily face. I had had two children by then and put it down to hormonal changes. I tried giving up sugar and dairy but to no avail. I saw the dr who gave me metrogel, but this did very little. I avoided cosmetics, i avoided moisturisers, I washed my face in plain water, I tried tea tree oil - basically you name it i tried it. I spent many hours reading threads from other rosacea sufferers, despairing about mites and antibiotic treatments.The dr told me it was 'one of those things' and to avoid alcohol and spicy foods. Unfortunately it was 'one of those things' that destroys your confidence.

    Anyway, ten years later and I don't have it anymore. The turn around was not slow and protracted but really pretty quick when I'd figured it out.

    Number one - stop eating wheat in all it's forms. I was looking on the 'Gluten Free Girl' website when she described someone who looked like me. It's not really difficult, and it's nearly impossible to get fat if you don't eat any bread or cake. Brilliant bonus. I think it irritated my gut and that irritation manifested itself in my skin.

    Number two - Clearasil ultra skin wipes, morning and evening until you have got the situation under control. The salycilic acid really helped, as did the continual exfoliation.

    Number three -moisturise, but go for an oil free, comedogenic moisturiser like Olay's 7 x effects.

    Now I use ordinary facial wipes in the morning and evening.

    This was two years ago and it hasn't come back. No one ever says "wow your face is really red" anymore, and I don't feel like I need to hide behind my hair.

    I really hopes this helps someone.It all feels so unfair, doesn't it? Don't give up though, because one day it will be gone. Trust me.

    XX

  2. #12
    Senior Member J-Mill's Avatar
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    Default Hey Everyone

    Wow, feels like a long time since I posted last.

    This summer has been so busy I have not had a ton of free time, and to be honest I have taken a break from posting here, but I have been continuing to respond to the pm's people send me requesting information/advice.

    I have been meaning to do this "success story" post however, hopefully it helps others. My treatment progress is obviously my own and results will vary as with any Rosacea treatment, but, my treatment is relatively cheap and backed by scientific studies.

    I have actually had Rosacea for well over a decade. It started with intense flushing and a definitive burning sensation during these flushes. Flushes were normally brought on during stressful times in the day. As I am a lawyer, it would frequently happen in court. I did not know what it was, and I just ignored it. At the time I lived a healthy lifestyle. No smoking, no drugs, casual drinker at best. I was a distance runner, ran marathons and during training would eat a vegan diet as I found it produced the best results in terms of my energy which manifested itself it better run times. About 5 years ago I had my first bad flare while I was training to run a marathon in Halifax (Canada). I woke up and my skin was red, irritated, scaling and I started getting daily break-outs of p&p's. The burning sensation was more frequent and I also itched...a lot. The burning became more intense, it was hard to just ignore. I was eventually diagnosed with Rosacea and seb derm.

    The only real triggers I could identify for my skin flares were cold weather, wind, alcohol, exercise (even moderate) and spicy food. Some of these are easier to avoid than others. I spent a period of time not really exercising much, I had to give up running.

    I tried a number of treatments both conventional and less so with varying degress of success. For my seb derm cycling hydrocortisone acetate (1%) lotion is all that worked, although I had some minor success with oral itraconazole. For Rosacea oral doxycycline worked well for a while, and then stopped working even at high doses. Diet, other than really spicy food and alcohol has had no impact on my Rosacea, I have tried eliminating all sorts of foods with no success. In any event, I have numerous posts here describing my treatment attempts, now on to what has worked for me and where I am now:

    1. Skin Care - I found that I have to use as gentle a cleanser as possible and a good mositurizer to keep my skin in check. I used Spectoderm for sensitive skin to cleanse and Toleriane Skin Soothing Cream as a moisturizer. I have tried other cleansers and moisturizers over the years and these two work the best for me by far. I cleanse and moisturize twice daily. As for sunscreen, I am very sensitive to all of them. If I am going to be in the sun for an extended period of time I either use Vanicream for Sensitive Skin SPF30 or Anthelios SPF30 from La Roche Posay. Both don't appear to aggravate my skin much so long as I don't cake it on.

    2. Positive Attitude - Even when my skin was at its worst, I never gave up on finding a solution and I never let it hold me back. I am a very social person and can't imagine hiding indoors because my skin is red and broken out. It makes no sense to me. No one who matters cares. My position on this is well known. I can't stress enough how this has helped me. Although I never gave up trying to improve things, I never got deperate. Also the lack of stress I am sure was positive for my skin and my health in general. Don't discount the importance of remaining positive in your treatment plan.

    3. Low Dose Accutane - A number of months ago, I started taking low dose accutane. I had tried this before but thought the dosage was too high (I tried previously at 10 mg/day and things went poorly, bad flare, etc.) I started by taking 10 mg/3x a week and increased to every other day after a month. After a couple months at this dosage I cut back to 3x a week and now I take 10 mg/2x a week. The results have been amazing. I no longer have deep flushes, and the burning and itching are almost non-existent. The breakouts are gone as well. My redness has diminished greatly. In addition, I have returned to exercising and eating spicy food with no adverse effects. 2 months ago I started distance running again, initially I had a minor flare but kept at it anyway and it has settled down. I even enjoy the odd glass of red wine now without a problem.

    So to make a long story short, I treat my skin with gentle products, take a microdose of accutane weekly and just enjoy life and my Rosacea is so well controlled I don't even think about it. Eventually I will have to stop taking accutane, of course of the dose I am on it would take about 10 years to reach the maximum culmunative dosage for my weight. Still, after a year or so I will probably try to come off completely and see how things go.

    Good luck to everyone and have a great summer. I will continue to do the pm thing. When I am less busy I will try and post a bit here and there.
    "Get busy living or get busy dying."

  3. #13
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    Hey J-Mill,

    I believe too, Accutane at very low doses, is very helpful. It keeps both acne/papules and Rosacea in check. One of my Derm's takes Accutane as "maintenance" too. It's also an option for me, but I've not gone that route yet. I just may though!

    Thanks for sharing.

    Wishing you continued success!

    Yvette

  4. #14
    Senior Member MissD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J-Mill View Post
    2. Positive Attitude - Even when my skin was at its worst, I never gave up on finding a solution and I never let it hold me back. I am a very social person and can't imagine hiding indoors because my skin is red and broken out. It makes no sense to me. No one who matters cares. My position on this is well known. I can't stress enough how this has helped me. Although I never gave up trying to improve things, I never got deperate. Also the lack of stress I am sure was positive for my skin and my health in general. Don't discount the importance of remaining positive in your treatment plan.
    I didn't even think of adding this. Feeling bad about yourself is pointless, crying induces flushing, and you end up not getting anything done and life is too short for that. I've read articles about studies where a positive attitude can help increase recovery in anything from the common cold to the flu and even cancer because when you are positive you're more likely to find solutions to your problem(s), whereas if you feel sorry for yourself, it increases stress hormones (and therefor flushing).

    I remember when I first got diagnosed with rosacea I was a wreck. I knew it was a great possibility that I had it long before I saw a doctor about it, but having it confirmed was just horrible to me. I would cry so much that sometimes even my whole body would flush and not just my face, and my face would remain red for an hour or more afterward. Now that I've decided to go ahead with laser and now that I have realized it isn't so bad after all I continue to have a positive outlook as far as rosacea is concerned. I am pretty bummed that I got it so young, but I look forward to the possibility of new and improved treatments in the future.

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by MissD View Post
    I didn't even think of adding this. Feeling bad about yourself is pointless, crying induces flushing, and you end up not getting anything done and life is too short for that. I've read articles about studies where a positive attitude can help increase recovery in anything from the common cold to the flu and even cancer because when you are positive you're more likely to find solutions to your problem(s), whereas if you feel sorry for yourself, it increases stress hormones (and therefor flushing).

    I remember when I first got diagnosed with rosacea I was a wreck. I knew it was a great possibility that I had it long before I saw a doctor about it, but having it confirmed was just horrible to me. I would cry so much that sometimes even my whole body would flush and not just my face, and my face would remain red for an hour or more afterward. Now that I've decided to go ahead with laser and now that I have realized it isn't so bad after all I continue to have a positive outlook as far as rosacea is concerned. I am pretty bummed that I got it so young, but I look forward to the possibility of new and improved treatments in the future.
    Would you happen to have before/afters with your laser treatment? After reading your posts I have become VERY interested in trying it out, I really never was before. Just to get a better idea of what kind of rosacea you suffer from. Thanks!

  6. #16
    Senior Member MissD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ewist View Post
    Would you happen to have before/afters with your laser treatment? After reading your posts I have become VERY interested in trying it out, I really never was before. Just to get a better idea of what kind of rosacea you suffer from. Thanks!
    I wish I did! I don't even have any pictures of myself before the rosacea on this computer so the most I can do at the moment is try and describe it.

    During a bad flush my chin and outside of my face near my jaw and ears would go red as well as the ears themselves. If I didn't or couldn't relieve it in some way the redness would creep closer to my nose, and obviously all of this burnt really bad.

    When I wasn't flushing, my nose would be pink all the time and I had this red rash-like area underneath my left eye and top of my nose, and the area close to my jawline was red on both sides; worse on the right (I hope that makes sense).

    I just had my third laser treatment yesterday so right now I'm pretty dang puffy After the swelling went down on my previous two the redness slowly receded after several weeks. My cheeks still got a little bit flushy but rarely until the point they burned, and my nose still got a tiny bit pink sometimes so I expect all of that to improve even more this time around.

  7. #17
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    Hi All,

    So I've been doing pretty well recently considering it's summer in New England (although a very cool summer!). The shortened version of my story is as follows. Diagnosed with a thyroid disordered (hypothyroid) in September of 2007. I was undiagnosed for some time after having my second child and was having horrible symptoms from the thyroid issues. During that time the rosacea appeared right after a long weekend at the beach -burning flushing and a weird rash on my face. I thought I was allergic to something and had every allergy test done - patch tests etc. The flushing continued and my face started to get ruddy - Finally my derm (who I had seen at least 8 times) mentioned that what I have could be on the rosacea spectrum (haha) so he prescribed metrogel and an antibiotic. Nothing helped - very soon after I developed ocular rosacea too. Uuuugh my world came crashing down. SO I took control!

    I take 20 mg on Doxy and Restasis for the ocular along with fish and flax oil (been on all these for over a year)

    I started my first IPL last July 2008 told my Derm not to go over board as I was scared to death. 8 IPLs later - my last one was in March of 2009 (the last one was a double pass) - and I don't think about my rosacea much any more.

    I follow the warm room flush article and stopped sleeping with a fan - keep my AC off as long as I can tolerate it. I also find when I exercise if i sweat my flush goes away very quickly (sort of like normal exercise flushing). I can tolerate warm days and with good sun block (ELTA) and a great hat - I can even go out on our friends boat on a sunny day. Don't get me wrong I still flush a little but they go away very quickly.

    I eat well - but have not taken anything out of my diet except wine (although I've tried many elimination diets which have done nothing)

    I do yoga daily (and recently got certified as an instructor!) and I meditate every night. I truly believe (for me) the yoga and meditation have helped to keep my anxiety in check and my body feeling great which has helped with the rosacea flushing symptoms - plus I get more sleep which we all know helps lessen rosacea symptoms.

    I have another IPL scheduled for August but I think I'm going to cancel it as I want to wait a bit until the symptoms start returning. - hoping remission will last a few years - but I'm cautiously optimistic.

    I'm still working to find the best cleanser as and moisturizer - I was a big fan of jojoba oil but my face always felt oily - so that is my new mission.

    that's it - IPL has been the key for me and of course a good overall attitude.

    Jen

  8. #18
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    Default Am new to forum but thought I would share list of what has helped a fellow sufferer:

    I realize that we all have different triggers and symptoms (I don't have flushing often but am plagued by tons of red bumps and I'm sure I don't have to explain to anyone here how it completely deflates your ego), nevertheless, for what it’s worth:

    1) VitaMineral Green with apple juice at least twice daily (to help with the acid/alkaline PH balance)
    2) Wash face with Cetaphil Gentle Cleansing Bar followed by 100% Jojoba Oil as moisturizer at night then apply Rosacea LTDIII
    3) Use a suncreen moisturizer during the day (one with Niacinamide to control redness)
    4) Consume fruits/vegetable and lots of water (I bought a portable alkalizing water pitcher so that it's with me at work, travel, etc
    5) Apply Queen Helene's Mint Julep Masque (contains sulfur) at night when experiencing redness and flare-ups
    6) You may want to talk to you Dr. about this one before trying since it could interfere with medications, etc - When I get a major flare-up of bumps I begin consuming 1/2 Tsp Arm & Hammer Baking Soda dissolved in a large glass of water or divided between several glasses of water throughout the day – I'm not kidding, my symptoms start improving during the first day and are usually gone by third day (believe it alkalizes my blood after I've done something that created the flare-up). It's supposedly safe for consumption since people use it as an antacid but I personally don't like the idea of drinking it on a daily basis since it adds a lot of sodium to the daily intake; have recently begun toying with the idea of using it as a maintenance tool though - plan to try drinking it once every three days to see if it has a lasting effect rather than only utilizing it when I experience (and am already suffering from) the dreaded rash of bumps.

    Hope this might help someone!

  9. #19
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    Default Minocycline

    Hello, I was diagnosed with Rosacea back in June 09. I have been taking Minocycline with good success. I live in Melbourne, Australia. I treat my skin very gently. I found that Finacea cream was too harsh for my skin. I have started using pawpaw ointment which I find is very good. In the morning I apply a small layer of pawpaw ointment then apply Invisible zinc day wear. The invisible zinc day wear available in Australia is sensational. I hides all the redness and pustules if I have them. I also take vitamin supplements such as zinc, magnesium, Vitamin E and B. The invisible zinc day wear is made in Australia by Ganehill. I swear by it. You can buy it at Chemist warehouse, Woolworths and priceline. It is cheapest at Chemist Warehouse. It can be expensive but it is so worth it.

  10. #20
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    Hi,

    I have to say, I never thought I would join these forums but Ive found that there is some great info here and its always good to connect with people with similar difficulties. I was diagnosed with rosacea around 2 years ago but Ive always had problems with my skin. Had acne as a teenager and the rosacea started years before I was actually diagnosed. I think it started when I got serious about my job and the stress of it just worsened my skin.

    And as much as I try to control it with diet, for me, anti-biotics and IPL were key in improving my skin and getting visible results. I even went on a detox programme in thailand which involved eating just vegetables and doing yoga and tai chi, colonics, etc etc but what REALLY helped for me was IPL.

    I still struggle with rosacea today and as much as I love my friends and family, they just dont understand how awful it is to live with it. Its easy for them to say, 'its not that bad' or 'it will get better'..blah blah...so its refreshing to be able to share these stories with people who are going through it like me. Its a constant battle, to have to watch what I eat and drink. Lets face it, we cant eat a whole lot once you cut out sugar, carbs, alcohol, meat, dairy, hot food, etc. But I guess its taking it all in moderation. I LOVE chocolate and alcohol and I will allow myself to have some once or twice a week.

    Also, supplements are good. I take Lysine, Vitamin C, zinc, collagen supplements which has helped with the texture of my skin. For me, stress and emotions flare up my rosacea IMMEDIATELY. its hard to control, its not like one can do yoga in the office. so, am trying not to get too depressed about it. Would love to hear how you all cope with the stress, emotion side of things.
    Last edited by Kmac; 13th January 2010 at 05:10 AM.

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