Hi there everyone,

I was diagnosed with rosacea and seb derm in July or August. I also have blepheratis now apparently. It all happened at once when I returned from a trip to Scotland and I still don't know why. I am a young woman and have always had great skin. Anyway, I came to this group right away and noticed that diet change helped people, so I decided to go that route instead of using prescriptions.

I decided that sugar was one of the likely culprits and I immediately stopped eating refined sugar. It was hard. For a week, I had sugar withdrawals. I felt terrible and I was frustrated because I could hardly find any food that did not contain added sugar. I had headaches, felt tired and wanted sugar so so badly. I had dreams of oreos and pies and cakes. It was intense! I was never really a sweets girl so I was surprised by my cravings.

I also stopped eating bread, white flour, dairy, red meat, and I stopped caffeine just because it seemed like it made me a little anxious and at this point in my life, I needed to remain calm. My friends and family seemed to think I was insane. Why would I not want to eat a cheeseburger or a doughnut? It's just a blotchy face, who cares? But to me it mattered because my body was trying to tell me something and I needed to listen. I started a food diary and eliminated things here and there. I still have some confusion about certain things. If I had a flare, was it because they put butter on salmon I ordered in a restaurant or was it because I had a car accident that stressed me out? Was it the Florida heat or the cinnamon I ate? Still, I am figuring it out, slowly but surely.

Right now, I have discovered these seem to be my safe foods but this is a work in progress:

Almonds, chicken, brown rice, sweet potatoes, fish, flax seeds, arugula, lettuce, sprouts, cucumbers, bell peppers, almond butter, almond milk, raspberries, lentils, chickpeas, turkey, black beans, cannellini beans, zucchini, squash, eggs, onions, Ezekial tortillas.

This week I am trying to cut wheat out completely because I am thinking that wheat may have something to do with my blotches. I tried quinoa for the first time this morning as a replacement for my Ezekial cereal that I love so much. We shall see if I can tolerate it or not. I think I eat too many carbs, so I am trying to see about getting less carbs, but that will be hard for me. I usually weigh about 105 but now I weigh 98 pounds. I am 5 ft 1. I want to gain 5 pounds because my clothes no longer fit well.

Life without sugar is easier than it once was, but I still want to eat like everyone else sometimes. It makes me feel afraid to go out to eat to or parties because I know people won't understand why I can't eat certain things. They'll think I'm just being a raw food hippie and I don't really want to talk about my rosacea to people, it is just awkward.

Seb derm: I am still trying to figure out how to deal with it. It is very mild and I use Head and Shoulders, but I think I need something a little stronger to keep it in check. Head and Shoulders seems a bit harsh, so I am looking into Aveda's scalp line. I have heard good things about it and it is more natural.

Blepheritis: Thanks to this forum, I learned to do warm eye compresses and eye scrubs daily. My bleph is currently contained and I can wear contacts again, although I have switched to daily contacts. I just warm up some water on the stove, get a clean soft washcloth, go to the bathroom and find an audio book on booksshouldbefree.com and listen to it on my Ipad while I soak my eyes for 10-15 minutes twice a day. I would love to lay down in bed with the warm cloth but it does not stay warm long enough. I saw an eye doctor yesterday who said my eyes look good and I have been taking good care of them. Of course, I have lost a few eyelashes and that has bothered me a little, but I am trying to not let my ego get to me anymore.

This whole sitation has been very humbling and has taught me about what is truly important in life, and looking perfect is not important. My new mantra is, "Feeling good is more important than looking good." On a bad day when my face is red, I just remind myself that it is temporary. Caring for my eyes is my priority at this moment. As long as my eyes are healthy and I can still get around, I am fine.

Some days are better than others, but I find that it IS manageable at this point. I think if I keep my stress levels down and learn to accept my condition, I will be a stronger and better person. I no longer drink or eat processed foods. How can that not be adding years to my life? It has opened my eyes to the amount of junk that we Americans usually eat on a daily basis.

I read on here somewhere to not fight the condition, accept it. I think that is the best advice. I can't go back to the time when I did not have this condition, but I can live with it. It won't kill me. In a way, it might save me because it is telling me not to eat junk, not to drink alcohol, stay away from refined sugar. Maybe I'll live longer!

Again, I am still at the beginning of my journey but I wanted to write this down in case someone is newly diagnosed and feels like hope is gone. It is not. Those who survive are the ones who learn to accept and adapt to change. That is what I am trying to do. There is light at the end of the tunnel.