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Thread: HELP! coming to terms with my awful face

  1. #1
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    Default HELP! coming to terms with my awful face

    Hi all. I'm a 24 year old male who has suffered with a combination of rosacea,seb derm, and eczema,all of which are present and extreme on my face.
    It started when i was about 19 with red patches on my face and flushing,It was embarrassing but i manged to just ignore it in my young and free ways kidding myself into believing it wasn't that noticeable.It didn't come and go it was a level of bad redness and burning that was always present and had never been treated. I was too insecure and shy to go to the doctors..
    There came a point when i was 19 when every few months my skin would step it up and i'd have the most intense burning red patches everywhere on my face that lasted for about a week. Obviously i phoned in sick at work.This was when i first went to see the doctor. I was initially diagnosed with seb derm as i also had dandruff and a sore scalp. I was prescribed a few moths oxytetracycline and advised to wash my hair with nizoral. My skin cleared up and my scalp was clear.I finished my course of antibiotics but unfortunately it didn't take long before i was back at the doctors with terrible skin again. This time my doctor prescribed me hydrocortisone 1% steroid cream.I tried this steroid cream and it worked brilliant,confidence was back and i was feeling great.I know now you're not supposed to overuse steroid creams on the face but i was slopping this stuff on everyday for months as it was keeping my skin great(I believe this overuse of the steroid cream has caused my skin further damage)

    So...after using oxytetracycline,nizoral,and hydrocortisone constantly for about 10 months my skin was fine up until i ran out of the steroid cream last September and thought i wont ask for another prescription but i'll carry on with my oxytetracycline and nizoral. From September to the present day my skin is the worst it has ever been. What makes it worse is hydrocortisone now agrivates my skin and the oxytetracycline is ineffective.My scalp is not a problem anymore .EVERYTHING aggravates my skin on the face. I have tried countless moisturizers ,miracle creams, honey masks,sea salt,diets.....Nothing works! I tried using nothing to see if my face would naturally heal itself but that didn't work.I had a few more trips to the doctors who put me forward to a dermatologist and in the meantime has been giving me steroid tablets which again worked brilliant at first but no only help a little and again, i know i cant be using them all the time.
    The dermatologist thinks i might have rosacea as well as seb derm and has arranged for me to have a allergy test.

    So that is where i am now. With Terrible skin which i may upload pictures of should i get the balls to do so.

    The main reason i am writing this post is because i need support. I suffered some degree of social anxiety before but in general i felt i was a loved and popular person at work and at home.The problem is when my skin was bad i'd become incredibly distant at work and very introverted. Every work day was an endless drag praying for it to finish.Countless times I'd sit in the toilets at work on break time because i couldn't face being in the canteen with people. I've left work now because i couldn't face it anymore. i was the shadow of the person i normally was and now i'm extremely depressed with the thoughts of not wanting to be alive sometimes.
    So many times I've canceled nights out or going round to my wife's parents house for dinner it's embarrassing.She is working full time while i'm at home barely leaving the house with my 2 year old son. She understands its hard for me but it can cause tension between us.
    I tend to get off my wife "It's ok my family don't care. nobody's looking at it" Its nice that they say that and i believe them when they say that they don't care, but they still think i'm being unreasonable when i don't want to sit around a table eating dinner with them or going out to the park with them when my face is red raw burning,dry,and flaky making me feel extremely uncomfortable and depressed.The problem is I'm canceling things ALL the time as my skin is bad ALL the time .It breaks my heart and my wife would never say but she is probably grossed out and finds me deeply unattractive.I know she loves me but our love life is non existent and it makes me wonder is it down to my horrible face. I obsessed with how i looked before this skin condition but now anxiety and depression are at an all time low. I feel so full of guilt for my wife and son who deserve better and terrified of the thought of my wife eventually down the line thinking of other men. Me and my wife honestly have the strongest relationship and i know she would never cheat or anything, I just think the fear and guilt stems from the fact that i think she deserves better than me

    I've found myself hating people who have normal skin because i am so stupidly jealous of them. I feel like i cant live a normal life and i am eternaly doomed

    I need anybody to talk to me PLEASE

  2. #2
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    Dear Skylark, just a quick note to say that you are not alone, and this is a very supportive community so you did a brave and good thing reaching out for help. I am still a newbie, so I will defer to more senior members here on how to cope and get through your crisis.

    I have also struggled these last months to the extent that I have talked all this week about my desire to die. BUT I can see from your account that you do have love and support in your life, and you can get through this.

    You will find lots of practical tips on here, and through trial and error hopefully you will find a way to ease the symptoms, and end the social isolation. I am still working on that. As part of the process, i know i will have to leave behind the anger and regret, and accept my face as it is, not hate it for what it isn't. That is THE hardest thing about our condition - harder than the physical pain x

  3. #3
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    Hi! Welcome to the forum!

    Sorry to hear about what you're going through. Just about every single person here can relate to what you wrote. Most people have never even heard of rosacea or seb derm or think it's *just* redness on the face. They don't understand that redness and flushing and sometimes bumps means that we feel like we have acid on our skin; that our face burns, stings, feels like fire ants are crawling all over it. It itches. It feels tight. We can't stand the nerve pain or smothering heat. I always feel like my rosacea is constantly tapping me on the shoulder to get my attention - so no matter how much I try to go about my life - it's there tapping me with all these painful and uncomfortable sensations.

    One thing I'd suggest - is to talk to your wife about what this is like. Not in any exhaustive way. Just help her to know about the pain and what her understanding and support means as you work to get this under control and feel better. Heck, put flowers or a rose on her side of the bed and with a card that thanks her for her love and support through all of this! I'm female by the way - and believe me, she'd love it and it would be help strengthen her understanding of what you're going through and help her feel more connected to you. I'm sure she loves you and is still attracted to you. But she may feel that she doesn't quite get or understand that this is more than a vanity issue - that your face hurts. Maybe also involve her in your efforts to get better. The more she and others around you learn about it, the more they can understand it. No one in my family had ever heard of it. Now they're all rosacea experts. They help me research and they read about the treatments. Which also exposes them to the many comments in articles and forums about the physical and emotional pain of rosacea.

    Anyway, really, talk to her, hold her hand, keep connected.

    As for how to find some relief for your skin - definitely search around on the forum. There's a ton of great info to help you improve. It's possible you do have both seb derm and rosacea - they can co-exist.

    You'll find helpful advice here from the seb derm folks - check out some of the latest threads and ask questions.

    Maybe you could explain your symptoms in more detail? Also what is your treatment /skin care regimen as of now?

    A big question - what is your diet like? Diet has a big influence on the skin. Many folks find some level of improvement once they weed out trigger foods and improve overall nutrition? Myself included.

    So tell us more about your skin and let's see how we can help! And don't worry. You're going to be okay!
    Last edited by hg24; 20th May 2015 at 04:08 PM.

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    Hello and welcome. I'm a newbie to the forum too, but not a newbie to my skin problem.
    I can 100% relate to what you have wrote, you sound just like me.
    I have put some pictures up of my face so don't be afraid it's why we are all here.
    I'm a new dad and 3 and a half months ago when my son was

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    Hi Skylark,

    What you describe re. your self esteem and rosacea is very common. Unfortunately it can become a vicious downward spiral since the two feed each other. I think you will really help your healing process if you can break this cycle. I completely understand the despair that goes along with this condition, but once I allowed myself to believe I could do things to heal myself, I started finding that things were improving and I continue to improve my condition.

    You have taken the first step by reaching out to people on this forum. I agree that talking to your wife about it will probably be helpful. She is likely your biggest supporter and source of strength and talking will help allay your fears about her feelings for you. I highly doubt the reason she married you was only for your face-- I'm sure you have many good qualities that are the reasons she loves you and chooses to be with you. Talk to a counselor also if you are able and/or learn to meditate. And lastly, it is very difficult (I know from experience) but do what you can to change your thinking to be positive. You are not doomed to look this way forever. Give yourself a hug and repeat that to yourself. "I have the power to overcome this condition!" It will help.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by skylark3rd View Post
    Me and my wife honestly have the strongest relationship and i know she would never cheat or anything, I just think the fear and guilt stems from the fact that i think she deserves better than me

    I've found myself hating people who have normal skin because i am so stupidly jealous of them. I feel like i cant live a normal life and i am eternaly doomed

    I need anybody to talk to me PLEASE
    Skylark,

    First, you are not alone. I know it feels like it. I have a challenge for you: close your eyes and when you open them, I want you to focus on what YOU see, not what you think others see. Try to take pleasure in what happens around you, rather than focusing on what you think others perceive. Believe me, other people don't notice US nearly as much as we think they do.

    Next, you and your wife have a strong relationship. See what she sees: a good man, a good person, a good father. Trust her ability to be more than a superficial person.

    Finally, this may pass. I am in remission and have been for some time. I have type 2 P&P, but I am completely clear. I am even back on most of my triggers without problems, so I think it's possible!

  7. #7
    Senior Member nat007's Avatar
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    Hi Skylark

    I'm also really sorry to read about your distress. Like everybody here I can also relate. It's very hard to make people understand what you are going through and how dealing with this disease is draining and makes it hard to even get up often. Let alone leave the house. Maybe it helps for your wife to read a forum like this one, or at least do the research that will tell her just how many people with rosacea struggle with the exact same things you struggle with. And that our faces don't 'just' look red, but are very much on fire and in severe pain when we flare. It is impossible to ignore for us and very visible to the rest of the world, so there you have the perfect recipe for a desire to withdraw from the world altogether. Especially when you feel out of control.
    Maybe you can approach this awful situation you feel you are in from different directions. Talk to your wife about it. Maybe not in a tone where you are afraid she will feel pity for you, or not see you as the strong man you no doubt are. But in a way at least that makes her aware of the similar ways other rosacea/seb derm sufferers struggle with every day life.
    And maybe you can discuss certain expectations? I have had the same problem in my relationships and it helped me at some point to have a very clear idea of what they expected from me on a day to day basis. Check lists, it's silly but it gave me a clear grasp of what we agreed on should be possible in the day to achieve, so everybody felt good at the end of the day and there was no lurking resentment or fear of that. And maybe you can also find ways to improve your skin quality? What are your main symptoms? Redness and burning? Do you also have a problem with facial flushing?

    For my seb derm I found that a cream with ketoconazole worked best. My pharmacist makes it himself for me, in a neutral cream of cetomacrogol, without preservative. He adds 2% ketoconazole and it works really well for my seb derm, without setting off my underlying rosacea. Also, try to avoid sugars and processed food as much as possible. I find avoiding gluten and yeast also improves my skin redness and seb derm.

    For facial flushing there are several anti flushing medications out there. Clonidine can also help with diminishing facial redness. Some people find that supplements like probiotics or oil of oregano help control facial redness and burning. There is a lot of info out here on all sorts of treatments, and it's hit and miss and trial and error for most people here, but there are many good starting points to be found.

    Hope you can improve matters soon,

    best wishes Nat

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    Hi Skylark

    I can really related to pretty much everything you are saying. I too am suffering but for sure there will be some way to manage your condition. My seb derm got pretty bad in my twenties and I too used hydrocortisone. One thing I learnt is that it will not help long term and I think what you experienced is the rebound effect of stopping it. There is some great information on this site and many different treatment options. Something is bound to work for you. Hang in there, life will improve. But do not go back to the hydrocortisone as it will just makes things worse.

    By the way, I have a papulopustular rosacea/seb derm combination. My seb derm is not really too bad now. Nothing compared to when it was at its worst and I went years being relatively symptom free. It's only now in my late 40s that the rosacea started and its the thing that is now causing me issues particularly the pustules. Getting plenty of sleep and drinking fresh juices seemed to do the trick for my seb derm. I know you said you tried some treatment options, diet changes, etc. How long did you try them? I find when I am desperate I tend to hop from one thing to another looking for immediate relief. I wonder whether you gave anything a proper try for an extended period of time. For example, what if you cut out sugar for a month.

    I really feel for you. I know what that desperation is like when your skin burns and you feel like you look awful. The likelihood is that it does not look nearly as bad as you think it does and you can reduce that burning through a proper treatment plan. Isolation won't help although I totally understand you wanting to hide away. In the end, it will cause you depression and be counter productive. Keep the hope, stay positive and engaged with others and things will improve.

    All the best for things to get better soon.

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