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Thread: This wasn't intended to be this long...

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Smile This wasn't intended to be this long...

    Just a quick introduction...
    Wow, this isn't going to be quick at all....you can skip the next 2-3 paragraphs if you like. I need to rant...

    I'm a 23 year old male.

    I've had symptoms of rosacea that began shortly after moving to London, which makes trigger factors hard for me to identify; it may be connected to my initial month of bumming around in hostels, or the cigarette addiction I picked up for various reasons. I was 20 at the time. It began as a mild redness. I took the usual route that seems common among rosacea sufferers: Denial. I avoided confronting my problem for too long. The mild redness took the form of very bad acne that developed after roughly 9 months after the initial symptoms started. My self-esteem plummeted, I took to avoiding mirrors as much as possible, and attempted an ironic hybrid of ignoring the problem, refusing to admit the obvious, while at the same time doing extensive research on acne, looking for a miracle cure. I stumbled upon the term 'rosacea' by chance.
    Long story short, I continued to avoid seeking treatment for quite some time, and lived with the acne for nearly a year. It got unbearable, so I started using foundation to cover it up. It helped conceal it, but I was paranoid that people are noticing and just refusing to comment on it (Londoners can be like that). I would slather my face in foundation, which concealed the acne remarkably well and go about my day. I finally talked to my GP in November last year. He was incredibly supportive (I always felt like rosacea/acne was not something that would concern a GP, being a written off as 'vanity'). He was sympathetic and asked what I thought it was; I told him I thought it was rosacea, but wasn't sure. He Googled it, and told me I was right in my assumption. He prescribed Doxycycline (Commonly referred to here under the brand name Oracea). He warned me that it would not reduce the redness, but would cause the acne to disappear.

    True to his word, that's exactly what happened. The acne has disappeared, and I've renewed my prescription as needed. I still apply foundation before I go out, but I use less of it; just an attempt to conceal the overall redness of my skin. My self-esteem is recovering, and I received a couple of compliments about my looks recently; I never realised how much I've missed them.

    Tl;dr In short, I still suffer from redness, but would like to get rid of it once and for all. I have a few questions that I'd like answered before I visit my GP again (I don't actually like going to see my doctor for just redness, it feels really lame...)

    Triggers. Apparently one road to management is identifying triggers and stopping them. There are some days where it looks better than others, but I have yet to establish any correlations. I'm going to start keeping a diary.

    How long do triggers generally last? Alcohol turns my face bright red, but that happened even before I suffered from any symptoms from rosacea. It fades away just as fast as the effects of the alcohol.
    I drink caffeine and smoke cigarettes; are those common triggers? I am extremely reluctant to give either of those up, at least as long as I'm in the hospitality industry. I usually smoke around 5 a day, although I do chain smoke from time to time (I would stop doing that, if I thought it would help...) My caffeine intake varies; on double shifts I'll down 2+ coffees and down half a litre of an energy drink for good measure. On single shifts, a Diet Coke and/or a cup of tea (Wow, I sound so British).
    Is stress a trigger? That's something I can't avoid entirely, I'm afraid. My stress levels go up and down. But I'll probably try to manage it better if I thought it would help me look pretty (doing the right thing for the worst reason... :D)
    I tried an over the counter cream I bought from a dermatologist. She claimed it was specifically designed for rosacea, although box/instructions failed to mention rosacea specifically. I've had mild success, but I'm all out. I was wondering if I should try to get a prescribed cream. I hear prescribed topical creams have a high success rate.
    I'm wondering if I should stop taking doxycycline. I'm not experiencing any side affects, but I'm worried that the bacteria that may or may not exist will become resistant to it. I've doubled my dose to preempt it, which is a bad strategy for the long run. I'm currently taking 100 to 200 mg a day and have yet to experience any side affects.
    I also suffer from dandruff. Lots of it. I've had it since I was a child; I have good months and bad months, but I'm wondering if I might have rosacea AND seb derm. My scalp is always irritated during the bad months, and the skin on the sides of my nose can get flakey. I have more creases than I'd like, but then again, almost everybody does. I'd ask my GP, but he doesn't seem very familiar with skin conditions. I'll only experience burning sensations if I'm overheating. Oh, and I avoid the sun and sporadically wear sunscreen. I really need to start keeping that journal...I have no idea if it helped.
    Last of all, the foundation I was using is has a pink/orange hue. It doesn't reduce the redness as much as I'd like, but it definitely makes me look better. Ultimately I'd like to quit using it altogether, but until then, would it be better if I switched to one with a white hue? If you buy yours online, send me a link. I'd really rather not have to awkwardly mumble to a cashier about how it's for my girlfriend (who doesn't exist, because...well, rosacea). I buy mine from a website claiming that they've helped rosacea sufferers for 25 years, but I've failed to try any of their other products just yet. Do you notice if someone is wearing foundation? Some of my close friends didn't notice until I told them. I use it quite sparingly, and usually just on the right side of my face, where the redness is more prominent.


    If you read even some of that, then thanks. I realise that rosacea experiences differ, but I'd like to hear your experiences. If you could answer any of my questions, or even post about rosacea in general, that would be appreciated. I apologise for any incoherence....I didn't sleep last night....but that's a rant for the insomniacs forum that I should probably join... :)

  2. #2
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2015
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    Default

    I can't seem to edit my first post...
    I just wanted to add that if I seem a bit flippant, I have a habit of trivialising my problems...it helps me cope.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    Hi there. Yes, stress is supposed to be a trigger. Caffeine not so much-- it is thought the heat of the beverage is what causes it. But I sometimes flush with coffee and not with herbal tea and I am pretty sure I am making them the same temperature so who knows. I don't know about nicotine but you should quit because smoking is very bad for you and will prematurely age your appearance. A lot of people report dietary triggers like sugar and carbohydrates, dairy, tomato sauce but triggers seem to be quite individual. Heat and sun exposure also seem to be common triggers. Re. how long triggers last, for me it seems to depend on the trigger itself (eggs cause me to flush quite badly-- not common to most rosaceans that I can tell) and how often I have been eating it. For example, eggs will cause me to flush within 2 hours but tomato sauce will only cause me a little redness. If I ate a bunch of it over several days then my skin would show more redness, dry skin and then stinging skin. If I eat eggs for several days in a row, my face would be on fire. Heat causes immediate flushing. I thought this was an interesting and useful summary when trying to analyze your triggers http://www.rosaceagroup.org/The_Rosa...l=1#post229195

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