Quote Originally Posted by BVokey View Post
Hi all. I'm new to the forums but not new to Rosacea. I wanted to take an opportunity to share my experiences in an effort to help others.Very helpful. Will continue to add my two cents. Lucky to have everyone here
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My background:
28 y/o Caucasian male. Fair and dry skin. Permanent red cheeks with slight redness on nose. smooth with no p&p ongoing for approx 15 years.
Eastern/Central European descent.
No known family history of Rosacea.
Lives in the Northeast U.S.
Diagnosed with Rosacea since 2003.
Possibly relevant medical history -healthy weight, non-smoker, healthy blood pressure, healthy cholesterol, non-diabetic, etc. Geographic tongue. vitamin d deficiency (19 ng/ml - diagnosed spring 2016). History of multiple calcified kidney stones. Appendicitis. Poor eye sight (my vision began to deteriorate approximately the same time as my Rosacea formed). Chronic nose-sniffler with chronic post nasal drip. Very weak stomach - severely lactose intolerant, digestive sensitivities to numerous foods, occasional acid reflux.

I first got Rosacea symptoms when I was very young, maybe at age 13. I never noticed it myself at that age but looking back at old pictures of myself, age 13 is about the time where it started appearing on my face. It has always and only consisted of smooth redness and burning. I would catogorize my Rosacea as moderately severe. I can't say what caused it but it was likely hereditary and then excellerated due to chronic poor diet, very substantial sun damage, and fairly heavy drug and alcohol abuse through out my teenage years. I was first conscious of my Rosacea a few years after it had developed and as a result, I slowly began to suffer from a tremendous amount of self-consciousness and low self esteem. I would flush constantly for no reason it seemed, and other times I would flush out of embarrassment of my Rosacea. I mentally struggled with the effects of my Rosacea for years, and towards the end of my teenage years / very early twenties, I focused very hard on curbing my self-confidence issues and did my best to ignore my skin condition. I became successful at improving my confidence a great deal and ignoring my Rosacea, still people would constantly bring it to my attention by asking why my face is so red. I did nothing to try to fix the issue because I was convinced that it was a lost cause to try to do so, and I figured I was better off ignoring it and instead I tried to enjoy my life. I didn't seek any treatment for Rosacea from about 2003-2015. I now however have the resources to focus on improving my Rosacea. I went back to a derm during Fall 2015 and I then began my never ending research into learning about my Rosacea and its implications on my overall health. Let me first say that I have not cured my Rosacea (yet), but am able to keep it under my control about 80% of the time. There are still times where I will flush for no known reason, but this is happening much less. I still have a permanent redness on my cheeks but it is mostly light pink now and the flushing episodes are much less frequent then they were in the past and I have good control over my flushing. I will list my treatment and what has and hasn't worked for me below.

Treatment:
-Dermatologist in 2003 and 2015 both with diagnoses of Roacea. 2003 derm consisted of 1x IPL and unknown prescription topical which didn't work. I stopped treatment as I couldn't afford it. I never went back to a derm until 2015 where I trialed several topicals (see below). Also prescribed a sulfur wash which I never picked up from the pharmacy as I am not confident my $60 co pay would be money well spent.
-Allergist in Fall 2015. Negative for food allergies. Positive for environmentals including various weeds and molds. The allergist was unable to test for food sensitivities and intolerances.
-Bloodwork with my GP/PCP Early 2016. Negative for celiac & h-pylori. Positive for vitamin d deficiency (19 ng/ml). I asked to test for SIBO but the doctor had no idea what that was.
-ENT for chronic post nasal drip and sniffling. Appointment currently pending.

Successes:
-Restricted Diet. Following tons of research I was recently made conscious that what I eat has any effect on my gut and skin. I never made this connection until very recently when I began to dive deep into my Rosacea and health. After a ton of trial and error (trying out my triggers multiple times to verify they are real triggers and not just flukes), I found that my primary food triggers are sugar, peppers of any kind, sulfites, sucralose - artificial favoring/sweeteners/colors/dyes/preservatives, dairy of any kind, soy, vegetable/seed oils, high amounts of omega 6 fats, vinegar, yeast, gluten, wheat, high quantities of fish, most deli meat, bread, avocado, banana. Here's my typical diet - fried eggs with either coconut oil or olive oil or hard boiled, both with a side of fruit OR oatbran/Scottish oatmeal with added fresh berries (rasp/blue/black) and hemp seeds (I chose oatmeal 90% of the time). Coffee - black with nothing added. Iced is best but if I can't get iced, I will let my hot coffee cool down before I drink it. Otherwise consuming a hot drink will increase my chances of flushing throughout the day. Plenty of filtered drinking water. Salad for lunch with mixed field greens and vegetables. Olive oil for my salad dressing (no vinegar or I will severely flush). If I want lemon with it I only use fresh lemons, as the bottled lemon is a trigger. As much as possible I try for a small mid afternoon snack of brown rice with fresh ginger, garlic, onion, as the added energy boost prevents a mid-afternoon tired slump that regularly leads to flushing - I am less prone to flushing in the AM and more prone in the PM. Dinner could be gluten-free pasta, or any kind of meat with vegetable or brown rice or sweet potato, baked kale chips as an appetizer. I don't drink alcohol often but I found that filtered drinks are best, as high yeast content is a huge trigger of mine regardless of the type of yeast. Filtered beer, Gin, Red wine are safe for me. The only negative effect of the "safe" alcohol relative to my skin is that it leads to dehydration and exhaustion which will increase my redness the following day. Just to mention, aside from the flushing effects, if I consume any dairy or yeast or wheat, I will almost immediately have severe stomach pain and pain throughout my lower abdomen every time; These foods cause both digestive distress and flushing. All of my other food triggers only effect my Rosacea and do not cause physical pain.
-Finacea foam. Twice a day going on four months. Provides noticeable improvement. Not a miracle cure but it does help me.
-Sunscreen. Every day. Spf30. I use a sun screen brand that is recommended for Rosacea sufferers.
-Vitamin d3 - 5k IU daily going on two months. My vitamin D pill contains only coconut oil and vitamin D. Any pills with soy or colors/dyes Increases flushing. For what it's worth, I was a chronic fingernail biter for years, and tried very hard to stop with no success, and since being on D3 the urge has gone away and I have completely stopped the habit.
-Multivitamin/mineral for men. I'm not interested in giving any company free plugs, but if you decide to start taking a multivitamin, I would recommend you shop around and do your research first. I use one with added fruits/veggies/digestive enzymes/betin HCI, full spectrum vitamins and minerals, the b3 does not contain niacin, and no soy, gluten, etc etc. It has helped.
-Drinking plenty of water every day.
-Getting adequate sleep every night.
-Rinse my face with only water.
-Only if totally necessary I take 1-2 ibuprofen if I am experiencing a severe flushing episode. It significantly reduces my flushing episodes, but it's not something to abuse or else it will cause much more harm than good.
-Work hard to improve your confidence and reduce stress any way that you find works for you. It doesn't exactly fix the problem but I think it is necessary for survival for people with this condition.

Failed Attempts:
-Soolantra - tried it for 12 full weeks. didn't help or hurt.
-Mirvaso - gave it three tries and stopped due to severe rebound flush each time.
-Meteocream - tried it for 12 full weeks. Didn't help or hurt.
-Demodex theory - tried selsun blue, tea tree oil both for a couple weeks. Didn't do anything for my type 1 Rosacea.
-Nasal spray topically on cheeks.
-Quercetin/bromeline supplements.
-Acid reflux reducers.
-Natural soaps/shampoos/toothpaste with no added junk (SLS, fragrance, etc). I switched to natural products solely for Rosacea trial and error and I haven't noticed any difference but I continue to use them anyways.
-SIBO diets (cutting out foods like broccoli, asparagus, onion).
-Probiotics.
-Grapeseed extract.
-L-lysine.

Honorable mention: going to the beach and swimming in the ocean, warm/hot showers, hot tubs, etc all actually reduce my redness for a short time. I think it's related to my entire body getting water. The biggest healer of the above is swimming in the cool ocean saltwater - it drastically reduces my redness to an almost pale pink. Being out in the sun as much as possible as long as I am wearing sunblock and have avoided my food triggers is also beneficial for me. My biggest find is that diet is the largest factor in curbing my Rosacea. I also think that my intake of vitamin d3 is making a huge difference.

I realize the above is all anecdotal but hopefully someone else with type 1 Rosacea can benefit from my experiences. I would love to hear any feedback.