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Thread: New here...and trying to deal with rosacea

  1. #1
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    Default New here...and trying to deal with rosacea

    Hi there,

    I have been lurking around the forum reading extensively on rosacea since I was diagnosed with rosacea (mainly sub-type 1) by a dermatologist in August 2016. This is, however, my first post. I would like to introduce myself and provide some background information.

    Background
    I am a South African female of Indian origin but have an olive skin tone more akin to those in the Middle East or southern Mediterranean. I have paternal family members who are rosacea-prone so I guess there may be a familial or hereditary link to my development of rosacea.

    I saw a dermatologist in August 2016 after a small red patch on my cheek persisted for weeks and was diagnosed with (mild) rosacea. In hindsight, I believe that I developed the start of rosacea about 2 to 3 years before (when I entered my 30’s) when at times, my cheeks used to get quite flushed at random times. During that time, the redness did disappear. I did see a GP during one of these times and rosacea was never mentioned – she thought it was a bout of eczema and prescribed a hydrocortisone which I used for a few days whenever the redness appeared. I do not think I developed steroid-induced rosacea due to the use of cortisone, but perhaps it contributed to me being rosacea-prone. My dermatologist prescribed Rozex Gel and an antibiotic in August 2016 but neither really seemed to help much – in fact I found my skin to be much drier using the two and stopped with the antibiotics altogether and now use the metrogel very sporadically. At the height of my face being very dry and having break-outs in October 2016, I saw another doctor at a skin renewal clinic/spa and was prescribed a good probiotic, grapefruit seed extract and good (but very expensive) skincare products – Dermaquest Soothing Serum and Lamelle Serra Soothing Cream (a South African moisturiser aimed at repairing a comprised skin barrier). In addition, I was advised to undergo red light therapy at the skin renewal clinic. For about 3 months since starting the use of the prescribed skin care products and frequent red light therapy sessions at the clinic since October 2016, I did see an improvement in the texture of my skin – less dryness, pimples but I guess the diffuse blotchiness and redness remains.

    While my condition is probably at this stage mild or mildly moderate (I guess it’s perception to some degree), I do believe it has progressed since August last year and I do experience flushing based on certain things I eat, climate changes, heat and also occasionally just randomly. When I have a flush, it can sometimes burn on my cheeks and nose and my face feels hot to the touch. I also have persistent diffuse redness, a blotchy skin tone and some tiny visible blood vessels. Like many on this forum, I never had any skin problems before rosacea – I had very clear skin (albeit a bit on the dry side) and none of the acne-angst during my teenage years. My regime before rosacea hit was always washing with a mild soap like Dove or with a gentle cleanser and make-up was always a minimal 5-minute job – a bit of tinted moisturiser with SPF and off I went. It has become laborious now with having to cover up the redness and blemishes, not always successfully.

    This condition has caused much depression and anxiety for me as I struggle to accept having this, and my moods are often dictated by what my skin looks like. Indeed, my happiness is inversely proportional to the redness/blotchiness of my face. I had worked in a highly stressful profession previously and left my last job towards the end of 2015 to pursue other interests (my departure was not related to rosacea at that time). I wanted to pursue teaching but now with rosacea, I am hesitant and cannot imagine standing in front of students with my face so exposed. I am currently looking for a less stressful job as rosacea treatments are expensive and I realise that part of my problem is that I have too much time to focus on the terrible state of my skin. I hope I find a job soon and my focus can move to some extent away from rosacea and my skin. I tend to be an anxious, stressful person which I guess also contributes to my rosacea and in turn makes me more stressed – a vicious cycle. Even before rosacea, I tended to be an introverted person and now with rosacea, I am afraid I have become more reclusive – I only really leave the house when I need to or have commitments.
    It’s not a way to live.

    The support I receive from my family ranges in degrees – my husband tries to be supportive when he can see how much having this condition affects me but he does not fully understand what I am going through, cannot realistically fathom why it bothers me so much and gets upset that it consumes me. My mother is less supportive as she thinks I am blowing things out of proportion (so many on this forum have this problem with family members) and has even made light about all the money I have spent in treating the condition (not really a laughing matter to those who have spent thousands on this). My younger sister ranges from supportive when she sees the redness during a flare and less supportive when it’s better days while my father tries to be sympathetic and there for me when I am down. It is hard when your family doesn’t quite understand how difficult and devastating this condition is for you.

    My current skin regime
    1. Serra Mild Cleanser or Clinique Redness Solutions Gentle Cleanser – I am currently using Serra but will go back to the Clinique cleanser as I prefer it.
    2. Toner – Pure Rosewater – I find this very calming and refreshing on my skin.
    3. Dermaquest Soothing Serum – I apply this after the rosewater.
    4. Serra Soothing Cream – I apply this as a moisturiser after the serum.
    5. Helios Care Sun Cream SPF 50 – a physical sunblock. I apply this in the day (before my make up if I am wearing some).
    6. Avene Antirougeurs Fort Relief Concentrate – I have just started using this in the night instead of my usual Dermaquest Serum and Serra moisturiser. While it does reduce redness, I am not sure if it is contributing to the current state of my skin (see below).
    7. I take a good probiotic once in the morning daily.
    8. I take grape fruit seed extract three times daily.
    9. I take a curcumin capsule once daily.
    10. I drink lots of water.
    11. I have tried to cut out sugar snacks (chocolate, chips) and eat more healthily – a work in progress. I aim to try cutting out diary and gluten to see if that will help my skin.

    Current skin situation
    As of February 2017, I have been going through an on-off reactive phase of my rosacea, the worst it’s been since October 2016 really. For a week in mid-February, I experienced bad night flushing while sleeping (it could have been linked to menstrual cycle hormones as it has somewhat subsided in the last two weeks with the help of a high-mist humidifier and I am not flushing while sleeping quite as badly) and some random day flushing. During the worst of the flushing in February, I took a small dose of Inderal (propranolol) – between 10 to 30mg. After much research on the use of beta-blockers, I got my dermatologist to prescribe it for me in November 2016 but haven’t used it until my flushing was quite bad in February. I found it did help but I also experienced some diarrhoea and then constipation (perhaps body needs to acclimatise to it). I stopped using it after a few days but I suppose I will keep it in my arsenal and try it again at a later stage.

    Currently, my skin is drier than previously, redder and blotchier with more visible pores and bumps as well as some flaky bumps around my chin and mouth. The bumps may be attributable to my last red light therapy session this past Thursday as I did notice they were not so pronounced prior to that. I am also not sure if perhaps the Avene moisturiser is contributing to the extra dryness and irritation – while I find it to be great at reducing redness immediately, it may not be sufficiently moisturising for my skin, leaving it more compromised. I will continue using it for another week to assess the effects. I have also been travelling a lot in the last month with trips between Johannesburg where I live (dry climate), Durban (humid, tropical weather) and Cape Town (Mediterranean climate). I have read the warm room flush theory and so when at home, I try not to be too reliant on cooling aids (but I do use a fan sometimes, a humidifier, drink cold water and do suck on ice often). However, I have been using air-conditioning and/or fans whilst being away over the last month. This and climate changes may well be contributing to the instability of my skin currently. I am hoping things will settle down soon.

    I will be starting a colon detox soon (advised by a homeopath I saw in January) following by a liver cleanse and will also be seeing a physician in April to rule out any other conditions.

    I realise this introduction post is very long (thank you to those taking the time to read it) but wanted to introduce myself and thank the forum for providing insights and information on this rather dreadful condition. There are so many people here I can relate to and I find solace that I am not alone. I do have specific questions regarding Kalme products (I did see threads on the site but nothing very recent) and importantly on the success of using IPL or laser on olive skin tones with rosacea. I will, however, post specifically on these questions in more focused, shorter posts in the relevant groups.

    Also, if there are any South Africans on this forum suffering from rosacea, please let me know as I would be grateful to find out about whether you have found a good dermatologist or doctor in treating your rosacea or found workable treatments that are available in South Africa.

    I wish everyone the best of luck in managing, controlling and beating this beast.

    Rednas

  2. #2
    Senior Member Brady Barrows's Avatar
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    Rednas,
    Welcome to RF. It appears you have a significant knowledge of rosacea and are doing the best you can trying to control it. You may want to rule out demodectic rosacea first which is easily done with a Rx of Soolantra and trying it out for three to four months. If you do get a Rx, don't overdue it like I did and only use it maybe two or three times a week over the three or four month period. I used it every day and it was too harsh for my sensitive skin.
    Brady Barrows
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  3. #3
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    Hi RedNas,

    Thanks for the post, and the insightful read. I have to give you credit, looking at your regime must be exhausting and I can only imagine how bad you want to go back to 'the way things were'. Doing nothing, letting the skin heal itself, not spending large amounts of money on creams and trials of products, and most importantly be stress free.

    I found it interesting how your rosacea, started exactly like my rosacea. We are roughly the same age, but I am male. I too, noticed a persistent red spot on my cheek. I had a little bit of redness on my other cheek, but more sporadic and blotchy. My GP looked at it and said it seems to be dry skin, which is causing the irritation. He gave me an OTC cream, then I got a compound mixed which had a 1% hydrocortisone in it. I put it on as directed, woke up the next morning, and broke into a rage. The Hydro had completely shorn the skin of of my face, and it was bright, bright pink and I was in agony.

    That was 3 years ago, and ever since the spots I applied the hydro have been my trouble areas and I am still fighting the battle.

    I haven't typed my introductory post yet, but as Brady mentioned you have a strong knowledge of your problems, as I feel I do as well. Whether that makes things better or worse, I am not sure. On one hand we are not new to the condition, but on the other we've tried so many things over the years, why can't something just work, even a little bit?

    Reading your paragraph on the depression really hit home for me. You summed it up perfectly. It simply consumes you. And the thing is, we know better. There are people in this world with real life threatening conditions, who would gladly trade places with us. But for us, and our lives and our bodies, this is our struggle, and it's physically hard to push passed it.

    As for support, I think it's like anything. It's hard for people to understand who don't actually have the problem. They will try to console you, or be there, but without knowing exactly what it is you are thinking (100x things a minute and overwhelmed) you feel like you need something more. If I spend 60EUR on yet another derm. appointment as I can't stand to look at myself, people think I am crazy and vain. When really, it's the fact I feel depressed and the physical discomfort that comes from a 24/7/365 burning face.

    Thankfully that something more is this forum, and just by reading other experiences I feel better today than I did yesterday. And of course, talking about it helps the most.

    Again, thanks for your wonderful introduction and hope to read more from you soon.
    Last edited by Gazek; 12th March 2017 at 01:24 PM.

  4. #4
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    Hi Brady,

    Many thanks for your reply and your suggestion on trying Soolantra. I had looked into Soolantra briefly previously but have not have not done much research into it yet. I am not sure if Soolantra is available in South Africa yet - I do recall my dermatologist in November 2016 mentioning in passing (when we were looking into treatment options alternative to antibiotics and Rozex gel) that ivermectin based topicals would be difficult to get in South Africa. I will, however, look into it further and discuss this with my doctor.

    Thanks, again.

    Rednas

  5. #5
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    Hi Gazek,

    Thank you for your post. I really appreciate you taking the time to reply and your insights as well. You are very right when you say that many other people have worse, life threatening conditions but that for us this is our struggle. I wish I was not so affected by it but it can at times be so physically and emotionally dehabilitating.

    It is also a strange beast this rosacea - when your skin is not doing so bad, you are able to partially forget about it or at least push it to one corner of your mind. At other times, when it is bad, its all-consuming and on your mind always. Like now- it hasn't been a great time for me rosacea-wise, red and blotchy with more flushing and burning on my cheeks particularly when I sleep - and trying to manage it is so constantly on my mind that I am even dreaming of it.

    You are also right when you say that I must wish my skin could go back to how it was - indeed I do! (as I am sure you do as well). As much as I do want that (and wish and pray for that), however, I think part of controlling this (and the depression and anxiety that comes with it) is accepting we have a medical condition and that we are trying our best to deal with it. We should not be so hard on ourselves because our skin is red or blotchy or because we flush and burn -easier said than done! And I'm still trying to find ways of coping...

    I look forward to reading more of your introduction when you do post about it, and your other posts.

    Keep well and thanks again.

    Rednas

  6. #6
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    Hi RedNas. I am a male in Durban, 42. Your story is exactly the same as mine. I too have been to the Skin Clinic, have been to naturalists, take all the natural stuff. But now I am back on antibiotics due to searing pain. At the end of this month I will be doing IPL under Dr Raboobee from the WESTVILLE hospital. Keen on trying this. Glad to have met up with you. I have had this intense condition since August last year. It has consumed my life, my everything and money! We will get through this together.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  7. #7
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    Hi Lorne,

    Thank you for your response - it is great to hear from a fellow South African. I am sorry you are going through this as well. Yes, rosacea is physically, emotionally and financially draining.

    I hope the IPL treatments you are starting towards the end of the month help you - please provide feedback on how this is going for you once you start. I know that you had started a thread in the IPL and laser group on this, so I will keep an eye out for updates on that.

    Kind regards
    Rednas

  8. #8
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    Default rosacea

    Quote Originally Posted by RedNas View Post
    Hi there,

    I have been lurking around the forum reading extensively on rosacea since I was diagnosed with rosacea (mainly sub-type 1) by a dermatologist in August 2016. This is, however, my first post. I would like to introduce myself and provide some background information.

    Background
    I am a South African female of Indian origin but have an olive skin tone more akin to those in the Middle East or southern Mediterranean. I have paternal family members who are rosacea-prone so I guess there may be a familial or hereditary link to my development of rosacea.

    I saw a dermatologist in August 2016 after a small red patch on my cheek persisted for weeks and was diagnosed with (mild) rosacea. In hindsight, I believe that I developed the start of rosacea about 2 to 3 years before (when I entered my 30’s) when at times, my cheeks used to get quite flushed at random times. During that time, the redness did disappear. I did see a GP during one of these times and rosacea was never mentioned – she thought it was a bout of eczema and prescribed a hydrocortisone which I used for a few days whenever the redness appeared. I do not think I developed steroid-induced rosacea due to the use of cortisone, but perhaps it contributed to me being rosacea-prone. My dermatologist prescribed Rozex Gel and an antibiotic in August 2016 but neither really seemed to help much – in fact I found my skin to be much drier using the two and stopped with the antibiotics altogether and now use the metrogel very sporadically. At the height of my face being very dry and having break-outs in October 2016, I saw another doctor at a skin renewal clinic/spa and was prescribed a good probiotic, grapefruit seed extract and good (but very expensive) skincare products – Dermaquest Soothing Serum and Lamelle Serra Soothing Cream (a South African moisturiser aimed at repairing a comprised skin barrier). In addition, I was advised to undergo red light therapy at the skin renewal clinic. For about 3 months since starting the use of the prescribed skin care products and frequent red light therapy sessions at the clinic since October 2016, I did see an improvement in the texture of my skin – less dryness, pimples but I guess the diffuse blotchiness and redness remains.

    While my condition is probably at this stage mild or mildly moderate (I guess it’s perception to some degree), I do believe it has progressed since August last year and I do experience flushing based on certain things I eat, climate changes, heat and also occasionally just randomly. When I have a flush, it can sometimes burn on my cheeks and nose and my face feels hot to the touch. I also have persistent diffuse redness, a blotchy skin tone and some tiny visible blood vessels. Like many on this forum, I never had any skin problems before rosacea – I had very clear skin (albeit a bit on the dry side) and none of the acne-angst during my teenage years. My regime before rosacea hit was always washing with a mild soap like Dove or with a gentle cleanser and make-up was always a minimal 5-minute job – a bit of tinted moisturiser with SPF and off I went. It has become laborious now with having to cover up the redness and blemishes, not always successfully.

    This condition has caused much depression and anxiety for me as I struggle to accept having this, and my moods are often dictated by what my skin looks like. Indeed, my happiness is inversely proportional to the redness/blotchiness of my face. I had worked in a highly stressful profession previously and left my last job towards the end of 2015 to pursue other interests (my departure was not related to rosacea at that time). I wanted to pursue teaching but now with rosacea, I am hesitant and cannot imagine standing in front of students with my face so exposed. I am currently looking for a less stressful job as rosacea treatments are expensive and I realise that part of my problem is that I have too much time to focus on the terrible state of my skin. I hope I find a job soon and my focus can move to some extent away from rosacea and my skin. I tend to be an anxious, stressful person which I guess also contributes to my rosacea and in turn makes me more stressed – a vicious cycle. Even before rosacea, I tended to be an introverted person and now with rosacea, I am afraid I have become more reclusive – I only really leave the house when I need to or have commitments.
    It’s not a way to live.

    The support I receive from my family ranges in degrees – my husband tries to be supportive when he can see how much having this condition affects me but he does not fully understand what I am going through, cannot realistically fathom why it bothers me so much and gets upset that it consumes me. My mother is less supportive as she thinks I am blowing things out of proportion (so many on this forum have this problem with family members) and has even made light about all the money I have spent in treating the condition (not really a laughing matter to those who have spent thousands on this). My younger sister ranges from supportive when she sees the redness during a flare and less supportive when it’s better days while my father tries to be sympathetic and there for me when I am down. It is hard when your family doesn’t quite understand how difficult and devastating this condition is for you.

    My current skin regime
    1. Serra Mild Cleanser or Clinique Redness Solutions Gentle Cleanser – I am currently using Serra but will go back to the Clinique cleanser as I prefer it.
    2. Toner – Pure Rosewater – I find this very calming and refreshing on my skin.
    3. Dermaquest Soothing Serum – I apply this after the rosewater.
    4. Serra Soothing Cream – I apply this as a moisturiser after the serum.
    5. Helios Care Sun Cream SPF 50 – a physical sunblock. I apply this in the day (before my make up if I am wearing some).
    6. Avene Antirougeurs Fort Relief Concentrate – I have just started using this in the night instead of my usual Dermaquest Serum and Serra moisturiser. While it does reduce redness, I am not sure if it is contributing to the current state of my skin (see below).
    7. I take a good probiotic once in the morning daily.
    8. I take grape fruit seed extract three times daily.
    9. I take a curcumin capsule once daily.
    10. I drink lots of water.
    11. I have tried to cut out sugar snacks (chocolate, chips) and eat more healthily – a work in progress. I aim to try cutting out diary and gluten to see if that will help my skin.

    Current skin situation
    As of February 2017, I have been going through an on-off reactive phase of my rosacea, the worst it’s been since October 2016 really. For a week in mid-February, I experienced bad night flushing while sleeping (it could have been linked to menstrual cycle hormones as it has somewhat subsided in the last two weeks with the help of a high-mist humidifier and I am not flushing while sleeping quite as badly) and some random day flushing. During the worst of the flushing in February, I took a small dose of Inderal (propranolol) – between 10 to 30mg. After much research on the use of beta-blockers, I got my dermatologist to prescribe it for me in November 2016 but haven’t used it until my flushing was quite bad in February. I found it did help but I also experienced some diarrhoea and then constipation (perhaps body needs to acclimatise to it). I stopped using it after a few days but I suppose I will keep it in my arsenal and try it again at a later stage.

    Currently, my skin is drier than previously, redder and blotchier with more visible pores and bumps as well as some flaky bumps around my chin and mouth. The bumps may be attributable to my last red light therapy session this past Thursday as I did notice they were not so pronounced prior to that. I am also not sure if perhaps the Avene moisturiser is contributing to the extra dryness and irritation – while I find it to be great at reducing redness immediately, it may not be sufficiently moisturising for my skin, leaving it more compromised. I will continue using it for another week to assess the effects. I have also been travelling a lot in the last month with trips between Johannesburg where I live (dry climate), Durban (humid, tropical weather) and Cape Town (Mediterranean climate). I have read the warm room flush theory and so when at home, I try not to be too reliant on cooling aids (but I do use a fan sometimes, a humidifier, drink cold water and do suck on ice often). However, I have been using air-conditioning and/or fans whilst being away over the last month. This and climate changes may well be contributing to the instability of my skin currently. I am hoping things will settle down soon.

    I will be starting a colon detox soon (advised by a homeopath I saw in January) following by a liver cleanse and will also be seeing a physician in April to rule out any other conditions.

    I realise this introduction post is very long (thank you to those taking the time to read it) but wanted to introduce myself and thank the forum for providing insights and information on this rather dreadful condition. There are so many people here I can relate to and I find solace that I am not alone. I do have specific questions regarding Kalme products (I did see threads on the site but nothing very recent) and importantly on the success of using IPL or laser on olive skin tones with rosacea. I will, however, post specifically on these questions in more focused, shorter posts in the relevant groups.

    Also, if there are any South Africans on this forum suffering from rosacea, please let me know as I would be grateful to find out about whether you have found a good dermatologist or doctor in treating your rosacea or found workable treatments that are available in South Africa.

    I wish everyone the best of luck in managing, controlling and beating this beast.

    Rednas

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedNas View Post
    Hi Lorne,

    Thank you for your response - it is great to hear from a fellow South African. I am sorry you are going through this as well. Yes, rosacea is physically, emotionally and financially draining.

    I hope the IPL treatments you are starting towards the end of the month help you - please provide feedback on how this is going for you once you start. I know that you had started a thread in the IPL and laser group on this, so I will keep an eye out for updates on that.

    Kind regards
    Rednas
    Hi Rednas

    Sorry for the late reply. I did one IPL session whilst on Purbac antibiotics but my burning and intense pain was severe (not from the IPL). I started to break out in P&Ps and got an emergency appointment with my Derm, Dr Raboobee. He put me onto isotretinoin at 40mg per day and a two week course of prednisone 2 tabs a day. After the first week my pain massively improved where I can actually sleep well through the night. I have been on isotretinoin for 2.5 weeks now and things are looking okay. No pain but not happy with my red face. It surely hates the heat and sun.

    Living with this condition is not funny and I often slip into depression, but it helps to know that others suffer too and especially comforting that there is a fellow South African whom I can confide in.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  10. #10
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    Hi Lorne,

    Apologies for my late reply. I have been dealing with two other chronic conditions as well as some recent heavy side effects from a antibiotic for a UTI I took in March - so rosacea, while still ever present, has had to take a backseat lately. Having these other conditions has somewhat put my red face into perspective - still frustrating, difficult to deal with but less dehabilitating than other conditions have the potential to be.

    Have you had any more IPL sessions and has there been any improvement since with the burning and the redness? After a few weeks of some relief, my night flushing has returned and now that we are going into the Johannesburg winter, my skin is becoming much drier. In March, I consulted with a dermatologist who does Vbeam laser and while I wasn't overly impressed with the consult, I will keep my options open as this is one of the few dermatologists who does do the Vbeam and who has also used it on Indian skin.

    Please keep me updated on the progress of your IPL.

    Rednas

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