A Personal Account of Rosacea

It started getting bad a few years ago and I went to the dermatologist because my husband thought I should. I thought it was vanity to go to the doctor simply because my face gets red and breaks out. At that time I didn’t have any ocular rosacea symptoms. At first the dermatologist didn’t know if it was rosacea or if it was lupus because I flare out in a butterfly pattern like lupus patients. She did a biopsy of the skin on my face (now I have a dimple from the hole that was cut out). It came back positive for rosacea and she started me on a topical antibiotic and an oral antibiotic. Well I get really deathly allergic to oral antibiotics so I just took the topical. Now I’m starting to have symptoms of the ocular rosacea where my eyes get badly swollen “stye” like pustules and if they don’t have those where I can barely see out of that eye I have at least the redness and irritation. Oral antibiotics are suppose to suppress these symptoms, while you are on them. However right now it isn’t worth it to me to take an oral antibiotic and wind up back in the hospital like the last time, nearly dying. I use warm compresses when my eye is flaring up, many many times a day. It does help and sometimes I can go a couple of months before the next one.

My face’s symptoms just seem to be some mild to moderate pustules (acne like bumps) and red flushing around my cheeks and nose. There are times, though not many, where my nose gets pretty bumpy from it. My triggers for rosacea flares seem to center around the sun, the cold, stress, and spicy food. I wake up in the mornings having to pull my right eye apart due to the draining from the bumps at night. Its bothersome and it takes a while to get all the gunk out of it, but like I said it doesn’t last but a week or so and then I’m okay for a bit. I’m just too afraid right now to take an oral antibiotic again, the last episode of anaphylaxis is still too fresh in my mind.

My topical antibiotic is Metrogel 1% and its just great. I had tried the Akne-mycin but it was horrid. It was a cream and never really “sank in” so it was always so greasy. Metrogel dries clear and I can go out in it. After it dries it doesn’t smear like the Akne-mycin did. I’m much better on the Metrogel in the skin drying and irritation department too. There are times when my face isn’t the slightest bit red.

This past weekend I ate all spicy foods, and I was out on the lake in the sun all weekend. I’m paying for it now with a very “angry” nose with bumps all around it, bumps on my chin, a sunburnt looking face and an eye that is nearly swollen shut. Was it worth it? Yes, there are times that it is worth it not to be the one that has to sit elsewhere under an umbrella like she will perish if the sun hits her. I can deal with this facial uncomfortableness for the week or two knowing that I had a blast.

This is one woman’s account of life with rosacea, your mileage of course may vary 🙂

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