Monday, May 6, 2013

What happened to your face?

I'm really coming out of my comfort zone to share this.  This condition has caused a disruption in my life; not necessarily to everyday activities (except in summer...more on that later), but a disruption in how I feel about how I look when I am out and about.  These are actual pictures of my face.  The opinions I will give you are my own and I have not been paid to promote any of these products or to share my story.

Rosacea, in layman's terms, is a condition that causes redness in your face and sometimes pimple-like bumps.  In my case, it is down the bridge of my nose (in my t-zone) and also on my left cheek, with just a hint on my right.  On any given day, I will have perfect strangers walk up and ask what happened to my face.  If I go into a salon for an eyebrow wax they always mention it.  My own brother even asked me this weekend.

My skin is very sensitive, and rosacea causes it to think that it is irritated all the time, so it stays red and on the defensive...all the time. The nerves stay hyper-reactive and it burns.  It is also warm to the touch almost always, so I can't touch my cheeks or forehead to see if I am feverish; they are always warm.

There are several triggers that can make it worse.  Excessive heat, even a small amount of alcohol (glass of wine and it flares), hormones, irritants like soaps or lotions, makeup, can find many more triggers here.

Summer is coming up and the heat in Texas is an enemy (for many reasons, but for this too) for sufferers.  If I'm in the sun for any length of time in the heat, even with sunscreen, my cheeks turn fire engine red and become inflamed or flared.

I've had rosacea for about two years, I think.  It's been a battlefield of trial and error and research.  I've been to the dermatologist and tried oral antibiotics and also Ziana, which is a topical gel that has antibiotic and also retinol (yay for retinol!) in it, but very expensive.  I've tried OTC face washes and products that are specific for redness and irritation, including Eucerin, Clinique, and now Dr. Weil for Origins.

Next time, I'll share my cleansing routine and some short descriptions of other options I've tried.  It takes a lot of makeup to cover this up, and on most days I don't use enough, and it's just there.  And some days I don't use makeup because it just makes it worse.

Since this has been sometimes discouraging for me, and I know I am not the only one, I decided to share little snippets of this trial on the blog and things I have tried that have either worked or failed or provided some kind of relief.  Somebody somewhere might be just as mad at it as I am.

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