Living with rosacea means that sometimes I look like Rudolph even when it’s not the Christmas season. It means I can’t have a second glass of red wine, that I probably shouldn’t have even had the first, that I will have reactive skin to both temperature and stress changes, and that I can’t do a lot of cardio without feeling the consequences on my face.
The last one doesn’t sound so bad…
Incase you didn’t know, rosacea is a condition that affects the skin on your face, often occurring in phases of flare-ups or calm periods. In some people rosacea can develop over time to where there is not a true remission, and the red pigmentation stays present and gradually deepens.
Rosacea has a multitude of symptoms including flushing, redness that does not go away, bumps/pimples, visible blood vessels, and in some cases rosacea can also affect the eyes causing irritation.
Unfortunately for everyone affected, there is no cure for rosacea, but there are treatment options and lifestyle changes that could help.
My story with rosacea started when I was very young. I always had rosy, flushed cheeks, and when I was about 12 years old I started developing a light redness around my nose that would last for long periods of time. As I got older my skin became more troublesome – I went through a phase or three of acne, my redness would come and go as flare-ups, and products I used made me extremely reactive, continuously letting me know that I have sensitive skin.
When I was in pharmacy school, I noticed the biggest change in my skin. I was always some form of red, I always had a breakout, and my skin was always so so hot. If I got nervous in school, my cheeks would tingle. If I started to cry out of stress, or for any reason really, my skin was so hot it would hurt, and I would cry some more. I tried covering up the redness with makeup, but all of the recommended mineral products let my redness peak through.
My skin left me really self-conscious for a while. I didn’t think I looked pretty, I didn’t think anyone could see past my red nose, and I wasn’t comfortable because I was always worried I would have a flareup.
Today luckily I can say my skin is much better. I started paying attention to what made my skin flareup (mostly stress), and tried to avoid the triggers. That means, I don’t get on cardio machines that don’t have fans attached (or I limit my time doing cardio), I don’t drink red wine often, I don’t drink in excess regularly (those college days are behind me), I TRY not to eat the spiciest foods all of the time (I love spicy food), I avoid tanning booths and sunbathing, and I monitor what I put on my face, including makeup and skincare.
Once I learned to de-stress, and I was taking care of my skin on a regular basis, the redness became more of a light pink, and some days I barely see any red at all (other than my permanent red nose).
Long story even longer, my rosacea made me passionate about skincare. It made me curious about what products I’m using, it made me want to try out new things that could help, and it made me more mindful about what I put in and on my body. So hopefully in the future we can tackle seeing some good and bad products, I’ll keep you updated on my skin conditions, my skincare, and what I am loving at the moment.
I’ve learned so much from other people sharing their stories, and it’s helped me be more comfortable (even going makeup free on my days off), that I can only hope sharing will do the same for you as well. Let me know if you struggle with rosacea, or if you’ve found holy grail skincare products that you just can’t live without. I’d love to hear about it!
Until next time,