Since writing a short little paragraph on my rosacea on my Instagram I had a lot of love in my dms from other suffers and one lady who thinks she may have it too. it’s so nice that I am able to use my platform to spread the word and empower other woman. If you haven’t seen my post it’s on my Instagram and it’s got a photo of my skin without make up, without a filter laid bare. This was part of a partnership with Pegasus owned cetraben to empower others to talk about their skin conditions.
Something I am very uncomfortable with is my rosacea. For years friends and family and work colleagues called me Rudolph. Why? Because that’s how my rosacea started of. My nose was very red and became swollen from how bad it was. For three years I had a red lumpy nose. Doctors put it down too acne. Over and over I was told to wash my face, take their medication that doesn’t work whilst they refused to send me to a dermatologist. After some research I realised I was entitled to be sent as I had attended over 4 appointments in half a year for the same reason with no answers so once I complained I was referred. I was sent to the dermatologist when I was 19. By then the redness started to spread from my nose to around my face to my cheeks. The woman I saw swabbed my nose and said she believes it to be rosacea but it is so rare in my age. So I was given some cream that didn’t work and sent away to fight to get a diagnosis again.
When i came in one day to the doctor I broke down in tears that I couldn’t take it anymore and said I have had enough of feeling sick looking in the mirror now. I explained I would cancel plans because of my looks. I would actively avoid photos because I felt so ugly. He sent me back to dermatology after fight for three more years and it changed my life.
On the day of my appointment I was late so ran through the hospital. You have no idea how large our hospital is so I was running for a while in summer! when I got to the desk the staff at the desk where worried about me because my face was so red and sat me down. When the dermatologist called me through pretty much immediately he smiled and said straight away I can confirm you most defiantly have rosacea. He explained that my red face was a symptom and that stress, heat, exercise and many other factors can affect it. It causes redness and flushing. When I had cooled down a bit he inspected my skin. He looked at the redness and then the spots. He said the acne is caused by the rosacea and that it will most likely never go away. However he said we should try some strong antibiotics and topical creams and he’d see me in three months. I went away and took the doxycycline and ivermectin. Within weeks my nose cleared up. I could see my skin for the first time in years. I remember the confidence it gave me and some of the redness surrounding my face cleared. Of course after stoping taking it the problem came back but not on my nose and not as bad. However I do find that the doxycycline does help when I take it although it causes side effects such as reflux for me and can only take short term.
It’s one of those things I have to live with as it goes and comes back. As the dermatologist said it’s something you have to live with but you do fantastic at hiding it. One thing I’ve become good at over the years is hiding my redness with my make up so that I have a bit more confidence. Stress aggravates it, spice, the heat, the cold, infact I think living just aggravates it. But I was glad I had someone who took the time to listen and I could finally put a name to my redness. I finally understood why as a child I would be red as a tomato after playing on the school ground. I understood when I flushed so much if I was embarrassed. I understood and that was enough for me. As I’ve gotten older I’ve accepted it. I don’t like it but I’ve accepted it’s who I am. I’ve started not wearing make up as much and owning it. However one downside is that it has spread to my eyes and causes a lot of irritation and of which I’m under the hospital for. I have more good days with my skin then I used too so I’m always thankfull for that. My face still burns and itches at time but atleast I’m not up crying in the night with it anymore or sticking a ice cube on my nose to cool it. Here are some photos of how bad my nose was and a recent flare up!
If your reading this and thinking that sounds like me please do talk to your gp about it because it can change your life. I am thankfull everyday that my nose is no longer a giant swollen ball of pain.
Thanks for reading, Charlie x