Monday, September 28, 2015

Goofy Rosacea: Keep on Smiling?

I've always been prone to blushing and redness (when I exercise my skin is red-like-a-lobster). Later in life I started to notice tiny blood vessels around my cheeks, but didn't lose sleep over it. I knew of rosacea at the time, suspected I had it, but wondered what the big deal was -- it's just coloring, right?

What's the big deal, indeed!
Well, over Labor Day weekend I went on a long bike ride -- about twice as long as my normal rides, 55 miles. I was riding with a super-fit group of people that kicked my butt. I kept up with them, and felt pretty good -- but then they opted to go off-trail in a hilly area, and the inclines did me in. When we got back I was beyond exhausted -- felt slightly sick for several hours.

Over the course of the next few days, my skin went to h*ll. I attributed it to too much sun, at first. But it didn't get better -- it got worse. My cheeks were red, but also bumpy with in a way that was not-quite-acne, not quite inflammation. When I googled rosacea, I learned that there is a form of rosacea that is sort of like acne. Pretty sure, at this point, this is what I suddenly have -- in spades.

Oh -- so THAT'S the big deal.

Exercise, and excessive heat, and excessive cold, apparently make it worse, along with alcohol and spicy foods. Pretty much the hit list of things associated with what I love. 

What is to be done?
Dermatologists in the area are scheduling about six months out. I took the bull by the horns and did some research on treatments. Shhhh! I self-medicated with antibiotics left over from some illness. Dramatic improvement, but there is a good chance it will worsen again when I stop (I'm on day 5). Trying not to get my hopes up. I'm trying some home remedies, like turmeric and honey.

2015 has been a loser year
It's been quite a year -- the loss of my dad, Bob not working, big pet vet bills, and now, the Harvster is not well. Stress may have played a role here too. 

At my age, maybe it shouldn't matter. And I was never Carmen Diaz to begin with. But it just feels like one more thing. I would have liked to have been spared this facial ickiness, there is a remedy of sorts. You see, it is much less noticeable when I smile. Keep on smilin!


  1. I to have Rosacea and have had the 'orange peel' mess on my face in the past. I have had laser treatment that worked wonders! It cannot get rid of rosacea, but it can dramatically improve it, and I do mean dramatically. The laser treatment I had is called 'pulse dye laser'. Here is a link to more information from the dermatologist office I was treated at. ( I know that your dermatologists are booking way off in the future, as were mine. But, I was able to have a consultation with the nurse at the clinic and proceed with treatment that way. The dermatologist popped in to see my right before the treatment to ensure that they were proceeding correctly and we went from there. I took 3 treatments about 6 weeks apart, and then a follow up treatment about a year later for 'maintenance'. I couldn't be happier.

    As instructed by the dermatological Nurse I now wear SPF 50 on my face every day. On the days that I forget, I can tell as my cheeks are definitely ruddier.

    Good luck with the rosacea. And especially good luck with Harv!

  2. Bumpy, red, itchy, flaky skin on each side of my nose and between my eyebrows. I put it down to persistent acne until in my forties. One day I saw my doctor for something else and asked about my face. Instant recognition of Rosacea and a tube of mild prescription antibiotic to apply twice daily in small quantities. Relief was immediate. Sun-screen and a hat play a major role in my outdoor activities, and I'm out and about daily for work, in California sun. I've reached a stage of rarely using the cream now and have been symptom free for months.I do still take the tube with me when I travel, just in case.


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