Anyone Have Rosacea?

sue36March 8, 2006

Does anyone here have rosacea? I was told several years ago that I had toothpaste induced rosacea. When I took more care to wash my face *after* brushing (instead of before) it went away. The doctor told me the tartar control ingrediants cause a skin reaction in many women.

This time it isn't caused by toothpaste, though.

Last week I got a bunch of little bumps on my face I thought was acne (which I rarely get). Then my skin got super dry (I didn't use any acne treatment to cause that) and now it is swollen, red, itchy and it stings like mad. My chin is so swollen I looked like I have gained weight. My cheeks are really pink. And now that I think of it, the pinkness has been coming and going for weeks. My face actually hurts.

I looked up the symptoms for rosacea today and realize that the eye problems I have been having might be related to that. Blurry vision, dry eyes, bloodshot (normally they are very white). My skin has always been very good, but I have wierd issues. I am allergic to cold (called cold urticaria), have eczema (not on the face), and I seem to be almost allergic to alcohol (my face turns bright red immediately, even if I only have a sip). I don't drink (who wants to turn bright red?) and avoid contact with the cold. The onyl eczema I have right now is on my leg, which I always getin the winter.

I realize I am being really vain and compared to some people on here my problem is miniscule, but if anyone has any advice or has had good experience with certain treatments or products for the rosacea, I would appreciate it. I put in a call to the dermatologist I went to a few years ago and hope I can get an appointment soon.

Right now I am using Creme de la Mer on my face because it is the most emollient, gentle thing I have (I usually use Oil of Oil with 30 SPF). I am planning on going out and getting the Aveeno Ultra Calming cream. I have to use something I am so dry.

Any advice is appreciated. Thanks.

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Holy Crap, I would swear that I was writing this.. Toothpaste rosacea--when I tell people that I get a reaction to tartar control toothpaste, they think I am nuts. I have had it since 1985, when I was in college.

Now I just have very red cheeks. I never need rouge. I wear a lot of foundations to cover it. I have also been experiencing weird stuff with my left eye lately. At first I tought it was like a pink eye, but then I noticed a raised shiny area under my eye around 4mm in size. I have an appointment with my dermatologist on the 16th to have it looked at. I have read that rosacea can affect the eyes.

ANyway, I have tried a lot of redness reducing creams to no avail. It's so funny you mentioning creme de la mer, because I am bidding on a bottle on ebay right now. I haven't tried that yet.

Last year I got a prescription from the dermatologist for dermatop cream. It worked very well on my hands when I got a severe case of eczema. I have been using a little of it under my affected eye and it seems to be helping. I just don't like to use it too much because it is a steroid.

I use dermablend foundation when my skin is very red and that covers nicely.I too avoid alcoholand use cetaphil cream and lotion to moisturize and wash my face. My skin is always worse in the winter.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2006 at 11:57AM
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DH has many similar complaints as you. And he loves red wine, but gets the same reaction that you do to alcohol, although beer doesn't cause it. I recently developed terrible eczema on the backs of my legs and my upper arms. The Aveeno calming cream is ok, but Sarna is better. Here, at least, you have the ask the pharmacist for it b/c they keep it behind the counter for some reason. DH has a prescription for a steroid cream that he uses only when it gets so itchy that he can't stand it anymore.

And Sue, don't even for a moment feel like you are being vain or try to minimize your health problem. Rosacia is a very debilitating affliction to have, and can vastly affect one's self-esteem. I know someone who had it pretty bad, but that was before I was aware of the condition. I (and many others) assumed that he drank too much.

Best of luck!

    Bookmark   March 8, 2006 at 12:16PM
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My father made a comment to me about drinking too much one time. I had only had 1 drink, but my face looked like a hottible sunburn.

I have had people tell me to calm down, ask me if I am hot, ask me if I am cold, ask me if I am sick, ask me if I just ran there, etc. My face has only been red a few weeks. DH said he thought I had gained weight (probably the swelling). When he cracked a joke about it today on the phone I was so mad I hung up on him.

This is the vain part: I am the person that always had "peaches and cream" perfect skin (on my face at least). Strangers would come up to me and ask me what I use (genetics and sunblock). I feel like I have lost my best feature.

Thanks for the advice. I will ask about the Sarna cream.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2006 at 12:46PM
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You DO have the most gorgeous skin, Sue.

I don't know a heck of alot about rosacea, but your symptoms sound like some sort of allergy (or maybe that's what rosacea is?)~ you using any new soap, detergent, make-up, etc?

DD#1 has beautiful, but extremely sensitive skin. I used to make a concoction of Gerber's oatmeal cereal (baby food aisle), a dab of aloe vera, dab of vitamin E oil and warm water for her to wash with.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2006 at 1:31PM
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It's not about vanity as much as feeling "comfortable" and secure interacting with others. It's one thing to be one of many adolescents fighting acne, quite another to feel you're presenting a false mask rather than yourself. And sometimes more than one thing is going on.

For years I had something folks would tell me was rosacea. It would be better or worse at different times. One day I was in to see my doc about something unrelated. At the end of our visit she peered into my face and said, You seem to have a staph A infection, let me write you a prescription for that... I was stunned. Used the stuff for a couple days, it disappeared, and never returned. It's been a couple years now.

Sharing my story in case it helps someone else. I had "problem skin" for 30+ years BTW before this doc's casual observation. Now it's clear & I don't think about it. Amazing.

Rosacea is a real thing and there are a number of different skin troubles. I really do think it's worth seeing your HCP as a first step. Wish I'd done so years ago.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2006 at 1:38PM
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First off, to mlaj2000 -- STOP using the steroid cream on your face/eye!!! That's how I developed terrible rosacea and acne all over my face, by using Luxiq, a steroid cream I'd been prescribed for the seborrheic dermatitis on my scalp. It worked fine on my scalp, and since the symptoms of the seb. derm. were similar to those of the perioral dermatitis I've had around my nose and mouth for, oh, 17 years now, I thought I'd try the Luxiq on it.

It worked great, for a couple days at a time, so I kept using it. Then my symptoms worsened until my whole face was one big, red, swollen mass of bumps, pustules and zits. I went to the dermatologist and he said NEVER to use steroid or cortizone creams on the face, EVER. He gave me 2 creams to combat the rosacea -- Elidel and Metrocream -- and they didn't really work. Well, they worked to a point, but not completely.

So seven weeks later, I went to an acupuncturist and got Chinese herbs. Within one week, my symptoms were significantly better, so I stopped taking the herbs, and now (several weeks later) I'm pretty much rosacea- and acne-free. This has been a 4-month ordeal for me, and my rosacea was completely steroid-induced, so I can't stress it enough -- stop using that stuff! Your skin will get worse when you quit, but then it'll get better. And I HIGHLY recommend Chinese herbs for rosacea of any kind.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2006 at 2:49PM
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Sue--when I was about 32, I had very similar symptoms develop seemingly overnight on my face. It was winter, and seemed to be exacerbated by the cold. I went to my family doc and he said he thought I had rosacea. I told him I wanted to see a dermatologist. She said I did not have rosacea but had suddenly developed acne (which I had never had, even as a teenager).

She put me on a couple of topical creams, an antibiotic, and told me to use oil free makeup. It got better, and I stayed on the antibiotic for a few months and then was able to quit.

I hope you do not have rosacea--what a pain--perhaps it is something more like my experience. Make an appointment with a dermatologist. It could be something as simple as the wrong birth control pill.

Let us know what you find out.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2006 at 4:22PM
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A dear friend did a series of Photofacial laser (?) treatments and was rosacea-free for almost 5 years. She never knew she had gorgeous skin! She's starting on another series this spring, hoping to keep it at bay.

They're very expensive, but really worked wonders for her.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2006 at 8:10PM
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I have rosacea which is fairly well controlled by a concoction of creams my dermatologist prescribed. I also was diagnosed as having a rash from toothpaste when I was younger. I also get the same reaction from drinking. It has happened from white wine, red wine, champagne and once a frozen margarita. After the second sip or so my face gets bright red and my chin and eyebrows feel like they have been scalded. This lasts about 1/2 hour. It doesn't happen always but I have been unable to determine which drinks cause it. It lasted 1.5 years and seems to be slowing down over past 2 months. Sometimes I get it from spicy foods too. My dermatologist told me this was typical of rosacea.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2006 at 9:44AM
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I have similar issues. Red face all the time, dry bumpy skin, eczema (not on face), hot water, alcohol, exercise make me red for hours. In fact in my 20s I was a fitness instructor who was advised NOT to get my aerobics certification because I looked so bad when I exercised! No sweat, just burning red skin.

I also use Creme de la mer on my face in winter only, I have tried EVERY other cream and that one works and does not make me break out or rashy. Oil of olay works for summer, though as I age I need more power(37). Cetaphil cream in a tub works very well for my body, or Bliss Body Butter is also good. I have a prescription for the eczema.

I use Cetaphil cleanser to wash my face, and in winter, I smear Noxema thickly on my cheeks before I shower like a mask. The steam melts it off (don't put above/near eyes!!), I never put my face directly under the water, and I can leave a hot shower w/ a minimal red face, no burning, it works great. The dr.s advice "warm not hot shower" doesn't cut it for me in Jan/Feb.

For facial dryness, I use Remede Clean Sweep, a very gentle exfoliant mixed with the cetaphil cleanser lotion, and that keeps the flakes away, followed by a "destresser" either Estee Lauder idealist or Chanel "destressant" (calming lotion). Then followed with Creme de La Mer. Seems high maintenance, but my skin feels like a baby's bottom! My summer routine is much less expensive. :)

I drink a lot of red wine, and well, that's the price, all my party pics are pretty unflattering. :) I either drink black tea before (which reduces the effect) or wear make up with Eucerin green stick (CVS stuff) under the foundation, that also works very well for reducing redness under makeup. Although when I use it I feel like I look like death because I am normally so rosy! :)

Your puffiness does sound like an allergic reaction. Try an over the counter antihistimine. Of course, also talk to your doctor. I have been offered pills for my redness, but I didn't really want to take anything, it's so far been manageable and just part of me.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2006 at 2:21PM
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I have rosacea and found that elemis pro colagen marine creme has been a total miracle. I wasn't so convinced, but DH and I were in mexico and he got terrible heat rash on his neck and shoulders. We had brought this lotion on the trip and while I was sick with tummy problems he took the liberty of applying the $130 creme to his neck. It literally got rid of the rash within an hour of two.

I like it as a normal cream for my face, but after it magically helped with the heat rash I find that I'll never switch.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2006 at 12:03AM
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Thanks for all the advice. I couldn't get an appointment with my dermatologist (the receoptionaist never answers), time to get a new dermatologist. I used the Creme de la Mer and used Cetaphil to wash. It has substantially resolved, but I am still very red on my cheeks. The chin has healed except for a few bumps.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2006 at 5:38PM
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