Rosacea is a subject is very close to my own heart.
As April is rosacea awareness month I wanted to share my story. As a fellow sufferer of the skin condition, and as someone who is living with rosacea, I know only too well how disruptive it can be to your daily life and confidence. The key thing I want you to remember is, ‘YOU ARE NOT ALONE’!
What is rosacea?
It is a chronic condition, and can persist for a long time and, in any individual, the severity tends to fluctuate. Rosacea tends to affect the cheeks, forehead, chin and nose, and is characterised by persistent redness caused by dilated blood vessels, small bumps and pus-filled spots like acne. There may also be uncomfortable inflammation of the surface of the eyes and eyelids..
The cause of the condition is not fully understood. Your genetic makeup, immune system factors, and environmental factors may all play a part. It is these factors that trigger rosacea and cause the blood vessels in the skin of the face to enlarge (dilate). The theory that rosacea is due to bacteria on the skin or in the gut has never been proven. However, antibiotics have proven helpful to treat it in some cases. This is because of their anti-inflammatory effect.
Remember that rosacea is NOT a contagious skin condition. There has been substantial research on whether it is a hereditary condition, but this theory has yet to be proven and although it does tend to run in some families a genetic link has not been made clear.
There are a variety of triggers that may make the condition worse. These include stress, alcohol, spices, exercise, high/low temperatures and hot drinks. The skin can be sun sensitive with this condition, so it is imperative to use protection every day.
LIVING WITH ROSACEA.
I have been a sufferer now for over 4 years. It started with mild flushing symptoms and led to what I now have today. I want to help by sharing my experiences of living with the condition to hopefully offer advice and comfort to others, so here is my story.
I first started suffering from what I now suspect was Rosacea when I was in my mid-twenties. It started with flushing for no reason at all. All it would take then was a snide comment of ‘look how red you’re going Kay’ or ‘hey beetroot’ to make the situation a whole lot worse. It would instantly make me flush more and I all I wanted was the earth to open and swallow me. Don’t get me started on public speaking, it was impossible! I dreaded being asked to talk in front of a room full of work colleagues or do a presentation.