I have been trawling through my laptop for the past few days to find a photo of when my rosacea was really bad. You know what? I could hardly find any evidence…which speaks volumes really. In all of the photos where I know I was suffering the worst, I had either deleted the awful ones there and then or I’m conveniently wearing shades OR i’m using my long hair to cleverly cover that bumpy red patch on my face.
There is one photo however that I found in an email for a casting call back in 2014 for the role of…wait for it…”woman with rosacea” Haha! I didn’t even get the part, ugh..
Throwback to being an awkward teenager with a face full of spots. Remember that time? It felt like every day a new blemish would crop up. Looking in the mirror and seeing a spotty face looking back at you became the norm. Your saving grace was that you knew it probably wouldn’t last forever because all the grown ups of the world said things like:
“Oh, don’t you worry, everyone gets them at your age”
“I had spots when I was a teenager too”
“It will pass”
As annoying as it was to constantly be breaking out in spots, sure enough, over time that hormonal teenage skin calmed and the bad skin phase that once plagued your day to day became a thing of the past. Except not for me. As someone who has rosacea, I have found that the ‘spot’ talk I experienced as a teenager had come back to haunt me. I get a lot of the following:
“Maybe the sun will help and dry out all the spots?”
“Can’t you get a cream to get rid of them?”
“I’m sure it won’t last forever”
All of these words of advice or concern come from a good place, but if like me you have rosacea, you will know it is one of the most complicated skin conditions to control and live with and it isn’t as simple as following any of the advice above. It has been at times embarrassing, frustrating and confidence knocking.
Rosacea is a long term skin condition that cannot be completely cured. It can be controlled. It is not the same as having spots. In the last couple of years i’ve noticed there is more of an understanding of what it is but there’s still a long way to go.
My Rosacea diagnosis
When I was 25 I started to notice day to day that my cheeks felt really itchy and uncomfortable. They looked blotchy and slightly sore to touch. No actual spots though. Strange. As someone who was used to the occasional breakout, I thought it was nothing more than my skin playing up a bit. For a good couple of months this continued. The itchy, burning sensation became more familiar and literally overnight one day my cheeks erupted into small little bumps. Spots! Okay, nothing a bit of spot cream can’t fix, right? Wrong.
I could not get rid of them and my skin constantly looked red and angry so I naturally did some internet self diagnosis work and this ROSACEA word kept cropping up. Following this was a trip to the doctors and I left with antibiotics and a special topical gel. HURRAH it helped, and a few months later my skin looked happy again. I came off the antibiotics. Then it came back. *face palm* I felt like crap and I didn’t like the face that was looking back a me.
What Happened Next?
What then ensued was a good couple of years taking various trips back to the dermatologist alongside teaching myself how to keep flare ups at bay. I’ve really jumped on the natural skincare bandwagon and pay close attention to my diet these days. I have been incredibly lucky to have laser treatment on my face too, which has been a massive step forward in controlling my symptoms.
I can now say I’m at my most confident i’ve ever been with my skin condition. It has taken almost 5 years to get to this point. It has been a roller coaster. Waking up every morning scared of what might make you flare up is a horrible, gut wrenching feeling. Having to go to work, meet up with friends…I was always concerned about what people thought of my appearance. Nobody should ever feel like they are not in a good place. I didn’t want to settle for that feeling of being unhappy in my looks and hated that I had low self esteem. You have to keep going until you find what works for you.
Confidence is key. Rosacea won’t beat me
If you feel like your rosacea is having an adverse effect on your day to day mood and self esteem, go back to your GP or dermatologist and tell them how much it’s affecting you. I really had to push to be heard. You may feel a bit silly. “I’m being vain” but your self confidence and happiness is extremely important. Having rosacea or any chronic skin condition can be debilitating and really hard to come to terms with. I know there were plenty of times where I felt extremely ugly, overwhelmingly self-conscious and at times I even avoided social gatherings because of it.
Some rosacea tips from Herbs and Herbs
- Drink lots of water and Green tea. Hydrated skin is happy skin and Green tea is full of antioxidants to protect and defend your skin.
- Try to consume as little dairy in your diet as possible. Check out my Rosacea and your Diet blog post too, this may be of use!
- Try a gentle cleansing routine. I cleanse with with coconut oil everyday and remove with rose water.
- Wear SPF daily. Check out my other blog posts or Instagram to see what I love using.
- Gentle exercise! I enjoy pilates and yoga. Neither cause my skin to flush or flare up like an intense work out session would.
If you have any questions feel free to get in contact with me through my Instagram or firstname.lastname@example.org
Herbs and Herbs x