What can I do to help manage rosacea?

Chelseamamma

I have been struggling with Rosacea for some time now and all the medication I could have whilst breastfeeding didn’t seem to do anything to help my symptoms, so when I stopped breastfeeding a couple of months ago I was eager to try some of the more powerful tablets to help manage my condition.

Rosacea is characterised by a wide range of skin symptoms, including: redness and swelling; flushing; the appearance of blood vessels through the skin on the face; thickening of the skin on the face; small elevated bumps called papules; and spots called pustules. I also experience eye symptoms, including bloodshot or dry eyes when I have a particularly bad flare up.

I was put on a course of antibiotics known as Tetracycline and was warned that they may make my skin more sensitive to the sun, but nothing prepared me for just how sensitive!

I have always joked that when the warm weather come around my skin turns pink, peels and then turns pink again so wearing a high SPF suncream is second nature to me and helps me tolerate the sun.

I continued to use my Factor 30 sunscreen on days out, but after driving to Birmingham with sun shining through the windows of the car during the journey my hands, especially my knuckles got badly burned.  I upped my sunscreen to Factor 50 but any skin exposed to the sun burned to a crisp within minutes and my hands started to blister.

I went back to my GP, who’d never seen a reaction so severe, and who advised me to come straight back off the medication, especially as we are off to Turkey next month.  Thankfully my face and chest have cleared within a few days but I am left with hands that are constantly stinging and look awful although the redness seems to finally be reducing.

Hands

It’s surprising how little is known about Rosacea, especially when you consider how common rosacea is says Dr Wayne Osborne. As he explains over at Treated.com, roughly 1 in 10 people in the UK are thought to be living with rosacea; so those who do have it certainly aren’t alone in having to take steps to manage it.

While what causes rosacea hasn’t been definitively answered, a number of triggers have been identified. These include prolonged exposure to sunlight, stress, alcohol (red wine in particular), hot drinks, caffeine, spicy food, and hot and cold weather conditions. Some people also experience episodes when they’re going through the menopause, or taking certain medication.

Obviously no two people are the same, and triggers tend to vary from person to person. But to reduce the risk of a flare-up (or, if your rosacea is active, limit the severity of symptoms), my advice would be to:

  • Avoid intense or prolonged sun exposure. Don’t stay outdoors on sunny days for too long, and try to keep to the shade where possible. Sunscreen is recommended, but take care to choose a product which won’t cause further irritation (ideally one made with antioxidants). Sunbeds are a definite no-no.
  • Limit your alcohol intake, as it can cause blood vessels in the face to dilate, causing redness and flushing. It’s definitely worth either taking some time off alcohol or reducing your intake during a flare-up, to see if it helps to improve symptoms.
  • Take measures to limit stress by making sure you’re getting enough rest and sleep after a day’s work.
  • Cover up on cold or windy days to avoid further skin irritation.
  • Talk to your doctor if you think medication may be the cause. Corticosteroids and certain vitamins are thought to exacerbate rosacea symptoms in some. If you think these are making your condition worse, your GP may be to suggest an alternative

Prescription treatments can help in those cases where non-medicinal measures have not sufficed. Gels and Creams such as Rozex are available, as are tablets. Again, your doctor may be able to suggest a course, which is right for you.

So for now, I am back to cold turkey with no medication and waiting on an appointment to see a Dermatologist for more ideas on what treatment may work for me.

Disclaimer:  This is a collaborative post with Treated.com

10 thoughts on “What can I do to help manage rosacea?

  1. Jaime Oliver says:

    aww lovely having this condition too i have every empathy its such a difficult condition to find what works .. hope it clears fully for your holiday
    Jaime Oliver recently posted…WOW Toys – Dudley Dump Truck ReviewMy Profile

  2. Michelle says:

    Wow I had no idea the sun affected sufferers like that, I hope your hands get better soon lovely xx
    Michelle recently posted…MAC Wash and Dry Mini HaulMy Profile

  3. oh my that looks sore, hope its all cleared up now!
    Mummys little blog recently posted…How to survive train journeys with toddlersMy Profile

  4. Rachel says:

    I only get small flare ups and it is nothing like you have. There is a new cream which has just come out, though ive forgotten its name, but it is designed for Rosacea x
    Rachel recently posted…WIN 6 Pairs of Shoes with DolcisMy Profile

  5. Lauren says:

    Ooh, ouchy that looks painful! I hope it’s cleared up a bit now.

    My Other Half gets rosacea and he has some oil that his sister sent him from NZ that he uses for it. It seems to be something that his whole family suffers from.

    Look forward to hearing all about what you get up to in Turkey x
    Lauren recently posted…Matalan Modern Families – what family means to meMy Profile

  6. Jen Walshaw says:

    Oh my word. I have never suffered with rosacea, but due to sepsis I had to have a really strong cocktail of antibiotics that left me really susceptible to sun. I have to wear factor 50 all the time. I hope you have a great break in Turkey
    Jen Walshaw recently posted…Road trip travel printables and a Ford C-MAX reviewMy Profile

  7. lisa prince says:

    oh dear i do hope you get better with the condition hun , i too struggled with breast feeding, not because of a cndition but because it seemd my children liked to bite and it was too painfu especially with only having one nipple able to be fed from as the other was inverted x

  8. Mina Joshi says:

    I had not heard of rosacea before. Your hands look sore. Has the doctor given you a cream to sooth them? How do people in hot countries cope with such a condition?
    Mina Joshi recently posted…Crispy Salad served with Bateta PawaMy Profile

  9. Amy Squires says:

    I get really bad rosacea on my chest when I’m ill or stressed. Thankfully it normally goes down after a few days but a lot of people are always asking what it is.
    Amy Squires recently posted…Making the most out of a little bathroom for a big family! Bella Bathrooms Competition Entry.My Profile

  10. oh my goodness that looks so so painful. Are you ok now? I have noticed I get break outs of red patches on my face, I think I will mention this to my GP
    angela hamilton recently posted…Blurring The LineMy Profile

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