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Living with Rosacea - Is there a cure?

Updated on June 23, 2008

The Remedy Depends on the Cause

Rosacea is a skin disorder, plain and simple. Your face is red, bumpy, and sometimes it iches. I have it and have dealt with it now for about 8 years. There was no apparent cause for me at the beginning. I tried topical ointments from Retin-A to Metronidazole, along with different medicinal prescriptions in the forms of pills. For the longest time, nothing worked. Eventually, I found that my particular case of Rosacea seems to be influenced by hormones. I noticed that I would break out in a significantly worse way during my mentstrual cycle. When I became pregnant with my son, my Rosacea got even worse.

On top of knowing what I looked like, I got comments from people like "so, been out in the sun a lot lately?" or "that looks like a pretty bad sunburn." It was so humiliating. I remember even once, going to a McDonald's to get a burger and the guy behind the counter said to me "you should really put some aloe or something on your face to help those little sun-blisters." I took my food, went to my car and I cried for what felt like an eternity. I felt so low, ugly, unattractive, and completely out of control of my face. At the time, I was applying Retin-A to no avail. My face was still so red and had so many pustules and bumps. I hated the way I looked.

Then in September that year, my husband and I went to the coast for his birthday because he had never been. We were in the waves along the coast of S. Padre Island when he got something in his eyes, so we left and went back to the room. Shock of shocks, when we got back, I was in front of the mirror and my face was CLEAR as CLEAR could be! I hadn't seen my skin so smooth in such a long time, I could not believe it! I was so excited, but had no idea why my face was suddenly clear because that morning, it was as red as it had ever been - pustules and all. I actually had my husband take a picture of me just to prove I wasn't dreaming. Unfortunately, after I took a shower and washed my face, the redness started coming back and my skin started to appear agitated with little bumps surfacing slowly throughout that evening. It was so depressing!

After we got back home a few days later, I did a lot of research to find out what was in the sea water. What I found was that sulphur, a mineral found in sea water, used to be a common remedy to Rosacea back in the day. After that, I was off, searching for something that had sulphur (and didn't smell like sulphur) that I could apply topically to my face. I finally found two products that worked for me. One was a tablet that was composed of Sulphur and other sea minerals that you rubbed all over your face. The only problem with this one for me was that it left my face dry, but the product manufacturers suggested jojoba oil to moisturize to counteract the dryness. Even though this one worked like a charm, I wasn't crazy about the smell. It wasn't a sulphur smell, but more like a salty smell. Either way, it was the first thing I found that worked for me, so I used it on a daily basis. Then I found what I use now, which is a topical homeopathic gel that contains sulphur. I LOVE it! That was my remedy to Rosacea. I haven't had any anti-biotics for over a year now, and as long as I keep up with applications (twice a day: am and pm), my face has been clear.

In short, I found what worked for me and I ran with it. Other people may have other influences that trigger their Rosacea flare-ups like caffeine or spicy foods, in which case it is really more of a diet modification that may improve their Rosacea. Even though Rosacea is not life-threatening or contagious, it does take its toll on the people that have it through blows to self-esteem or confidence. Believe me, I know, and even though its not much, I offer my sympathy to every Rosacea-sufferer.

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    • EBAY_SOURCERER profile image

      EBAY_SOURCERER 8 years ago

      Very interesting Daniela, thank you for your hub, I would agree after watching my friend suffer for what in comparison to your 8 years is a relatively short period; that low self esteem is one of the most difficult aspects to deal with of this disorder. I wish you well with your daily regime and pray it continues to work for you.

    • Daniela Pullan profile image
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      Daniela Pullan 8 years ago

      Thank you for your comment. I hope your friend finds something that works!

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      peter 8 years ago

      Dear Daniela, I am 26, and i have rosacea, characterized by persistent red cheeks. I have been applying rosex gel for 7 months, and i have beem using minocyline for one month, as well. These have helped, but i want the redness gone ASAP. It is really distressing to me, and takes a toll on my self-esteem. You mentioned that you are using a great sulphu-based cream. Can you tell my what it is, and any other information you have about it and getting rid of your rosacea, in terms of how long it took to work, etc. Many thanks, Peter (my email address is pbull1@campus.ie)

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      Lorraine425 8 years ago

      Can Daniela mention which topical homeopathic gel that contains sulphur she uses? Thanks.

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      peter 8 years ago

      Hey Lorraine425, i think Daniela has gone AWOL. But, i think she might have been referring to Prosacea gel, available at amazon.com or prosacea.com. Prosacea's active ingredient is sulphur 1x. I have been using it for approximately one month, three times daily. While has caused my skin to develop a few pimples as well as some dry skin, it has greatly reduced the redness on my cheeks. The dryness can be taken care of with some moisturizer. Perhaps, in another few weeks all the redness on my cheeks will be gone. All in all, prosacea kicks ass, and there are many others who agree, just check out the reviews on amazon.com. Later, babe.

    • Daniela Pullan profile image
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      Daniela Pullan 8 years ago

      Nope...sorry - haven't gone AWOL...just dealing with a troublesome pregnancy and new addition to our family as of August 14. Anyway, yes - it is Prosacea that I was talking about. It makes my face a little dry, but I use jojoba oil to moisturize. Overall, I love the way it works.

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      peter 8 years ago

      Hi Daniela, thanks for your comment. Goodluck with the pregnancy. Can i ask you, does prosacea cause your skin to develop pimples and whiteheads in the areas you apply the cream? As i said, it does for me. So, here is my problem. I've finally found this product, thanks to you, that helps alleviated the redness on my cheeks. But, at the same time, it causes spots, which are of course only temporary. The redness has been persistent for years. So, what do you think: do i continue with the cream and try not to let the spots get to me?

    • Daniela Pullan profile image
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      Daniela Pullan 8 years ago

      I can't say that I've had had pimples or whiteheads develop where I use prosacea. As far as using the cream or not...its really entirely up to you. If it were me, I'd push through the spots because I hated the redness all over my cheeks, but that's just me. Best of luck to you in your decision!

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      peter 8 years ago

      Thanks for your reply Daniela. I am going to continue to use Prosacea. Did prosacea make all your redness on your cheeks fade? If so, how long did it take to fade?

    • profile image

      peter 8 years ago

      Thanks for your reply Daniela. I am going to continue to use Prosacea. Did prosacea make all your redness on your cheeks fade? If so, how long did it take to fade?

    • Daniela Pullan profile image
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      Daniela Pullan 8 years ago

      The Prosacea made it completely fade. It took about 4-6 months, give or take a week, but it did eventually fade. Every once in a while, I'll get a little redness back, but it has always been right around a time when my hormones are out of whack again.

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      peter 8 years ago

      I used prosacea for approximately one month and noticed a good improvement in terms of the redness fading. I then stopped due to the spots. I started using it again. I suppose i just have to be more patient. I will keep you posted. Thanks.

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      peter 8 years ago

      Hi Daniela,So, i've been using prosacea consistently, three times a day, for the past two months. Fortunately, i have seen major improvements in terms of the redness on my cheeks. It's definitely a slow process though. I envision that in another few months, maybe four-to-six, all the redness might fade. The only problem now is that it is Winter time, which means cold air and wind, and this can exacerbate redness.

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      Keith 7 years ago

      Hi Daniela,

      I have rosacea and I was wondering if prosacea still works even when your face is exposed to extreme weather conditions (eg. sunlight, cold wind) because that is the main triggers for my rosacea.

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      andrew 7 years ago

      For the last five days, I have been applying Ocean Potion Face 45 SPF Clear Zinc Oxide to my face for sun protection. The redness of my cheeks appears to be subsiding rapidly since commencing application. Perhaps it is the zinc in the sunscreen. Could it be something else, such as the borax powder that i have been ingesting (with water) for approximately two months, sure. But it is only in the last few days that the redness actually looks like it is diminishing. Really. Maybe others will have a similar experience. I will continue to put it on my face in the morning. You do not have much to lose. A small 1oz pot can be ordered online for a measely few bucks.

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      Cryptic 7 years ago

      At 70 years of age, I've just been diagnosed with Rosacea, which started to appear several months ago on my nose. At first I thought it was just dry skin, but soon it began to blister and burn. Glowing red so that I looked like I'd had several drinks.

      I kept putting off going to a skin cancer clinic because my hubby had a few health issues, and there didn't seem to be enough time.

      The wake-up call came when I was at a Club, drinking my first Scotch & Coke in a month or more, and a friend laughed at me with my red nose. [This person, incidentally, had had several wines.] I said I think it's skin cancer. She howled with laughter.

      The next day another friend who had witnessed our conversation, phoned me for a chat, and said; "Don't worry about your nose getting red when you're drinking. Mine does that all the time, but it goes away in the morning."

      She meant to be kind, but it was just the wake up call I needed. My red nose is always there, and I seldom have an alcoholic drink.

      The Doc took one look and said, 'That's not skin cancer, it's Rosacea, and I have just the thing for it. A Magic gel called Rosex'. He said Rosacea is sometimes due to stress. Well I've survived 70 stressful years without becoming Rudolph, so why now?

      I had the script filled, immediately applied the soothing cooling gel, and by the time I'd made the short bus-trip home my nose looked a normal colour.

      So now I have temporary relief, which is a blessing.

      Where do I go from here? Should I keep a food/trigger diary to track down its source?

      I am allergic to Sulphur drugs, so doubt if I could use the wonderful Sulphur product I saw mentioned here.

      I find that keeping the tube in the refrigerator makes it twice as effective.

      I'd appreciate any helpful suggestions.

      Sympathy to all other Rosacea sufferers!

      Lotsa Joy!

      Cryptic

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      Annie Edgar 6 years ago

      Hi,

      I have had chronic rosacea for the past 5 months. I am seeing a chinese doctor and have been taking the herbal medicine for nearly 3 weeks. I think it has improved my condition. I have been using organic jojoba oil which seems to sooth the burning and the itching and I have found a natural cream which is all natural, bees wax, honey etc which is also very soothing. I have been told about rosex so am keen to try as I am allergic to sulphur products. I have days where I seem to be getting better, I get all excited and then it comes back with a vengence. I am over it.

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      Steve (UK) 6 years ago

      I have suffered from red flushing around the nose, cheeks and forehead for some years. My GP treating it successfully with Betnosol - since withdrawn as new GP suggests it thins the skin. Metrogel - had little effect. And Fusciderm, which would simply abate the redness. I discovered Prosacea gel and have used that with great success for the last 3 months. Unfortunately it has to be bought from the US, but suppliers seem to ship fast and costs equate with swingeing UK prescription charges.

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      Valerie 5 years ago

      I suffer from Rosacea and done a LOT of research and making some changes in my skin care and makeup I use. Thought I share the ingredients I found that says causes most people to flare up. My personal one that flairs me up majorly is salicylic acid but these are others that I have found:

      Acetone

      Alcohol or SD alcohol followed by a number (Ingredients like cetyl alcohol or stearyl alcohol are standard, benign, waxlike cosmetic thickening agents and are completely nonirritating.)

      Ammonia

      Arnica

      Ascorbic acid

      Balm mint

      Balsam

      Bentonite

      Benzalkonium chloride

      Bergamot

      Camphor

      Chamomile

      Cinnamon

      Citrus juices and oils (such as grapefruit or orange)

      Clove

      Clover blossom

      Cocoa butter

      Coriander

      Cornstarch

      Eucalyptus

      Fennel

      Fennel oil

      Fir needle

      Fragrances of any kind

      Geranium

      Horsetail

      Lavender

      Lemon

      Lemongrass

      Lime

      Marjoram

      Melissa

      Menthol

      Mint

      Oak bark

      Papaya

      Peppermint

      Phenol

      Sandalwood oil

      SD alcohol, ethanol alcohol or isopropyl alcohol

      Sodium C14-16 olefin sulfate

      Sodium lauryl sulfate

      TEA-lauryl sulfate

      Thyme

      Wintergreen

      Witch hazel

      Ylang-ylang

      You can find out more info from www.rosacea.org

      Hope this is helpful to everyone.. If what I do changes my face, I will be glad to share what exact products I used but we will wait and see! :) Its April 23, 2011

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      MIa 5 years ago

      After dealing with a "dermatitis/rosacea/who knows what" for the past 6 or so years I am happy to say I have found a product that has been a miracle. And it is Mangosteen juice.I also had to clean up my diet in a big way, and do not eat sugar, wheat (very few grains at all really) or meat(naturally has hormones). But the Mangosteen juice is incredible. I take it orally and put it on my face every night, and it has been a lifesaver. Good luck to everyone who has to deal with this frustrating condition.

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      21 months ago

      Hi Daniela, I am 5 months pregnant and have rosacea. Is it safe to use Prosacea gel during pregnancy? I found mixed reviews online so I am not sure.

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