Red-Faced About Rosacea

rosacea, acne rosacea, skin problems, red skin

This is a moderate to severe case, where rosacea can permanently disfigure the skin. From

Just after I returned from my trip to Ireland in the fall of 2007 my eyes started turning pink. Not red, not high grade irritable but a little drier than before and evenly pink. I went to the doctor who gave me drops for allergies. Still pink. I went to the optometrist who saw nothing wrong. I went to the naturopathic clinic where they gave me different drops. Still pink. I repeated appointments with each of these people, ending up at the doctor’s again. So she sent me to an ophthalmologist.

The ophthalmologist took one look through her high-powered magnifying thingy and said, Have you heard of rosacea (pronounced rozaysha)? I had but knew little about it. What she told me was that the oil in my skin had changed consistency, becoming waxier and therefore collecting in the ducts of my eyes and irritating the eyeball.

This also meant that the oils on my skin, especially my face, neck and upper torso, was doing the same thing. In the right light I can see the waxy build-up. I have to shampoo my eyelids every morning to keep the ducts clear. Washing my face and using lotion will help with the rosacea since washing dries out the skin.

Rosacea can cause red bumps, flushing, broken capillaries and in the severe cases, disfigurement. It also causes a rosacea acne, which is the red bumps. These aren’t really pimples in the traditional sense, but more like cysts. They can be itchy as well and asymmetrical in where they appear.

In reading up, I found out that if you have European ancestry, northern European or British/Irish, you are more susceptible to getting rosacea. The classic rosy cheeks is the first sign, or if a person easily flushes/blushes. I’ll get a heat flush that I can feel on my cheeks.

What causes it? Good question. Hormones can and once a woman goes through menopause it can go away. Another contributing factor seems to be foods with histamines. This is interesting because of the eczema I’ve been getting since my amoxycillin allergy and prednisone cure is also caused by histamines. It’s a progression into more severe forms of histamine reaction.

There are many things one is supposed to avoid with rosacea: wind, sun, cold, spices, alcohol, etc. Foods that have histamines can be a biggy: cheese, sour cream, yogurt, citrus fruit, liver, chocolate, vanilla, soy sauce, yeast extract (though bread is OK), vinegar, eggplant, avocados, spinach, broad-leafed beans and pods, and foods high in histamine or niacin. W.C. Fields’ classic red nose is the sign of a chronic drinker and of rosacea. And let’s see what I like: spicy foods and wine.

You’re not supposed to exercise either where strenuous workouts will increase your temperature. Talk about being a delicate flower. It’s completely annoying and who knows if it was ever only eczema or a progression through subtle stages of rosacea. So yes, I’ve cut down on the aggravating foods though I have a fridge door full of hot sauces. But I haven’t cut down on exercise, though I try to have a fan on me. I can’t say how frustrating this is, eating bland foods, cutting out chocolate, etc. etc. Makes me pout.

There is a rosacea organization and the disease (if that’s the right word for it) is more common than I thought. I have lost the good skin I used to have though I can get it back if I’m completely vigilant. It’s better in summer too, when the weather is warmer (but not hot) and the waxiness shows less. Rosacea is common enough that there are lotions and even makeups made for the condition. I’ve tried some and found they don’t do much difference than cleansing with a gentle cleanser and using a good lotion. Sunblocks become necessary as well.

I often have red splotches on my cheeks or neck, or the acne red bumps. It’s getting better and I’m trying a lot of diet related stuff at the moment. If this works, even if it doesn’t, I’ll write about it. Because, besides the rosacea, all the trigger foods are now becoming full blown allergens for me and I do blame prednisone for that. I want to have more flavors to taste, not less.


Filed under Culture, drugs, environment, food, health, health care, life, memories, people, weather

6 responses to “Red-Faced About Rosacea

  1. Darren

    Hi Colleen,

    I was wondering if your rosacea ever improved? I too have rosacea and recently it has gotten worse.

    If you get a chance I would love to hear your story ….


    • colleenanderson

      I still get it and mine is still mild, though my sister who is fairer, says hers is very bad and she’s looking at medications. It sometimes flares up quite badly. I’ve mentioned that she needs to cut out histamine related foods as they increase inflammation. As well, I’ve just been told that these things might work: dandelion, other bitter herbs or HCL, which I believe is a hydrochloric acid. Naturopaths would be able to give more information on this. Supposedly taking cider vinegar could help but I already react to it. I’m not sure if you take this before eating or daily but I’m going to give it a try. The problem is that I keep eating those foods that I shouldn’t be eating. Sometimes I take an anti-histamine beforehand in hopes that it will limit the effect. When I drink alcohol I drink a lot of ice water at the same time, to keep up that cooling mechanism. In general I drink a lot of water and I think this helps flush the system and keep the level low.

  2. I have rosacea too. I hate it when people point it out to me in conversation. I’ve had my share of “cures”. I find drink lots of water helps a llittle and a less fatty diet.

  3. I’ve been wanting to get rid of the redness on my face for a great while now. Coming across Made from Earth’s Rosehip and Hibiscus Face Serum did the trick. Not only has my redness decreased, but my face is super soft now! Also a plus that it can be used under makeup!

  4. Food and drinks that can trigger flushing, including alcohol, food and beverages containing caffeine (especially, hot tea and coffee), foods high in histamines and spicy food. Meals high in histamine (red wine, aged cheeses, yogurt, beer, cured pork products such as bacon, etc.) can even cause consistent facial flushing in those individuals without rosacea due to a separate condition, histamine intolerance. Medications such as steroids induced rosacea is the term given to rosacea caused from using external or nasal steroids.

    • colleenanderson

      Actually the histamine intolerance is what brings on the rosacea as well. It’s a chicken and egg thing. If you have rosacea, you have the histamine intolerance. For me the histamines came first, then the rosacea developed but maybe I only knew that because I hunted out the problem. I doubt anyone could have rosacea without being histamine intolerant.

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