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Skin

I don't really talk about my rosacea much. I have it. I avoid the sun and heat like the plague; I avoid spice past a certain point (jalapenos and up in Tex-Mex cooking are triggers; curiously, wasabi isn't). In my car, the air conditioner is like a cool, moist balm. I've had laser treatments that weren't so successful. I use sunscreen. I try to do what I can not to provoke it without turning into a recluse, because I refuse to stop living life, dammit. I try to strike a balance.

This past week, I've had a really major outbreak: more of my face than ever before. I'm sure it's a combination of hormones, the onset of spring and the particles in the air, and significant personal and professional stress. However, I've felt for a while that the dermatologist I've had since I was 27 and I weren't really making progress with my treatment. The stuff he had prescribed seemed to aggravate my skin instead of soothing it. I decided it was time for a second opinion, and I saw a new dermatologist today.

It's barely 7 hours later as I type this, and my face feels cool to the touch for the first time in I simply can't remember when. My eyes welled with tears of disbelief. Not to go all reality TV on you, but some of you with medical conditions who have had a breakthrough after a long plateau may understand my feelings. A fair amount of redness is still present, and it will take time, but I've thrown out all my old stuff, and I'm giving this a real try.

Maybe this woman can give me my face back. I don't expect to have the pretty skin I had before age 26 or so, but any improvement would be truly welcome. Regardless, it feels, well, not to cheese out and use a buzzword, but it feels empowering to try a new treatment.

I am cautiously optimistic. I'm not getting my hopes up, but we'll see how it goes.

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( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
wytchcroft
Mar. 26th, 2010 11:29 pm (UTC)
ok, you stay cautious and let us flisters do the hoping for you, deal?? :)))
pointedview
Mar. 26th, 2010 11:44 pm (UTC)
What an amazingly sweet thing to say, wytchcroft. I am truly touched, and yeah, I could use a little hope from any direction (can't we all?) -- if it is my Flist, all the better! :) *hug*
wytchcroft
Mar. 27th, 2010 05:11 am (UTC)
you're entirely welcome :)) *hugs back*
goodjoan
Mar. 27th, 2010 12:04 pm (UTC)
I am so happy to hear that you are 'cool!' I hope the new treatment keeps helping! Yay for a change for the better!
pointedview
Mar. 27th, 2010 09:19 pm (UTC)
*hugs* Thank you so much, sweetie. I know you've been through enough medical issues between you and your children to fill a small filing cabinet, ;) so I know that you truly understand what a relief it is when something is working even a little bit! :)
proftlb
Mar. 27th, 2010 07:42 pm (UTC)
I'll be un-cautiously optimistic for you:)
pointedview
Mar. 27th, 2010 09:26 pm (UTC)
*hugs* Thank you, T. I know you know better than anyone how it feels when you make progress on a chronic condition. :)
ssilverfish
Apr. 23rd, 2010 10:03 am (UTC)
Wandered over from Arafel's lj... *wave*

My rosacea is mostly kept at bay with metronidazole. My face is still pinkish and I get a small breakout from time to time, but nothing like it used to be. I remember that cooling feeling you mentioned, too, when it first started to work. To finally not have my face feeling hot and itchy all the time was amazing!

Sounds like the new stuff may be working already. My fingers are crossed for you. :)
pointedview
Apr. 23rd, 2010 04:43 pm (UTC)
I've been using Finacea and Metrogel. I stopped the Metrogel the week of my period because it seemed to be exacerbating breakouts. I'm going to try returning to it and see if that changes. I'm also seeing the dermatologist for my follow-up next Friday, so I'll get more information then. I really like the Finacea, though.

I've been using it with Aveeno Ultra-Calming Daily Moisturizer SPF 30 and Aveeno Ultra-Calming Moisturizing Cream Cleanser. Sometimes I blend a little Eucerin Redness Relief in with it, too.

Thank you so, so much for the encouragement. It is nice to have someone else on LJ who has experienced this! I just learned that my cousing has it as well. While I don't wish it on anyone, it's reassuring to feel that I'm not alone.

Glad to have you here, and special thanks for taking the time to comment on this post, truly.
ssilverfish
Apr. 23rd, 2010 07:56 pm (UTC)
Ooh, I loved that Aveeno moisturizer. It was one of the last ones I used before I started using Metrogel. I haven't used anything since then and don't really wash my face any more, aside from a quick rinse in the shower.

It took me forever to do something about my skin. It started to break out when I was in graduate school and I assumed it was just stress-related acne that would go away as soon as I graduated. It didn't. I refused the idea that it was rosacea for a long time, thinking that it was an allergy or just the result of years of abusing my skin with harsh soaps. I suppose I thought that many years of experimentation with OTC products was preferable to a single trip to the dermatologist. (I even suffered through a humiliating session at a Clinique counter at the mall. *cringe*)

It was just a couple years ago at a gyn appointment that I finally mentioned something to my doctor, hoping for a dermatology referral. My gyn tried to prescribe me tetracycline, but I refused it, saying I thought it might be rosacea and not acne. So, she wrote me a prescription for Metrogel instead and the rest is history. I felt that cooling difference immediately and within just a month or two, most of the redness and irritation was gone. I didn't have the constant urge to touch, pick, or cover my face any more either. Such relief!

And very glad I wandered here... it seems we have a lot in common, skin issues aside. :D
pointedview
Apr. 26th, 2010 11:23 am (UTC)
Gosh, reading your "History of my skin" post, I found so many echoes! My complexion during high school; my preference for hot showers, etc.

I totally sympathize with your experience at the Clinique counter! I detest sales reps like that -- it's all about their product and their situation, when it needs to be focused on you, the customer, and your specific needs. For the record, they've been dishing out that three step solution for years, and I don't think it has really evolved since rosacea awareness has increased. I used their products for a few years, but didn't much care for them.

Side note about Metrogel: I find the "don't get it in your vagina!" instruction extremely amusing. What, do they think that the bottle is going to somehow accidentally fall in there and lodge itself while you're applying it to your face? :D Just my quirky sense of humor.

I do think we seem to have a lot in common, skin issues aside! :) I'm enjoying your posts.

ssilverfish
Apr. 26th, 2010 02:48 pm (UTC)
> Side note about Metrogel: I find the "don't get it in your vagina!" instruction extremely amusing. What, do they think that the bottle is going to somehow accidentally fall in there and lodge itself while you're applying it to your face? :D Just my quirky sense of humor.

Haaa! I never noticed that -- too funny. There are, apparently, some vaginal uses for the stuff, as it turns out, but probably in different doses/forms. (Wikipedia can fill you in on the gory details, hehe...)

When I found out I was pregnant, I was checking with the nurses at the OB office to see whether it was okay to keep using Metrogel. The nurse asked very cautiously, "So.... what do you use it for?" She sounded relieved when I told her. (Turns out it was fine.)
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )

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