Lori Appling felt completely in the dark. For some unknown reason, her complexion was acting up. She developed welt-like pimples on her cheeks. Her first thought was that it must be acne, but none of the acne products she used improved her symptoms. In fact, her face got worse.
"It really worried me," Appling said. "I never had any problems with my complexion. I knew I had to do something."
So she went to see a dermatologist and learned she had rosacea. She was prescribed an oral antibiotic, but reacted badly and was given a topical antibiotic for long-term use. It seemed to really control her symptoms until spring arrived.
"All of a sudden I was having flare-ups," Appling said. Determined to find out why, she turned to her computer and the Internet. She searched for information on rosacea and found the National Rosacea Society (NRS) Web site.
Through the Web she discovered that a host of normal, everyday things could potentially aggravate her rosacea. "I soon realized that the sun was my number one trigger and that I'd have to protect my face with sunscreen," she said. Now she never goes a day without it.
She learned other information on the Web as well. "I never imagined that such simple things could cause a flare-up," she said. For instance, Appling was accustomed to using a rough, loofa sponge to wash her face. "I had no clue I was actually making my skin worse," she said. She has since adopted a milder cleansing routine, thanks to tips provided on the National Rosacea Society Web page.
"I was so excited to learn about the Web site," Appling said. "It's very frustrating when you don't have enough information." Appling frequently turns to the Web to communicate with other rosacea sufferers and to check for new information and helpful tips for managing her condition.