Patty McMinn couldn't imagine there might be a medical reason for her red puffy nose. She did think it was strange, however, that the redness seemed to appear after drinking coffee.
A bank officer, McMinn started noticing the redness after her morning coffee break. "My colleagues started making comments," McMinn said. "I was concerned because in my position, I was constantly before the public."
Then the breakouts started. "As soon as one blemish cleared up, another one would pop up somewhere else," she said. Of English descent, McMinn said she had her share of acne as a teenager, but this was more difficult. "I wondered what people might be thinking," she said. "It definitely affected my confidence."
After suffering with her skin condition for several years, trying numerous facial products that only seemed to make her skin look worse, McMinn got the surprise of her life. "My husband discovered an item in Reader's Digest describing rosacea," she said. "He pointed to the picture and said, 'This is what is wrong with your face.'"
McMinn had never heard of rosacea before. She went straight to her doctor and asked to be referred to a dermatologist.
She was prescribed oral and topical antibiotics, and revised her skin-care routine to include a gentle soap. She also now avoids steaming hot coffee, because the heat causes her nose to flare up.
"What a difference it made," she said. "It only took about six weeks to feel normal again."
McMinn said she has learned a valuable lesson: "We each know our own bodies best. So any time you notice a change that is unusual, check it out."