At first Bennie Chung, a 23-year-old woman from Hong Kong, had no clue why her skin appeared to be so sensitive, flaring up from time to time. She thought it was a condition she inherited. Her 50-year-old mother, in fact, had the same red face.
But as the condition worsened, she knew she had to find some answers. "We thought we might be suffering from an allergy," said Chung, who normally had very fair skin. "We bought a lot of different cosmetics to fight against the way we looked."
Yet nothing changed. "My face was getting drier and drier, even burnt-out looking," she said. "I was tired of facing people who kept asking me what was wrong.
"You can imagine how I felt. I was disappointed, sad, even angry. I spent a lot of time trying different things and the result was useless.
Then one October Chung had an appointment with a doctor knowledgeable about rosacea. He diagnosed her condition and prescribed oral and topical antibiotics, and she saw dramatic improvements.
"My skin is healthier than ever before," Chung said. In addition to the treatment, Chung has discovered personal tripwires she should avoid. She appears to be sensitive to extreme changes in temperature, spicy foods and sun exposure.
"My daily lifestyle is very important," she said. "I take medication daily, apply sunscreen every day and don't eat hot or spicy foods. This way I can fight rosacea."