Ramona McDaniels had no knowledge of rosacea when her symptoms first appeared. When her face began to flush frequently, with the redness lasting longer each time, she suspected everything and anything.
"I tried to figure it out," McDaniels said. "Everything under the sun was suspect. I thought it might be my makeup, allergies, foods, the sun."
The list of potential culprits grew until one day her mother read an article about rosacea. "She looked at me and said, 'This is what you have.'"
McDaniels immediately saw a dermatologist and found out her mother was right. "By then, the redness had gotten worse, spreading across my face to my ears and leading to small breakouts of pimples," she said.
From that moment, McDaniels felt the need to learn more and looked for every article she could find.
McDaniels' hunger for information helped her understand her condition. For instance, she discovered her genetic heritage puts her at a higher risk of rosacea, and her love of baking for hours in a hot kitchen makes her condition worse. She also learned that if she carefully follows her prescribed therapy, she minimizes her flare-ups.
It was this diligence in educating herself about rosacea that prepared McDaniels for what was to come next.
"My eyes really started to bother me," she said. "They looked bloodshot and felt hot and dry. It even made my vision blurry."
Since she already knew these were symptoms of ocular rosacea, she went straight to the doctor's office, where she was effectively treated.
"It really helps to read everything you can get your hands on," she said. "Staying educated on rosacea helped me recognize my eye symptoms early."