When 41-year-old Julie Golubovic of Florida was diagnosed with rosacea last year, her family went to great lengths to make sure she felt comfortable with her condition. On her first visit to her mother-in-law's house following the diagnosis, she was greeted by family members sporting a red circle painted on each cheek.
"My elderly mother-in-law looked so funny with her snow white hair, fair complexion and a pleasant smile, sitting in her wheelchair with bright red circles on her cheeks," Julie said. "We all laughed so hard at their attempt to make me feel comfortable and among friends."
Julie said her diagnosis came as somewhat of a surprise despite her Norwegian heritage and extremely fair skin. She said she had always received compliments on her porcelain-like complexion, but about a year ago she noticed some lingering facial redness. Julie talked with her father, who is a physician, and he suspected her condition might be related to her frequent scuba and snorkeling expeditions.
At her father's suggestion, Julie saw a dermatologist, who noted signs of rosacea. The doctor prescribed both an oral antibiotic as well as topical medication, which Julie said have been effective in controlling outbreaks of pimples.
"Now I mostly just have redness on my chin and cheeks, which I cover up with makeup," she said.
Julie said she has not yet identified any specific factors that trigger a rosacea flare-up, although she does think the strong Florida sun might play a role in her condition. She said she usually is extremely careful to cover up or wear sunscreen when she is outside, but she does recall one particularly bad sunburn on her chin, the part of her face that is most prone to rosacea flare-ups.
Julie emphasizes that a positive attitude can be a tremendous boost to someone coping with rosacea. "The one thing I can say to fellow rosacea sufferers is this: Don't take your outward appearance too seriously. Today my skin is less than perfect, but I never let that be a reflection of who I am."