Andrea considered herself somewhat fortunate when she was diagnosed with rosacea about 15 years ago because her doctor worked closely with her to find just the right combination of medications and skin care products for her sensitive skin. The 46-year-old Russian translator from Maryland often stood in front of large crowds when she performed simultaneous interpretations, and she was grateful that she was able to keep her condition under control with oral and topical therapy.
But when Andrea and her husband decided to start a family, she was disappointed to hear her doctor recommend that she discontinue all of her medications before becoming pregnant. For the next five years, prior to and during her pregnancy as well as when nursing her son, Andrea suffered repeated flare-ups.
Finally, when she stopped nursing, Andrea resumed her rosacea therapy and her skin gradually began to show signs of improvement. She also had some small, visible blood vessels removed with a laser. At last, through long-term use of her medications, Andrea said her skin is now almost totally clear.
"If you didn't know me, you would not know I have rosacea," she said. "I have lost most of the redness and only have an occasional small outbreak that I can cover with makeup."
Even so, Andrea is an ambassador for rosacea awareness, talking freely about her condition with family, friends and co-workers. She related the story of a colleague's wife, recently diagnosed with rosacea, who was reluctant to take any prescription medicine.
"I told her I've seen the benefits of medication to keep rosacea under long-term control," Andrea said. "Now, my skin feels smooth and looks good."