Molly Row might be every physician’s dream patient. The 52-year-old from northern California followed her doctor’s instructions to the letter following her rosacea diagnosis in 2004.
However, while her flare-ups decreased dramatically in number and severity with medical therapy, she discovered within weeks that many skin-care and cosmetic products continued to cause her to break out.
“I got frustrated,” Molly said. “Even products that were labeled for sensitive skin or hypoallergenic caused a reaction.”
It was this frustration that led her to search the Internet for answers. She readily found lists of ingredients commonly used in facial products, including descriptions of their likelihood to cause irritation to sensitive skin.
Molly began to read ingredient lists and to use products that contained only substances with a low irritation potential. She said her resulting regimen for skin care and cosmetics made a huge difference in controlling her flare-ups.
“Without makeup my skin is still blotchy, but I can hide it all with makeup,” she said. “People I meet have no idea I have rosacea.”
Besides avoiding ingredients that irritate her individual case, Molly has been able to pinpoint a few of her other individual triggers.
“I know stress plays a role, but even though my stress has been off the charts the past two years between the downturn of the real estate market and the loss of my husband, I have been able to control my rosacea,” she said. Molly also said she has spent her life in the sun, but she has always worn a hat and used plenty of sunscreen.
She never had a problem with her fair complexion until, early in her 40s, she woke up one morning covered in pimples, bumps and swelling. The symptoms came on so fast Molly was convinced it was the result of something she ate, but when the signs didn’t quickly resolve, she saw a dermatologist who made the rosacea diagnosis.
When asked what advice she might have for fellow rosacea sufferers, Molly did not hesitate.
“They need to look at what they’re putting on their skin,” she said. “It’s not about spending a lot of money but finding the right products for you.”