Although Rosa Menchen had battled skin problems for years, she received her rosacea diagnosis less than two years ago – quite by accident. The 59-year-old chaplain from Arizona accompanied her son to his dermatologist appointment, but ended up becoming the patient when the doctor walked in the examining room and immediately announced to Rosa, “I know what you have. You have rosacea.”
Rosa said previous doctors had never put a name to her itching, burning facial breakouts, most likely because her flare-ups almost always dissipated by the time she could get an appointment. Still, she received prescriptions for topical steroids and recommendations for allergy medication and over-the-counter products, all of which did little to prevent her painful outbreaks.
This time, however, the dermatologist prescribed topical rosacea therapy, which Rosa started using on a Friday. By Monday, her skin was clear.
“My husband was amazed,” Rosa said. “I had a picture that was taken right before I started the medication, and I showed it to him. He couldn’t believe the difference.”
While her flare-ups have not completely disappeared, Rosa said they occur much less frequently and do not last as long. She gives credit to her new skin-care routine as well as the medication.
“I had to experiment with sunscreen and makeup, because I have tried products in the past that would work for a little while but then start causing breakouts,” she said. Last winter, Rosa saw an ad for a line of skin-care products produced by an “artist to the stars” and decided to buy a starter kit to give it a try. Now she raves about the primer, which she uses after washing and moisturizing her face.
“I’ve used primers before, but this one is so mild I can use it around my eyes and on my eyelids, and it never bothers me,” Rosa said. “I have found that even with rough skin and large pores the primer helps keep makeup on and makes my skin look smoother.”
Rosa said the sun is the primary trigger for her rosacea flare-ups, but she also suffers from fibromyalgia and finds that a flare-up of that condition can trigger an outbreak of her rosacea symptoms. She tries to eat a well-balanced diet and get enough sleep in an effort to keep both ailments at bay.
“My skin has has improved so much that people don’t believe I’m almost 60,” Rosa said.