Michelle Dudash was diagnosed with rosacea less than a year ago, yet she is brimming with advice for her fellow rosacea sufferers. In fact, the 36-year-old registered dietitian, chef and author from Arizona went so far as to devote an entire entry on her food and cooking blog to tell her story and offer helpful hints to those who suspect they might have rosacea.
Michelle had battled acne previously and assumed acne was the culprit behind the redness, bumps and pimples that lingered for more than a year while she tried facial peels, expensive creams and acne medication.
“Things hit rock bottom when I needed to apologize to the makeup artist for the horrible state of my skin on the morning of a satellite media tour,” she wrote on her blog. “The acne (or so I thought) was incredibly embarrassing, and physically painful, too. Would people think that I don’t take care of my skin? That I don’t wash my brushes? A dietitian is supposed to look healthy, after all.”
At her husband’s urging, Michelle made an appointment with a dermatologist, who diagnosed rosacea. Michelle left the office with a prescription for topical medication, along with directions to the National Rosacea Society’s website, rosacea.org.
Michelle devoured the information on the website, and immediately changed her skin care routine, abandoning the scrub brush and salicylic acid she has been using in favor of her fingertips and a gentle cleanser. She also began keeping a food diary to identify any potential triggers. She was able to pinpoint pickled or fermented foods, heated beverages and spicy foods as triggers.
Within four months, Michelle said her complexion had improved so much she could venture out in public without makeup or huge sunglasses covering her face. With so little evidence of rosacea, the condition rarely is a topic of conversation for Michelle, but she was eager to share some advice for those who are going through what she experienced so recently:
• “The doctor might not have time to explain Rosacea 101 to you, so educate yourself from trusted sources. Read all the NRS materials.”
• “Take your skin-care routine seriously. I don’t fall asleep without washing my face.”
• “Cosmetics and skin-care products don’t necessarily have to be expensive to be effective.”