Kathlyn Fowler's co-workers often thought she was red-hot angry. Her face was so red and flushed, they kept asking her if she was upset about something.
"I was in my early thirties and couldn't figure out why my face looked so sunburned all the time," said Fowler, a green-eyed, blonde-haired Texas native. "I tried to stay out of the sun as much as possible. Then I kept checking my temperature. I thought I was coming down with something." The redness was so intense, complete strangers would approach her and express sorrow over her bad sunburn. But when visible blood vessels and pimples also started to appear on her face, she went right to the dermatologist.
Fowler's doctor diagnosed her rosacea and prescribed medication and gentle cleansers, plus green-tinted concealer to mask her redness. As she learned more about her condition and potential flare-ups, she discovered she was particularly sensitive to anything hot.
"Hot weather, humidity, hot showers, steam, hair dryers, cooking and washing my face make me tomato red," Fowler said. Since she also works in the film and television industry -- spending time on hot lighted sets -- just being at work could make her look burning red.
In addition to following her treatment plan, Fowler has found a way to beat the heat and minimize heat-related flare-ups.
"I always carry a battery fan with me, including extra batteries," she said. "I take cool showers. I keep my moisturizing cream in the refrigerator. After I dry my hair, I put the hair dryer on the cool setting and use it on my face. I even put my pillowcase in the freezer just before I go to bed.
"As long as I use my medication, make-up, sunscreen and stay cool, I do okay," Fowler said. "Rosacea can be a real pain, but it is manageable."
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The National Rosacea Society is interested in hearing personal success stories from readers who have been able to improve their lives through effective control of rosacea. In the coming issues of Rosacea Review, we'll feature some of these stories and personal tips. Please mail your success story to Rosacea Review, 800 South Northwest Highway, Suite 200, Barrington, Illinois 60010; e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, or FAX to 847/382-5567.
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