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Success Story

He Thought It Was Just Dust in His Eyes

Mark (not his real name) couldn't see the whole picture. In fact, he was having trouble seeing at all. His eyes were red and irritated. But he never suspected that this irritation was related in any way to the mysterious redness on his face.

"I woke up one morning and my eyes were sore," Mark said. "It felt like I had something in them that I couldn't get out." Despite the irritation he went to work anyway.

When Her Tan Faded, She Had Suspicious Red Patches

It wasn't until her tan disappeared that Karin van der Valk noticed the suspicious red patches on her left cheek.

"I thought it was sunburn, but when my tan was all gone in the winter, I realized the red patches were quite prominent," she said.

It took her a while to discover the cause of the redness. "I also have asthma and allergies, and tend to break out in red patches when I'm suffering an attack," she said.

Her 'High Color' Face Turned Out to Be Rosacea

It was the network of visible blood vessels on her face that bothered Rita Edwards the most. As a frequent blusher, she was accustomed to having "high color" on her face, but this was more than she could bear.

"They made my face look purple-red," she said. "I also had dry, bumpy skin, almost like acne."

Even though she doesn't like to wear makeup, Rita tried foundations and creams to cover her blemishes, redness and blood vessels. "But they just couldn't be covered," Rita said.

"People would ask me what was wrong when my face got red," she said.

She Skated Her Way to Rosacea Redness

Red was not a new color to Kathleen Shoup. Her fair Irish complexion had blushed and flushed most of her life. But then as a roller dance skater, her cheeks began to look particularly red hot.

It was after she started skating competitively at the age of 48 that Shoup noticed her redness was worse. "My long workouts caused red blotches and they took longer to go away than before," she said. "I finally went to the dermatologist because I had a bad rash across my face," she added. The dermatologist diagnosed the rash as rosacea.

She Never Suspected Her Natural Color Was Rosacea Red

Diane Hilmo was rather proud of the "natural" color of her face, a little redness on the cheeks that gave her a healthy look. She never imagined it was something to worry about or that it could possibly be the symptom of a chronic skin disorder.

"I had seen pictures of people with rosacea, faces with red rashes," she said. "But I didn't look anything like those pictures, so I ignored it."

Her Wit's End Leads to a Proper Diagnosis

Susan Stover thought she was going through another streak of bad luck with her complexion. Since the age of 12, she had battled periodic outbreaks of acne and pimples. Now, at the age of 37, she found herself again in the midst of a fight for clear skin.

Yet something was different this time. "I was bright red with pimples on my cheeks, nose and chin. I thought it might be due to my makeup," she said.

Severe Rosacea Made Laughing Very Painful

When Jose Vega Aquino of Puerto Rico started using a popular cream to treat his acne, instead of seeing an improvement in his skin, his face became inflamed with red, sore pimples.

"There was itching, dryness and redness," Aquino said. "Any gesture, even a laugh, was very painful."

He discontinued using the acne treatment but the redness and pain persisted. "I stopped using my contacts and tried to hide behind my glasses. I felt terrible," he said.

Her Gorgeous White Skin Turned Red and Painful

In a single day, Dollie Timpe's life changed. It was shortly after she underwent minor surgery to remove a lesion from her face. Timpe, 84 years old, woke up one morning, the day before she was to return to her dermatologist for a follow-up appointment, with a strange and painful breakout on her face.

"There was a lot of redness and a lot of big pimples," Timpe said. "It just made me sick." It was especially difficult, said Timpe, because she was accustomed to having gorgeous white skin all of her life. "Everyone wanted to know my formula for perfect skin," she said.

She Was Clueless to the Cause of Her Sensitive Red Face

At first Bennie Chung, a 23-year-old woman from Hong Kong, had no clue why her skin appeared to be so sensitive, flaring up from time to time. She thought it was a condition she inherited. Her 50-year-old mother, in fact, had the same red face.

But as the condition worsened, she knew she had to find some answers. "We thought we might be suffering from an allergy," said Chung, who normally had very fair skin. "We bought a lot of different cosmetics to fight against the way we looked."

Why Did Coffee Make Her Face Look Red?

Patty McMinn couldn't imagine there might be a medical reason for her red puffy nose. She did think it was strange, however, that the redness seemed to appear after drinking coffee.

A bank officer, McMinn started noticing the redness after her morning coffee break. "My colleagues started making comments," McMinn said. "I was concerned because in my position, I was constantly before the public."

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Phone:
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Email:
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National Rosacea Society
196 James St.
Barrington, IL 60010

Our Mission

The National Rosacea Society is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to improve the lives of people with rosacea by raising awareness, providing public health information and supporting medical research on this widespread but little-known disorder. The information the Society provides should not be considered medical advice, nor is it intended to replace

consultation with a qualified physician. The Society does not evaluate, endorse or recommend any particular medications, products, equipment or treatments. Rosacea may vary substantially from one patient to another, and treatment must be tailored by a physician for each individual case. For more information, visit About Us.