John was a respected professor on a college campus. Then at the age of 57, he started to have trouble with pimples and redness on his face, mostly on his nose. He had periodic outbreaks, followed by soreness and an embarrassing red nose. Though John's facial problems didn't seem to affect his professional relationships, he was still concerned.
"I was worried that people might associate my red nose with drinking," he said.
He did nothing for the first year. But as the problem persisted, he went to see his dermatologist, who prescribed an oral antibiotic. John's facial problems didn't seem to respond and, worse, he experienced some uncomfortable side effects from the medication. He was then prescribed another oral antibiotic he could tolerate, but it also had little therapeutic effect in his particular case.
Then his physician prescribed a topical antibiotic. "At first, I must admit, I used the medication irregularly," John said. As a result, his condition didn't seem to improve. "When things actually got worse, I decided to be more systematic. I applied the medication faithfully twice a day after a thorough cleansing," he said. After about six weeks, John's face began to clear until he was virtually symptom free. "I was elated," he said.
John advises other rosacea patients to use their medication as directed. "I have acquaintances who have reached the stage of rhinophyma," he said. "I shudder to think I could have been on that path."