As someone accustomed to the public spotlight, Marlane Fairleigh knows that when you look your best, you feel your best. So, having the red face of rosacea can bring you the kind of notoriety you don't want.
"A rosacea flare-up really bothers me," said Fairleigh, a classical singer and former business consultant and public speaker. "If my face is red, I am afraid people are noticing."
Fairleigh's rosacea started in the early 90s, during a time when she often found herself in front of an audience public speaking. "It started so gradually," she said. "It looked like I had a rash on my face, then small bumps developed. It didn't look like anything I had as a teen."
After enduring the symptoms for several months, Fairleigh saw a dermatologist who recognized she had rosacea and put her on oral and topical antibiotics.
"It took several months, but I finally got it under control," she said. "At the time, I had never heard of rosacea. I couldn't even spell it."
Now, Fairleigh knows plenty. In addition to medical treatment, she's learned that she must maintain a consistent and careful skin-care routine, using a gentle cleanser and applying it with clean fingertips, washing with tepid water and softly blotting her face dry. She is also careful not to experiment with cosmetics and skin-care products.
"If I stray from my routine at all, I know I'll pay the price," Fairleigh said.
Fairleigh is now retired but stays in the limelight as a classical singer. Her public exposure has made her determined to stay on top of her rosacea.
"When I am on stage singing, the audiences are looking at my face. I don't want them thinking about my rosacea," she said.