As far back as she can remember, Carole Storme's red nose was a fact of life, especially during the holidays and at family gatherings. Photos clearly documented the condition, but her doctor attributed it to her Irish heritage.
"Every time I would ask why my nose turns red, he would just laugh and say, 'It's because you're Irish,' " she explained.
When she was in her early 50s, the redness became more persistent and she started to suspect that she might have rosacea. "I learned about the condition from others and I was convinced that's what was wrong with me," she said. "I even started to see small red veins very close to my nose."
After moving from her native Pittsburgh to Florida, she found a new dermatologist. "He took one look at me and diagnosed my condition as rosacea," Carole said.
"He prescribed a topical medication, special cleanser and moisturizer, and I began the process of trying to identify my triggers," she said.
She identified that red wine, heated beverages, nuts, aged cheese and hot showers or baths were rosacea triggers for her. "I faithfully stay away from these things, and I have found that avoiding my triggers has also helped to reduce my migraine headaches, as well as keep my rosacea wonderfully under control," she said.
When Carole notices other people who may have rosacea, she will not hesitate to talk to them about the condition and encourage them to see a dermatologist. "I wish someone would have paid more attention to me when I knew something was wrong years ago," she related.
Her advice to others with rosacea is, "Do exactly what the dermatologist tells you, work hard to find your triggers and even harder to avoid them. That's been a winning formula for me."