Success Story

She Manages Rosacea Despite Unexpected Triggers

Success can be measured in so many different ways. For Rita Schauf, a 66-year-old California retiree who has suffered from rosacea for 20 years, success is going a week or two without a flare-up.

Rita is well aware of and studiously avoids her personal triggers -- including spicy foods, hot weather and hot showers -- but even her best efforts are frequently thwarted by an unexpected flare-up.

She Survived 'Survivor' Without a Flare-Up

When nurse practitioner Margaret Bobonich was diagnosed with rosacea in her late 20s, she had no idea she would be on television. As a healthcare professional, she knew rosacea was a chronic condition that required long-term medical therapy along with lifestyle modifications.

"Through the years, I had my share of flare-ups and sometimes they would be severe," Bobonich said. "I just tried to maintain a healthy lifestyle, comply with prescribed therapy, reduce stress and participate in sports activities to keep fit."

She Finds Persistence and a 'Cool Setting' Pay Off

After having signs of rosacea for 30 years and being told by doctors that she just blushed easily, Marge Proctor has finally been diagnosed with the disorder by a dermatologist.

"I thought my red face, bumps and pimples and burning and itching eyes were something I just had to learn to live with, until the Internet led me to the National Rosacea Society's Web site at," she said. "I subscribed to the newsletter and began to read and inform myself about this complex disorder."

Wake-Up Call Leads to Diagnosis of Rosacea

Looking back, Susan Boyce remembers blushing easily as a child and not having any acne problems until well into her 20s, when she was diagnosed with "adult acne" and prescribed oral antibiotics to control it. "After seven years on the antibiotics, I became worried about long-term use and discontinued them," she said.

Her Sensitive Skin Leads to Complex Rosacea

From the time she was 13 years old and tried a popular moisturizer on her face that brought "catastrophic red results," Cheryl Costello knew she had very sensitive skin.

Over the years, the redness on her face intensified. Next, blood vessels became noticeable and bumps (papules) began to appear.

"I had no idea what was happening, but I knew it was serious," she said. "I saw several doctors who thought it might be rosacea. One prescribed a topical ointment, which made my face worse, so I thought I just had to live with it."

She Finds Rosacea Widely Misunderstood in India

Homai Baria of India felt quite alone when she was diagnosed with rosacea.

"In India, I have still not heard much about the term rosacea," Baria said. As a result, many people in her country don't understand her condition.

"My family, friends and colleagues at work would sometimes make unkind comments about what was happening to me," she said, referring to her red face and rosacea flareups. "I went to the point of avoiding going to parties and social gatherings. I would often cry when I was alone."

She Is Always Cautious with Her Delicate Skin

Sandra (not her real name) was born with delicate skin. As a result, she was accustomed to being careful and cautious with the things she came in contact with.

"Since childhood I have had sensitive skin," she said. "I am very fair and most over-the-counter products sting and burn so badly I have to immediately rinse them off."

When she developed rosacea just prior to turning 30, it was really no surprise.

His Rosacea Was Harrowing Before He Took Control

Matthew Trumble of England was just 28 years old when his first signs of rosacea developed -- three large, hard spots on his face. A confident young man, Trumble assumed the problem would just sort itself out, so he left it alone.

However, the condition began to spread across his face. "It became harrowing," he said.

"When my rosacea was at its worst, I got very depressed and didn't even want to go outside or speak to anyone," Trumble said. "Even worse, I got very little attention from the ladies."

Through Study, She Catches Eye Symptoms Early

Ramona McDaniels had no knowledge of rosacea when her symptoms first appeared. When her face began to flush frequently, with the redness lasting longer each time, she suspected everything and anything.

"I tried to figure it out," McDaniels said. "Everything under the sun was suspect. I thought it might be my makeup, allergies, foods, the sun."

The list of potential culprits grew until one day her mother read an article about rosacea. "She looked at me and said, 'This is what you have.'"

At First, She Couldn't Believe Her Misfortune

When Pearl Poole first found out she had rosacea, she couldn't believe her misfortune.

"I had acne as a teenager and it was detrimental to my self-esteem," Pearl said. "I already had a shy and sensitive nature."

She learned to live with her acne, though. "I couldn't wear makeup, so I tried to look my best in other ways," she said. "Although I wasn't a social butterfly, I did find true love and have a wonderful family."

Yet it was another blow to her self-esteem when she began developing signs of rosacea in her early 50s.


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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.